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Comey vs. Trump: Who's the Real Liar?

June 12, 2017

Yes, former FBI Director James Comey is a grandstander. Yes, he is appallingly self-righteous with a larger-than-life ego, who only went public after Trump fired and publicly insulted him. Yes, he orchestrated his Senate testimony through so-called “leaks” of his memos, playing the media like a virtuoso.

Click here to read what the police brass say about NYPD ConfidentialAnd yes, albeit with different motives, Comey’s actions were in the FBI’s most-dangerous, J. Edgar Hoover mode. Hoover’s illegally obtained information, often of a sexual nature, compromised every president from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Richard Nixon. Comey’s self-serving memos might help dethrone President Trump, just as his public announcement concerning Hillary Clinton’s email investigation in the final days of the presidential campaign might have cost her the election.

Click here to read the New York Times profile of Leonard LevittNonetheless, with his testimony before the Senate, Comey has done something many public officials and most in the media have not had the courage to do. Instead of describing Trump’s words in such anodyne terms as “misspoke,” or “stated inaccurately,” or even “said falsely,” Comey called the president a liar. Once the media latches on to that in describing an elected official, much less the president, that guy’s in real trouble.

And Trump has been lying from the day he announced his presidential candidacy through Comey’s firing. Remember, Trump first said he fired Comey on the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who objected to how Comey handled the Clinton email investigation.

After Rosenstein objected to Trump’s statement, the president then said he had fired Comey because he was a “showman” and a “grandstander.” He also cited Comey’s investigation into alleged corruption and/or collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russians.

Trump in fact lies so often he may not even realize he is lying. He said he never asked for Comey’s “loyalty,” as Comey said. He hinted there may be tapes of his conversations with Comey. And, in response to a reporter’s question, Trump said on Friday he would testify under oath that he never asked Comey to stop the investigation into ties between National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Russian officials.

Let’s see who’s telling the truth about all that.

Two alleged terrorists were arrested last week, one in the Bronx, the other in Michigan, charged with searching for potential targets in New York and Panama, including U.S. and Israeli citizens, as well as military bases and law enforcement facilities.

Click here to read the Washington Post article on NYPD ConfidentialOne of the men, Lebanese-born Ali Kourani, had received military training from Iranian-backed Hezbollah, including the use of rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns, according to his indictment. He legally entered the U.S. in 2003 and obtained a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering in 2009 and a master’s degree in business administration in 2013.

The second man, Samer El Debek, a naturalized American citizen of Livonia, Michigan, received military training in handling weapons and explosive devices, and extensive training as a bomb-maker. In 2009, he traveled to Thailand where, according to his indictment, his mission was to clean up “explosive precursors” in a house in Bangkok that others had left because they were under surveillance.

This sounds like pretty scary stuff. Under the previous administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, there would have been a City Hall news conference announcing the arrests. The national media would have been alerted.

In contrast, last week the FBI, the NYPD and the US. Attorney’s office in Manhattan merely issued a joint press release.

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Copyright © 2017 Leonard Levitt