Donald Trump Just Gambled His Presidency On 4 Words
President Donald Trump placed the biggest bet of his political career on Thursday. During a joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manual Santos Thursday, Trump was asked a very simple question:
Had he urged former FBI Director James Comey to slow or stop an FBI investigation into deposed national security adviser Michael Flynn?
Trump responded: “No. No. Next question.”
It was over in a flash. But in those four words, Trump staked the viability of his presidency.
As CNN’s Chris Cillizza explains, Trump’s answer directly contradicted the reporting around a memo that Comey had written in the wake of a February 14 meeting in which Trump told him to see if he could find a way to end the Flynn investigation.
Both of those things can’t be true.
Presuming that what we know of the February 14 memo is true, then Trump’s former FBI director will be on record directly disagreeing with the President’s version of events.
By issuing such a blanket denial, Trump leaves himself very little wiggle room. In order for Trump to emerge unscathed, there can be no evidence that emerges that props up Comey’s side of the story. Anything that shows Trump was not being entirely truthful with his “no, no, next question” response calls into question his credibility on a whole range of issues and could well lead to open revolt from within his own party.
If there are tapes — like the sort Trump floated he might have of his conversations with Comey — or any other sort of documented evidence emerges that poke holes in Trump’s four-word denial, he and his presidency will be in deep trouble.
Watch Trump’s response in the video below:
Donald Trump is a gambler by nature. Repeatedly during his presidential campaign, and now in the White House, he has rolled the dice and reacted once they settled. Now he waits to see if it pays off — or if he goes bust.