President Donald Trump may have wished James Comey “luck” earlier this week when asked what message he wanted to send to the fired FBI director ahead of his highly-anticipated Senate hearing today. But now, through his personal lawyer, the president is hitting back hard. It’s a tactic that Seth Meyers said Thursday night is “completely inappropriate.”
“But don’t take it from me, take it from these guys,” the Late Night host said before cutting to a series of clips of Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway and Trump himself castigating the Clintons for questioning Comey’s integrity.
“So now, we have very clear, damning evidence that the president lied about interfering in a criminal investigation and possibly committed obstruction of justice,” Meyers said. “And yet Republicans have done everything they can to either dismiss or deny Comey’s allegations.”
The defense from Trump’s allies on the right, including Chris Christie and House Speaker Paul Ryan, is that the president simply “doesn’t know what he’s doing.” Christie said Trump was just engaging in “New York City conversation,” a phrase that sounded a lot like “mafia slang” to Meyers. Ryan, meanwhile, essentially argued that Trump was “too dumb to know what he did was wrong.”
Moving on to the hearing itself, Meyers said, “Apparently Comey didn’t exactly get the most honest vibe off Trump when they first met.” Or as Comey put it, “I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting.” That’s why he says he decided to take meticulous notes on what was said.
“That’s the FBI director, a guy who’s dealt with liars and criminals his whole life, walking out of his first meeting with the president and thinking, ‘I’ve got to write this shit down!’” Meyers said.
“The crux of the hearing was Comey’s one-on-one meeting with Trump where the president asked him to shut down his investigation of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn,” the host added later. “And remember, Trump cleared the room and then told Comey, ‘I hope you can let this go.’ Comey said explicitly that he took that as a direction to end the investigation, and yet Republicans seemed to harp not on Trump’s apparent attempt to interfere in an investigation, but on the words he used.”
As an example, Meyers said, “When someone says, ‘I hope you’ll join us for dinner,’ they want you to come to dinner.”