If you closed your eyes and listened to former (and fired) FBI Director
One was the gossipy silkiness of their voices, Comey and Stephanopoulos cooing at each other, eviscerating President
The other was the lack of talk about
According to the
After setting up that leak, McCabe lied four times to FBI investigators, and threw other FBI officials under the bus, according to the report.
It is the kind of lie that has led to criminal charges against Trump loyalists. And there's more to the McCabe/Clinton story expected in an upcoming
McCabe wasn't a focus of the
"He had impressively coifed hair, it looks to be all his," Comey said of Trump, who fired Comey for leaking and whom Comey loathes.
It didn't sound like an FBI director. It sounded like a catty takedown by a fashionista.
"I confess, I stared at it pretty closely and my reaction was, 'It must take a heck of a lot of time in the morning, but it's impressively coifed.' He looked -- his tie was too long, as it always is," Comey said. "He looked slightly orange up close with small white half-moons under his eyes, which I assume are from tanning googles. And otherwise looked as I had expected him to look from tele-, as I thought he looked on television."
Stephanopoulos: "You even clocked the size of his hands?"
There was plenty of fodder for Trump haters: hints that the so-called Steele dossier, paid for by
He just left it out there. Littlefinger or Varys would have smiled, faintly as is their way, at this mastery of technique.
And Comey's likening the president to a mob boss demanding loyalty rings true, and helps sell his book.
Of course, Trump did his part to sell the book too, unleashing his angry Twitter thumbs to play the Presidential Troll. And in doing so, Trump affirms the criticism -- from Democrat and Republican establishmentarians alike -- that he doesn't quite have the temperament for the job.
Trump was vulgar and loud with his ridiculous un-presidential tweets, but is this new?
Stephanopoulos: "Did you tell him that the Steele dossier had been financed by his political opponents?"
Comey: "No. I didn't -- I didn't think I used the term 'Steele dossier.' I just talked to him about additional material."
Stephanopoulos: "Did -- but did he have a right to know that?"
Comey: "That it had been financed by his political opponents? I don't know the answer to that. It wasn't necessary for my goal, which was to alert him that we had this information."
He doesn't know the answer to that?
Whenever Comey would dish on something particularly disgusting, Stephanopoulos would respond delightedly. "Stunning," he'd say.
Watching the two of them on
Those who read history probably understand that our American capital is the
Among the French of those times and among the establishmentarian American big wigs of our new century, there is the art of hinting and letting the damage dangle in the air.
But there is also great art in knowing what not to say, of inscribing the negative space around an issue, of avoiding the inconvenient truths, and this marks them as masters of the game.
They're not alone. Pro-
Hannity has loudly been vilifying the investigation of Trump by special counsel
But Hannity hid the fact that he was a Cohen client, as recently revealed in court.
Hannity is now in the same boat as selective truth tellers Comey and Stephanopoulos, where lack of candor and the sins of omission are the moist currency in our politics.
One who doesn't appear to play it that way is Justice Department Inspector General
Horowitz's report on the FBI and the
And in it, Americans expect to learn about the political intrigues in the FBI and the
It will be an ugly but necessary thing, just as the Mueller report is necessary once it's complete.
Sunlight is always necessary, especially now, with so many players like Varys and Littlefinger in the