With two significant congressional committee hearings scheduled for Monday, it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump spent his morning sharing his latest, conspiracy theory-prone thoughts with Twitter. After all, while one of the two hearings was the Senate Judicial Committee’s opening session for Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch, the other was the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Among others, FBI Director James Comey was scheduled to appear and expected to address this and related issues.
Sure enough, Comey claimed he “[had] no information that supports those tweets” about wiretapping and confirmed the FBI’s investigation into alleged links (if not collusion) between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. And sure enough, Trump was stark-raving mad enough to tweet about it all beforehand and in real-time. So too, as it turns out, what the official POTUS Twitter account. As The Daily Beast first reported, said account began sharing video clips from C-SPAN and “fake news” outlets like CNN and MSNBC — albeit with its own narrative twists.
Or Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California) asking NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers whether or not they possessed evidence of Russian agents adjusting vote tallies. The tweet itself, it should be noted, leaves out the details and instead determines both “the NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process”:
The issue of leaks came up several times throughout the House Intelligence Committee hearing, which evidently pleased Trump and his team. Especially when Rogers and Comey were both asked about the matter — despite the former’s repeated protests that the NSA is a foreign, and not a domestic, intelligence agency. (Not that it’s stopped them before.)
Yet as the POTUS account’s tweets died finally died down (as of this writing), their final quip made use of an awkward MSNBC clip in which Comey acknowledged former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s claims. Specifically, the latter’s assertion their was “no evidence” for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia:
Said clip is “awkward” since a sudden glitch appears around the 56-second mark, when Comey is speaking. “I think he’s right about characterizing the report which you all have read,” he said. To the likely delight of many liberal-minded conspiracy theorists, the audio feed interrupts when Comey says “characterizing.” It’s probably nothing, yet since America’s president is quite fond of this type of thinking, theories are bound to surface.
UPDATE: Through the wonders of technology, Comey (who hasn’t had time to check Twitter today) was actually quizzed over one of these tweets — the one that claimed he said Russia “did not influence electoral process.” In response, Comey stated, “It certainly wasn’t our intention to say that today.”
(Via The Daily Beast)