WATCHING COMEY TESTIFY
Yesterday like many of you I watched edit Jim Comey testify in front of the Senate committee. As I was listening to him talk about how Trump said to him “I hope you can…” it was very clear to me as I try to put myself in his place that trump was telling him what to do. And then I heard some of the senators who questioned him trying to get him to say that when Trump said “I hope” he was just expressing a hope rather than trying to give him an order. And then I thought about all the ways that Trump uses sly and devious devices to get away with things. For example, when he accused Obama of “wiretapping” he then made a big deal of the fact that he used quotation marks around the word wiretapping so that he could say that when it was in quotes it was a kind of generic accusation rather than one that was specific to wiretapping. and that’s what he was doing by using the word “hope”. That gave him an out to say that he wasn’t giving in order he was just expressing a hope that would make him happy. And as I thought about that, I thought about all of those people at Fox News who were kicked out because of sexual harassment. They may not have specifically ordered a female employee to have a sexual relationship with them but they conveyed that they “hoped” that she would. So Trump was using the same sort of tactic that lets Comey know that he’s being given an order while at the same time protecting trump from being able to be accused of giving him an order. And then today in the New York Times I read an excellent op-ed by Nicole Serratore which I suggest everyone should read. She makes the same point very convincingly about how any woman who has been sexually harassed can understand how Comey felt when Trump was telling him about his “hopes”. And she conveys the feeling of powerlessness and fear that women feel in that situation and helps us understand how Comey might have felt the same way. It’s an excellent retort to those who accused Comey of not telling Trump off when Trump made that inappropriate “request” while alone with Comey in the White House. Powerful stuff.