Speed Reads

that's one way to look at it?

Fox News thinks the Comey testimony will 'help the president'

Fox News is apparently warming up to the idea of former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before the Senate, which begins Thursday. Despite Comey's eye-popping opening statement, which was published online Wednesday, Fox News host Harris Faulkner suggested to Fox's chief White House correspondent John Roberts that "what Comey is saying seems to shoot down the idea that the president was pressuring him to back off of [former National Security Adviser Michael] Flynn."

Comey's testimony "actually then would substantiate and help the president in what he's been saying all along," Faulkner concludes.

The New York Times reported in May that "the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and FBI investigation into links between Mr. Trump's associates and Russia" by telling Comey, "I hope you can let [the investigation into Flynn] go." In his account of events, released Wednesday, Comey specified: "I had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the president to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign. I could be wrong, but I took him to be focusing on what had just happened with Flynn's departure and the controversy around his account of his phone calls."

Flynn was ousted in February for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about what was discussed on phone calls with the Russian ambassador. Flynn remains at the heart of investigations into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia due to his conversations with the Russian ambassador, including an apparent discussion of sanctions in December; the Justice Department believed Flynn could have been blackmailed by Russia because the Russians knew Flynn had lied about his conversations.

"James Comey, although he was troubled by what the president was saying to him at that dinner, did not take it to mean that the president was asking him to back off on the entire Flynn investigation and the entire Russia … connection," Roberts interprets. "It was specifically the detail surrounding the firing … and the phone call."

That might be a bit of wishful thinking. Watch below. Jeva Lange