It's that time of day again. The market is nearly closed, the weekend draws close and the mainstream media needs a new narrative. Well voila - from none other than anonymously source US officials, The New York Times proclaims that
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official.
“I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”
Is that what they are laughing at in this image? Or are they scoffing at Anthony Weiner's sexts?
The NYTimes adds that The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting.
Additionally, one official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion, suggesting that the long knives close to Trump may be getting sharper.
There may heva been a method to Trump's madness, an "art of the deal" if you will. According to yet another government official briefed on the meeting and quoted by the NYT, "Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov - on Syria, Ukraine and other issues - by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump."
It's unclear if this particular approach worked, although in retrospect it certainly provided hours of entertainment for the Russian foreign ministry.
In response to the NYT story, the White House did not deny the quotes but instead said that Comey's "grandstanding" and "politicizing" of the Russia probe hurt diplomatic efforts with Moscow.
"The President has always emphasized the importance of making deals with Russia as it relates to Syria, Ukraine, defeating ISIS and other key issues for the benefit and safety of the American people," White House spokesman Sean Spicer says in statement. "By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia," Spicer says
"The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it" Spicer said adding that "once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations"
Meanwhile, Comey is now merely the latest high profile figure portrayed in a similar way by Trump:
Trump on:— Carrie Dann (@CarrieNBCNews) May 19, 2017
Lindsay Graham: "A nut job"
Glenn Beck: "A real nut job"
Bernie: "A total nut job"
Kim Jong Un: "Could be a total nut job"