(Getty/Chip Somodevilla)

Trump prepares for Comey testimony backlash

Comey's testimony comes as more than three out of five Americans believe Trump fired Comey to protect himself


Matthew Rozsa
June 7, 2017 11:48AM (UTC)

Although former FBI Director James Comey isn't testifying before Congress until Thursday, news reports continue to leak out that seem particularly damning for President Donald Trump.

For instance, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 61 percent of Americans believe that Trump fired Comey to protect himself, with only 27 percent taking the president at his word that he did it for the good of the country. Of course, considering that 55 percent of the respondents also doubt Comey's word, the White House may find that its pre-emptive strike against the former FBI director could undermine his credibility enough to lessen the impact of his testimony.

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Although Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he wished Comey "good luck" for when he testifies, many insiders expect him to offer a stream of Twitter commentary during the actual hearing, as he won't want Comey's narrative to entirely dominate the headlines. As former House Speaker and Trump adviser Newt Gingrich told the Washington Post, "He’s infuriated at a deep-gut, personal level that the elite media has tolerated [the Russia story] and praised Comey. He’s not going to let some guy like that smear him without punching him as hard as he can."

On Wednesday, Senators are expected to ask staffers working for Trump's national security team about whether he has attempted to interfere in the Trump-Russia investigation. These include Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers. These questions are likely to also be posed to Comey, along with inquiries for details about reported conversations he had with Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that he not be left alone with Trump.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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