Speed Reads

Trump fires Comey

CNN's Jake Tapper explains why people might doubt Trump's official explanation for firing James Comey

On CNN Tuesday night, Jake Tapper ran through the official White House explanation for why President Trump made the "stunning" decision to fire FBI Director James Comey: that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had recommended sacking Comey because of how he'd handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, and hadn't owned up to his mistakes. Then Tapper laid out some of the "problems" with the official explanation, "according to those who are skeptical of this decision and this president."

"First, President Trump shares zero of Rosentein's concerns about allegedly how unfair Comey was to Hillary Clinton," Tapper said. "In fact, the only problem that President Trump has ever had about Comey's behavior relating to Hillary Clinton was that he did not charge her with a crime." And Trump was openly gleeful when Comey broke Justice Department protocol to announce a brief re-opening of the investigation right before the election.

"It's as if we're expected to have all been blinded by that flashy memory-eraser thing from Men in Black and we wouldn't remember all the times that Trump expressed concern that Comey didn't charge Hillary and then praised him for raising questions about her last October and afterwards," Tapper said. In case Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones got to you already, Tapper played some footage of Trump praising and embracing Comey. "Then of course, let us not forget the additional context that the FBI is in the middle of investigating whether anyone in the Trump campaign orbit had anything to do with the Russian government attempts to interfere in the U.S. elections last year." He ended by naming some of the Republican skeptics of Trump's move, including the ghost of Richard Nixon. Peter Weber