BEYOND THE PALE
Seth Meyers Exposes the ‘Preposterous Lie’ at Center of James Comey Firing
‘Nothing could top the truly laughable justification Trump’s White House offered for firing Comey,’ the ‘Late Night’ host said.
Seth Meyers is outraged about President Donald Trump’s actions on a near-nightly basis. Wednesday night, he was the most outraged.
“Today, the political world has been reeling from President Trump’s shocking decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, a surreal and chaotic development that has felt like something out of a dictatorship,” Meyers said at the top of a nearly 15-minute “closer look” into the bombshell story.
About 110 days into this new presidency, Meyers said Trump has “degraded so many political norms and flouted so many conventions that, to some degree, we’ve become desensitized to his behavior.” Yet somehow, he added, Americans believed there was “one thing he would not do,” and that was “fire the man that was investigating him” and his campaign’s connections to Russia. But for Trump, Meyers said, “even that line was not too sacred to cross.”
While Trump may have the “legal authority” to do what he has done, Meyers said it was “timing” that was so “troubling.” To prove how “earth-shattering” this news was, the host pointed to CNN’s Jeff Zeleny, who was “gasping for air” as he delivered the details to Wolf Blitzer Tuesday night after sprinting from the White House press room.
“This is how crazy things are in the Trump administration,” Meyers said. “Reporters literally don’t have the aerobic strength to report the news anymore. Soon, CNN is going to have to replace Wolf Blitzer with Usain Bolt.”
And on reports that Comey initially thought the news was a prank when he saw it flash on TV screens during a speech to FBI agents, Meyers said, “That’s right, the guy who has probably seen the Russian hooker tape thought his firing was too weird to believe.”
“So Trump, who was famous for firing people on TV, is now firing people via TV,” Meyers continued. On The Apprentice, he added, “at least Trump had the decency to fire people to their face.” But Trump “didn’t have the guts to fire Comey face to face, or even over the phone,” instead sending his “one of his goons” to hand-deliver the dismissal letter to the FBI. “That’s even worse than breaking up with a girl on text,” Meyers said. “That’s like breaking up with a girl on the chat feature on Words with Friends.”
“As absurd as the unfolding drama over Comey’s firing was, nothing could top the truly laughable justification Trump’s White House offered for firing Comey,” Meyers said of a letter from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that used the FBI director’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation as the reasoning for terminating him.
“Of course the idea that Trump is now upset about how Comey handled the email investigation is a preposterous lie,” Meyers said, especially since candidate Trump said Comey “did the right thing” during the election. “He did the right thing, so I had to fire him. He’s got guts, he had to go,” Meyers said, imitating Trump.
“Even if the Russia investigation does move forward for now,” Meyers added later, “there’s a real fear that the Trump administration will just appoint a lackey who does Trump’s bidding, and tries to slow or even shut down the investigation.” Early rumors point to either Chris Christie or Rudy Giuliani. “At least reporters won’t have to exercise to keep up with them,” the host joked.
Finally, to Republicans in Congress, Meyers asked, “Will they stand up and defend democratic institutions under threat from Trump? Or will they continue to choose party over country?”