Comey: Trump unfazed by Russian meddling

In an interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos, former FBI Director James Comey said he was shocked by the questions President Trump did not ask during a conversation about possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 6:10 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 6:13 AM

It's been a truly hellish week for the Trump presidency. The week began with an unprecedented FBI raid the on the office, home and hotel room of the President's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to execute a search warrant seeking incriminating documents.

It ended in verbal and Twitter fisticuffs between the President and former FBI Director James Comey, who revealed-- among other things -- new details about the President's alleged reaction when Comey advised him of a Russian claim that Trump had engaged in a romp with Russian prostitutes. The tweeting fisticuffs were about a lot more than just the "golden showers" allegation.

Comey is on a tour pushing his new book, "A Higher Loyalty." In between all this, the doorman at a Trump building made some startling revelations, and the President pondered a missile attack on Syria.

The highlight of this Trumpian scandal festival for a while appeared to be the allegations that the doorman who worked at New York's Trump World Tower had been paid $30,000 by the National Enquirer's parent company AMI to refrain from "criticizing President Trump's former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with President Trump which produced a child."

In Trumpworld, the normal solution to this problem would be to dispatch Michael Cohen to remind the doorman that he was likely to face punishing legal and financial consequences should he suggest that the President had fathered an illegitimate child with his housekeeper.

Cohen would be the logical choice for the doorman job, just as he was for the Stormy Daniels job. It is the same reason that Cohen was a completely logical target for closer scrutiny by the FBI.

Cohen was widely known as Trump's "pitbull" and "fixer," with a history of bare-knuckled threats to inflict catastrophic legal damages on anyone seeking to harm Trump's reputation.

One can only imagine what may be hidden in the Cohen treasure trove of documents relating to the job of batting cleanup for Trump's scandal-ridden past.

Whatever Cohen has accumulated, it is now being examined by FBI agents and federal prosecutors for evidence of criminality.

Cohen now has his own problems to worry about and is reportedly musing about the possibility of asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination if questioned by law enforcement authorities -- or by attorney Michael Avenatti in the California civil suits now swirling around him and the President.

Cohen's attorney sought a "stay" in the California lawsuit pertaining to adult film star Stormy Daniels, citing Fifth Amendment concerns.

Cohen clearly does not want to be making statements under oath or on the record in court while the FBI examines his records.

The raid undoubtedly caused the President to appear completely distraught and off-balance as he mused during an unscripted press appearance on Monday about firing both Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein and special counsel Robert Mueller.

What was particularly unnerving to those watching Trump this week were his rants about Rosenstein, Mueller and the Russia investigation, interspersed with talk about letting the "missiles" fly at Syria.

Americans like to think of their President as ordering military strikes in a calm, rational and detached manner, not in the midst of an emotional meltdown about law enforcement authorities investigating his administration and his personal lawyer -- or for that matter, rumors of an illegitimate child.

The President himself has been described as a "subject" of the investigation, nomenclature denoting a person who is perilously close to being the "target" of the investigation.

Sandwiched between the law office raid and the doorman allegations, the subject of Mr. Trump and "golden showers" jumped into the headlines with the publication of excerpts from the soon-to-be-released book written by the FBI director he fired, James Comey.

The book, "A Higher Loyalty," apparently contains descriptions of the President's alleged insistence on obtaining a loyalty pledge from Comey, and Trump's repeated request that Comey make a determined effort to disprove the uncorroborated "golden showers" descriptions of Trump's alleged sexual activity with Russian prostitutes, which appeared in the controversial "Steele Dossier."

The strange thing is that the nation has now been so scandal-scarred by Trump's inappropriate behavior that news of an out-of-wedlock child, even if true, would hardly make a dent in his already shattered reputation for character and integrity.

He has probably already reached the point of being "libel-proof," a rare condition in the law of defamation which holds that some people have such poor and tarnished reputations that even the publication of false statements cannot bring them any lower.

Proof of this is that the story of the illegitimate child -- whether true or not --barely registered on the public's consciousness.

In a really bad week for everyone connected to Trumpworld, only one person looks to be in reasonably good shape: the doorman.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 587049

Reported Deaths: 9287
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion810691296
Lake44121665
Allen31797541
Hamilton28178303
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Elkhart24057340
Vanderburgh18519213
Tippecanoe17305121
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Hendricks13793241
Madison10509212
Vigo10432171
Clark10151129
Monroe9029108
Delaware8782129
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Howard7834137
Warrick636790
Hancock633297
Bartholomew624294
Floyd6098105
Wayne5903156
Grant5799109
Dubois541670
Boone531467
Morgan512388
Marshall492484
Henry491164
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Lawrence379475
Clinton363639
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Brown85530
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Union6063
Ohio4647
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 821507

Reported Deaths: 10135
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin96935704
Cuyahoga81526972
Hamilton60913438
Montgomery41445399
Summit33096726
Lucas29981591
Butler29513227
Stark24608400
Warren18792139
Lorain17916207
Mahoning16710335
Lake15255135
Clermont15053104
Delaware1374277
Licking12595132
Trumbull12352301
Fairfield1211380
Greene11532132
Medina11033165
Clark10557264
Wood9901154
Allen9481126
Portage8802105
Miami880173
Richland8748116
Marion7305113
Tuscarawas7095174
Columbiana7047124
Pickaway699850
Wayne6729162
Muskingum665342
Erie5866117
Hancock537090
Ross526087
Scioto514862
Geauga478255
Darke456089
Ashtabula437268
Union429228
Lawrence428951
Mercer423387
Sandusky419062
Seneca411755
Auglaize410959
Huron409138
Shelby408521
Jefferson400466
Belmont392840
Washington367940
Putnam363672
Athens36229
Madison337928
Knox334922
Ashland329138
Fulton324243
Defiance317078
Crawford311968
Preble310034
Brown294419
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Ottawa280534
Clinton278143
Williams268966
Highland261318
Jackson255243
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Morrow22194
Perry220517
Holmes217562
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Van Wert196244
Wyandot189949
Gallia189126
Adams165515
Pike163416
Hocking161923
Carroll148016
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Noble117540
Meigs102421
Monroe95227
Harrison8578
Morgan78227
Vinton65613
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