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News Thursday, May 11 2017

DAY 3: Trump's Lies, Attempts to Cover-Up Continue to Unravel

May 11, 2017

Three days into the latest Trump scandal and the administration’s lies and attempts to cover-up the truth are continuing to unravel. Yesterday, as she was filling in for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer at the daily briefing, Deputy Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ briefing was just as dishonest and deceptive as we’ve come to expect.  Then, a bombshell report from the Washington Post last night revealed that Trump’s attempt to pass the buck to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was in fact a lie, one so egregious that Rosenstein threatened to resign over it.

A fact check of the White House’s alternative facts are included below.

White House Lie #1: Trump Didn’t Ask DOJ For Memo Advocating For Comey’s Firing

Q So it’s the White Houses assertion that Rod Rosenstein decided on his own, after being confirmed, to review Comeys performance?

MS. SANDERS: Absolutely.

Fact: Trump Told Senator Feinstein He Directed DOJ “To Look Into [FBI]”

Senator Feinstein: “When I talked to the president last night, he said, ‘The department’s a mess, I asked [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein and [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions to look into it, Rosenstein sent me a memo. I accepted the recommendation to fire him.’

And The Washington Post Reports Rosenstein Threatened To Resign After White House Said Decision To Fire Comey Came From Him

Rosenstein threatened to resign after the narrative emerging from the White House on Tuesday evening cast him as a prime mover of the decision to fire Comey and that the president acted only on his recommendation, said the person close to the White House, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

White House Lie #2: Kislyak And Kissinger Meetings “Have Been On The Books For A While”

Q And just a real quick question on the meetings this morning. The President is accused by Democrats of trying to circumvent the Russia investigation by firing Comey; he meets with the Russian Foreign Minister and the Russian Ambassador to the United States. Hes accused of being Nixonian; he meets with Richard Nixons Secretary of State. The timing of all of this, is it just ironic or is this the President poking a finger in his critics eye?

MS. SANDERS: Look, these were meetings that have been on the books for a while. They didn’t just happen this morning.

Fact: Neither Sergey Kislyak, A Russian Spy Recruiter, Nor Former Nixon Advisor Kissinger Were Listed On The President’s Schedule

White House Lie #3: Trump-Russia Investigation Is “One Of The Smallest Things” FBI Is Doing

MS. SANDERS: I know everybody in this room and probably most of the media around the world would like to think thats the FBIs sole responsibility, but thats probably one of the smallest things that theyve got going on their plate, and the 20,000 employees that work there. And so he should absolutely have a role in seeing who runs that agency and that department.

Fact: FBI Director Testified Under Oath Russia Is The “Greatest Threat” And Had Asked For Additional Resources Just Days Before Being Fired.

GRAHAM: So what kind of threat do you believe Russia presents to our Democratic process, given what you know about Russia’s behavior of late?

COMEY: Well, certainly in my view, the greatest threat of any nation on earth, given their intention and their capability.

White House Lie #4: Trump Had No Confidence In Comey Since The Election

MS. SANDERS: No, the President had lost — again, like I said, hed lost confidence in Director Comey, and, frankly, hed been considering letting Director Comey go since the day he was elected.

Fact: White House Said Trump Had Confidence In Comey On May 3rd

Q    Yesterday, the President tweeted that FBI Director James Comey gave Hillary Clinton a “free pass” for many bad deeds. Is the President comfortable having an FBI director that gives out free passes serve during his administration?

MR. SPICER:  The President has confidence in the director.

And Trump Said He Had Confidence In Comey Last Month

TRUMP“I have confidence in him”

White House Lie #5: Rank and file FBI agents are happy Comey was fired

MS. SANDERS: And most importantly, the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.

Fact: Multiple Reports Contradict Huckabee Sanders’ Evidence Free Claim

Politico: FBI agents in tears as news of Comey’s firing spread

By Tuesday evening, the shock that initially spread throughout the ranks of current and former FBI officials was mixed with a growing sense of anger among the many Comey loyalists in the bureau, and demands for answers as to why the director had been fired — and why now.


Rank-and-file agents were immediately suspicious of the timing of Tuesday’sdecision, questioning whether the ongoing investigations into Trump associates’ contacts with Russian government officials was the precipitating factor…

New York Times: Inside the F.B.I., Stunned Agents Wonder About Future of Russia Inquiry

These are not happy times at the F.B.I.


Then President Trump fired Mr. Comey on Tuesday, saying he had mishandled the Clinton investigation, and the mood darkened again.


And agents flatly rejected the assertion Wednesday by a White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee, during a briefing with reporters, that the F.B.I.’s rank-and-file supported the sudden firing of Mr. Comey.

BONUS QUOTE: “The President was wearing a different hat at that time. He was a candidate — not the President.”

Q Can I ask a follow-up? On the campaign trail, President Trump frequently said lock her up, and he criticized the Department of Justice for not being harsh enough on Hillary Clinton. He actually praised Director Comey in October for having the guts to reopen the investigation. Why was he moved by a letter that said that Director Comey was, if anything, too harsh on Hillary Clinton? Why does that move the President to fire him?

MS. SANDERS: Again, I think you’re looking at two very different positions. The President was wearing a different hat at that time. He was a candidate — not the President.

Fact: This is absolutely ridiculous.

Published: May 11, 2017

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