Trump surrogates at first pretended that Comey was fired for his unprofessional treatment of Hillary Clinton during the election -- which, I agree, was grounds for dismissal -- but Comey had been making up for it by pursuing the Russia investigation. Then they pretended that it was because the FBI was in disarray, and that FBI employees had lost faith in Comey.
But I had other suspicions: was it because in photos the 6'8" Comey makes Trump look like a fat midget? Or because Comey testified before Congress that the idea that he got Trump elected made him nauseous?
Then, in his interview with Lester Holt Donald Trump, Trump said he fired Comey because he was a "showboat" and a "grandstander." (If that's a firing offense, then that would be more than enough grounds for Congress to impeach Trump.)
But then Trump admitted to an impeachable offense: he said he fired Jim Comey because the FBI director was investigating him.
Later on Thursday, NBC aired its full interview with Trump. In it, Trump offered yet another reason for firing Comey: The FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Sanders had hinted at this earlier in the day, saying the White House believed that by removing Comey, it took steps to make sure the FBI’s Russia investigation would “come to its conclusion with integrity.”)Trump literally said he "decided to just do it" -- fire Comey -- because of "this Russia thing."
Trump: “When I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won. … So everybody was thinking, they should have won the election. This was an excuse for having lost an election.”
Now we find out that Trump had dinner with Comey and demanded he pledge an oath of fealty to Trump:
As they ate, the president and Mr. Comey made small talk about the election and the crowd sizes at Mr. Trump’s rallies. The president then turned the conversation to whether Mr. Comey would pledge his loyalty to him.But actually, pledging loyalty to Rump [sorry, that was a typo, but I just had to let it stand] would be the real grounds for firing Comey: the FBI director had taken an oath to "defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Getting down on bended knee and kissing Trump's
Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense.
Now Trump is launching preemptive strikes against Comey, tweeting that there might be tapes of that dinner conversation. He's also tweeting that he might eliminate press conferences, basically saying that his incompetent surrogates can't ever get anything right.
How can they? Trump is constantly changing his story. Is it because he's a compulsive liar? Because he's a pathological narcissist who has to be the center of attention, no matter how terrible his own behavior paints him? Or because his brain is so addled by Alzheimer's that he just can't remember what the hell he's doing?
Sadly, it's all of these in equal measure.