So a dozen comedians walk into a bar to watch James Comey testify…..
It sounds like the opening of a joke, but there is no punch line because few people were laughing as they watched the former FBI director’s congressional testimony on a large-screen television at a bar in Queens, N.Y., that often features stand-up comedy. Most were sipping sobering iced coffees rather than beer, tapping away tweets on their laptops.
"I find it terrifying more than funny,’’ said John Conroy, 35, a stand-up comic who was watching Thursday morning at the Q.E.D. Club, in the same borough where Trump lived as a child. "This is a difficult time for us. Before the election, Trump was great fodder. I was joking about him at clubs, but now I find a pall falls over the room when you mention him.’’
Former FBI Director James Comey did not hold back at the Senate hearing on Thursday. Here are some key things he revealed:
Comey felt President Trump was directing him to end the probe of retired Gen. Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor, even if Trump did not word his request as a direct order.
Comey deliberately asked a friend to tell reporters about the existence of memos he wrote recounting his conversations with Trump. He hoped the news would trigger the appointment of a special counsel, which it did.
Trump’s tweet suggesting there were tapes of his White House conversations with Comey are what moved the former FBI director to reveal the conversations in which he said Trump pressured him to back off a criminal investigation.
Comey believes he was fired because of the Russia investigation, and he accused the White House of defaming him and the FBI -- and of lying “plain and simple” in its explanations about why he was fired.
Comey wrote down meticulous notes after his conversations with Trump because he worried Trump would lie about the interactions. He said he felt no need to do that with other presidents.
Flynn has been under criminal investigation for possibly making false statements to investigators. The fact that Flynn was under investigation had previously been known, but Comey’s statement was the first public confirmation that possible false statements were part of case.
It's not clear there's ever been such a thing during the Trump administration, but that's the assessment Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders offered in response to multiple questions from reporters about how the White House is grappling with the blockbuster testimony on Capitol Hill by fired FBI Director James Comey.
Sanders, during an off-camera briefing, said she wasn't sure just how much of the three-hour Senate intelligence committee hearing President Trump actually watched on one of the White House TVs.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California pressed James B. Comey on Thursday to reveal whether Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions played any inappropriate role in the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
But her interrogation yielded scant details from the agency's former director.
"I don’t know,” Comey told the freshman Democrat when she asked whether Sessions had reviewed any FBI or Justice Department documents on the Russia probe before recusing himself from any role in the case in early March.
How do James Comey’s detailed memos -- which he did not read aloud during today's hearing -- to top intelligence officials stack up to President Trump’s early morning tweets? Now that we have both sides of the story, take a look at what was happening during the sometimes “uneasy” and “awkward” meetings between the fired FBI director and the president.
When his turn came to question former FBI Director James B. Comey, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona homed in on an unusual remark that President Trump made, according to Comey, during a telephone conversation in April.
Trump was reminding Comey that he wanted the FBI to make public that Trump himself was not a target of the bureau's Russia investigation.
During the course of the conversation, according to Comey, Trump said: “I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.”
President Trump sounded a defiant note during public comments Thursday, a speech that overlapped with former FBI Director James B. Comey's testimony.
Trump, speaking to the Faith and Freedom Coalition at a gathering at a Washington hotel, did not directly mention Comey in his speech, or the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 campaign.
“As you know, we’re under siege, you know that, but we will come out bigger, better and stronger than ever," he said.