On Thursday, as excerpts from former FBI Director James Comey's new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership,” were released, the mainstream media exclaimed in paroxysms of exultation that the book was redolent with bombshells that could genuinely hurt President Trump.
But every supposed bombshell was a nothingburger. Let’s take a look at the claims that were supposed to shake the world:
1. Comey writes that when he had dinner with Trump, Trump asked him to investigate the unfounded charge from the infamous dossier that he had watched Russian prostitutes peeing:
He brought up what he called the “golden showers thing": It bothered him if there was "even a one percent chance” his wife, Melania, thought it was true. ... He just rolled on, unprompted, explaining why it couldn't possibly be true, ending by saying he was thinking of asking me to investigate the allegation to prove it was a lie. I said it was up to him.
CNN wrote breathlessly, “That Trump raised the specter of Comey using federal funds and time to prove to Melania Trump that the tape didn't exist is absolutely stunning.”
And so . . . what?
2. The Daily Beast excitedly notes that Comey writes of a call he received from John Kelly, then the head of the Department of Homeland Security and now the White House chief of staff, in which Kelly was “emotional” over how Comey was fired. Comey writes that Kelly was “sick” about the situation and “intended to quit” in protest. Comey continues that Kelly “said he didn’t want to work for dishonorable people,” and that Comey encouraged Kelly to remain.
Why is this a nothingburger? Because, as The Daily Beast notes reluctantly, “The phone call was first reported by CNN last year,” before hedging, “But Comey’s book provides both on the record confirmation and additional details of the conversation.”
In other words, nothing actionable, only gossip. And Kelly is now the chief of staff.
3. From the Washington Examiner, which titled their piece, “Here's everything we know so far about James Comey's bombshell book,” there were these bombshells:
In another excerpt, Comey ridiculed Trump for being shorter than he anticipated and described Trump as having “bright white half-moons” beneath his eyes. Additionally, he argued that Trump’s ties are “too long,” according to the Associated Press.
Wow. Just wow.
4. This section of the book, which is sure to bring Trump to his knees:
5. This isn’t a bombshell, but it is an incredible display of hypocrisy from Comey, as quoted in The New York Times:
As a prosecutor, Comey replied, he used to tell juries trying to evaluate a witness that “you can’t cherry-pick” — “You can’t say, ‘I like these things he said, but on this, he’s a dirty, rotten liar.’ You got to take it all together.”
Cherry-picking? Such as letting Hillary Clinton go free regarding the email scandal that left classified information open to enemies by claiming what mattered was her intent?
Comey also writes, “This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values … His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty.”
Unlike Barack Obama.
As CNN Law Enforcement Analyst James Gagliano pointed out, there may well be legal problems for Comey in writing the book:
Now that would be a bombshell.