Breaking news totally wrong: The excitement was hard to miss on Anderson Cooper's program.
It was Tuesday night at 9 P.M. As the hour began, Cooper announced a tidal wave of breaking news which could shake D.C. to the core:
COOPER (6/6/17): There is a tidal wave of breaking news as the FBI, as the fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee approaches. To say this could shake Washington to the core is not overstating things.Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! In news which could shake D.C. to the core, Gloria Borger was "reporting that, on Thursday, Director Comey will dispute the president's blanket claim that he was told he was not under investigation by Director Comey multiple times."
We're reporting on tensions between the attorney general and the president. We're also now reporting that he offered to resign sometime in the last eight weeks.
New York Times reporting that Director Comey also asked Attorney General Sessions not to leave him alone with the president, or that he didn't want to be in a room alone with the president. CNN's Gloria Borger is reporting that, on Thursday, Director Comey will dispute the president's blanket claim that he was told he was not under investigation by Director Comey multiple times.
It was just sooo cool! Donald J. Trump had dramatically claimed that Comey dramatically told him, three separate times, that he was not under investigation. We liberals felt sure that this had to be wrong. Now, Borger was dramatically saying that Trump's assertion was bunk!
Midway through the hour, Cooper dramatically threw to Borger. She proceeded to break some news:
COOPER: The president said FBI Director James Comey told him, more than once, than he wasn't under investigation, three times actually. On Thursday, Comey will say, "That is not true."The dumb-ass Trump had taken away kind of this blanket assurance! Come Thursday, James B. Comey was going to say that Donald J. Trump was wrong.
That's new reporting tonight from Gloria Borger. She's back along with the rest of the panel. So what have you learned, Gloria?
BORGER: Well, my colleagues Eric Weisbrod, Jake Tapper and I are reporting that James Comey will say that the president's interpretation of what he said to him about not being under investigation would be incorrect. That he will dispute that he ever assured the president that he was not under any kind of investigation, but that these conversations are often quite nuanced, as you know in the legal world, and that the president may have misunderstood the exact meaning of what Comey was saying.
Comey is kind of a slick guy, and I'm sure he wanted to try and figure out a way to answer the president's question without really answering it. And Trump took away from it what he did, which was he said, "I've been assured that I'm not under any investigation."
So Trump took away kind of this blanket assurance, which we believe Comey will say he did not give the president.
It was soooo amazingly cool. It was also hopelessly wrong.
Yesterday, in his written statement, James B. Comey surprised the world. He said he did tell Donald J. Trump that he wasn't under investigation.
For our money, this is one of several shaky aspects of Comey's written testimony, most forthright human-wise. But holy Borger! Based upon Comey's prepared testimony, he rushed to make this declaration at his very first meeting with Trump. He told him way back on January 6, without even being asked:
COMEY WRITTEN TESTIMONY (6/7/17): [P]rior to the January 6 meeting, I discussed with the FBI's leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted. During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President Elect Trump's reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance.Comey didn't even wait to be asked! Two nights ago, Borger was excitedly saying that Comey the God would refute this whole noxious notion!
(According to Comey's written testimony, he gave Trump this same assurance on January 27, in person, and on March 30, over the phone.)
We want to wait until tomorrow to discuss Comey's testimony further. That said, an intriguing part of his live testimony involved his scathing declarations about inaccurate press reports.
On Monday and Tuesday, we said you might want to consider Mike Morell's comments along these same lines. Morell said he'd spent an entire career watching our big news orgs make inaccurate intelligence-related reports.
Today, in his live testimony, Comey offered similar remarks. He got specific in the case of one semi-controversial New York Times report.
Comey saying it doesn't make it so; the same can be said of Morell. On Tuesday, though, Cooper and Borger left little doubt, with poor Jake Tapper dragged through the muck:
You can't believe every word you hear, especially when our cable stars are conducting a major chase and are perhaps overexcited.