Donald Trump, White House try to spin James Comey firing in every way possible

While Kellyanne Conway emerged from the shadows to spin Comey's firing, Sean Spicer hid in bushes

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published May 10, 2017 1:11PM (EDT)

Donald Trump; James Comey   (AP/Jim Lo Scalzo/Jeff Malet,
Donald Trump; James Comey (AP/Jim Lo Scalzo/Jeff Malet,

You can tell that President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey is a big one because Kellyanne Conway has been forced to come off the bench and do some damage control.

Unfortunately for Trump's, it looks like even Conway's PR strategies aren't improving the optics of Trump's decision.

During an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on Wednesday morning, Conway started out by defensively accusing her host of trying to "go viral" with his tough line of questioning. When that didn't work, she argued that "the idea that you think that this was about Russia, and not about an FBI director who just yesterday forced his bureau to correct sworn testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee where he said Huma Abedin had this practice, she had forwarded, quote, 'hundreds of thousands of emails'"

Cuomo scoffed at the notion that Trump was genuinely motivated by anger over Comey's treatment of Abedin, prompting Conway to shoot back that "President Trump wants an FBI director who is impartial, who's not politicized, and who has the confidence and the trust of people in the bureau, of Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, of the attorney general, of the deputy attorney general who oversees the FBI director, and of the president of the United States."

Conway was similarly defensive when she was interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper on Tuesday night. After Cooper dismissed the notion that this was about the Clinton email investigation as "bogus" and "ridiculous" and asked Conway if she agrees that it looks odd for Trump to fire the person leading the investigation into his connections with Russia, Conway replied that "the president is not under investigation. I’m around the president, I’m not under investigation. I can name several people in that same situation."

Conway later added that "this had nothing to do with Russia as much as somebody must be getting $50 every time the word is said, I’m convinced, on TV. This has nothing do with Russia. It has everything to do with whether the current FBI director has the president’s confidence and can faithfully and capably execute his duties."



By contrast, Trump's actual press secretary Sean Spicer was discovered to have literally hid in the bushes to avoid reporters asking inconvenient questions about Comey's firing. He finally agreed to do so on the condition that he wouldn't be filmed, then proceeded to claim that Comey's termination was entirely the idea of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

Trump himself, meanwhile, has presented his own spin via his favorite medium — Twitter.


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump James Comey Kellyanne Conway Partner Video Sean Spicer