Donald Trump broke his silence on James Comey’s testimony to the Senate this morning in a press conference. During his testimony Comey described his encounters with the President and accused him of lying and demanding loyalty. Trump had the opportunity to accept responsibility for his words, but instead he refuted the accusations and recounted the exchanges in a way that must implicate one of these two men as a liar. He stated, “No collusion. No obstruction. He’s a leaker.” In his ad hominem attack, Mr. Trump created either incriminated himself or James Comey. There can be no middle ground; either Comey gave an accurate description of his encounter with Trump, or he lied. Unless any possible tapes of the conversation surface (which is unlikely), the public must decide whom they believe based on the personal character of these two individuals because they were the only witnesses present at the time of the encounters.
Herein lies the problem that Trump created for himself. Comey is a thoroughly vetted former FBI director who testified under oath. He has nothing to gain from giving a false testimony, and he has no history of lying. On the other hand, Trump has never been properly vetted. He never served publicly prior to his electoral win. Because of his myriad false statements, he would never even qualify to serve as an entry-level diplomat for the State Department. Trump will be remembered in history as one of Washington’s most consistent liars. Many independent fact-checkers such as Mother Jones, Politifact, and the Washington Post indicated that during the 2016 election season Trump made more false statements than any other candidate or politician in the United States. Trump has everything to lose if Comey’s story is correct. Trump is not a credible source of accurate information, and the information relayed during his press conference today should be disregarded.