Trump says FBI Director Comey is a criminal. Will Comey respond?

When Donald Trump went off on his Twitter tirade yesterday morning, accusing (with absolutely no evidence) President Obama of illegally wiretapping him, Trump was pointing a finger at someone else as well: FBI Director James Comey.

After all, who do you think would be doing the illegal wiretapping anyway? The FBI.

This means that Trump has doubled down on his federal agency enemy’s list. Trump previously accused the CIA twice of being like the Nazis, and also accused the NSA and the FBI of being un-American. So now the FBI also engages in illegal espionage.

This also means that Trump has put the FBI, and its director James Comey, in a tough spot. If Comey doesn’t speak out and correct the record, he is letting Trump call him and his agents criminals. But if Comey does speak out, he’s calling Trump, his boss, a liar.

And in fact, the NYT is reporting that just this dynamic is now taking place. Comey reportedly has asked the Department of Justice, the FBI’s parent agency, to issue a statement correcting Trump’s erroneous claims about Obama having him bugged. DOJ has not responded to Comey’s request.

The NYT puts all of this in context:

A statement by the Justice Department or Mr. Comey refuting Mr. Trump’s allegations would be a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement officials in the position of questioning the truthfulness of the government’s top leader. The situation underscores the high stakes of what the president and his aides have set out by accusing the former president of a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump’s young administration.

And in fact, the rebuke has already been made, via Comey’s request, and that request having leaked publicly. We now know that the head of the FBI has called Trump a liar. That’s already a big deal, whether or not DOJ finally admits it publicly.

And you’d better bet that Trump is adamantly opposed to the DOJ saying any such thing. Trump was reportedly livid that Jeff Sessions recused himself from any investigations involving Russia and the campaign. Trump wanted Sessions to fight. So it’s doubtful Trump would be willing to have the head of his FBI publicly call him a liar.

But if DOJ and/or Comey don’t go public, then Comey is letting Trump brand Comey and his agents criminals. Is Comey really willing to let that stand? Are his agents?

This is already turning out to be an interesting week. And it’s only Sunday.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in New York City, and is the cofounder of TimeToResign.com. Bio, .

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  • Moderator3

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  • Jacob Gandhi

    Yes, yes they are.

  • NotConvinced

    I guess President Blini Brain isn’t as into Comey, as Comey thought. You’d think Comey remembered how happy President Blini Brain was when he trashed Hillary.

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  • Moderator3

    There’s no inconvenience. Flagging it is just the fastest way of bringing it to our attention.

  • fredschnaubelt

    I guess only Democrats can make charges with absolutely no evidence such as the Russian are coming, the Russian are coming (and President Trump supposedly is in bed with Putin). Is the American public really as dumb as you people think?

  • Demosthenes

    Okay. I also flagged it. I apologize for any inconvenience.

  • Moderator3

    All you need to do is flag the comment.

  • willardcottrell

    Bannon and Conway are the only close advisors left. why? they keep giving him head to please the bastard

  • Badgerite

    Seriously. And I thought Bannon only wanted to take us back to the beginning of the last century. Silly me. He really is nuts. His ‘ideas’ are completely off the rails for a modern and and a modern world. Something akin to the theory of “well poisoners” being responsible for the plague.
    Unhealthy and downright stupid. Not to mention racist as shit.

  • “…the evidence is overwhelming”

    Really? How overwhelming?

    “Birth Certificate” overwhelming? Or “Secret Plan to Defeat ISIS” overwhelming?

    Or “Won the Popular Vote Except for 3 Million Illegal Votes” overwhelming?

  • Demosthenes

    “President Bannon would like to take us back to the 1400’s so he can prevent the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman empire.”

    I revile Steve Bannon as the next guy, but you go too far. I’d support returning Constantinople to its rightful owners the Greeks.

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  • Demosthenes

    Trump is now calling Comey — who helped install him as president — a criminal? Talk about biting the hand that fed you.

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  • Badgerite

    So President Loco turned out to be pretty much the same as candidate Loco. Surprise me.
    Unhinged. Unfit. Unqualified. And a sellout to a foreign power. And as I understand it, President Bannon would like to take us back to the 1400’s so he can prevent the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman empire. No wonder he wants to destroy all of our modern institutions. Someone who thinks that stupid book, The Camp of the Saints is some kind of accurate depiction of reality and history is a racist quack.

  • Zorba

    Oy! You would think that Trump would be grateful to Comey for helping him get elected.
    But no, I forgot. Trump is the greatest man ever, and only he is responsible for his election. /snark

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