Fired ex-FBI head James Comey told ABC News “chief anchor” George Stephanopoulos that Donald Trump is “morally unfit to be president”? Think about this. Comey offered this assessment to Stephanopoulos, whose former boss, first candidate and then President Bill Clinton, was credibly accused of rape and sexual assault, had sex in the Oval Office with an intern, and then lied about it under oath, for which he was impeached.
But Comey tells Stephanopoulos that Trump is “morally unfit to be president”?
Also, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, a staunch President Trump defender, got hammered for not revealing his relationship with Donald Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen. Hannity claims his relationship with Cohen did not rise to client-attorney, but that he had merely sought out Cohen’s informal advice on real estate matters. Still, Hannity, now the face of Fox News, who at times has referred to himself as a “journalist,” should have known that critics would cry “conflict of interest.” So he should have disclosed the relationship out of abundance of caution.
Shouldn’t “chief anchor” Clintonopoulos have also given full disclosure? Shouldn’t he have informed the viewers that he was a top campaign aide for then-Gov. Clinton’s presidential race; that he helped Hillary Clinton malign Bill’s female accusers; and that after the election he served as a top aide to President Clinton?
Why didn’t Stephanopoulos disclose that as a top campaign aide to Bill Clinton, he went on TV and accused Gennifer Flowers, a Clinton mistress, of lying? And yet with Comey, Stephanopoulos clenches his jaw in indignation over Trump’s alleged treatment of women.
Stephanopoulos, in his Comey interview, never challenged the ex-FBI director’s assertion that Trump is “morally unfit” to be president. Democratic icon President John F. Kennedy, according to former New York Times reporter and New Yorker contributor Seymour Hersh, had venereal disease for decades, slept with a mobster’s mistress, partied with hookers in the White House, etc. But Trump’s “morally unfit”?! Stephanopoulos never asked Comey how and why he found that Hillary Clinton lacked “intent” to violate the Espionage Act — when the provision in question does not require intent. All it requires is “gross negligence.”
If the goal of Comey’s book was to defend his reputation, it’s not working. Former New York Times statistician and writer Nate Silver tweeted: “It’s also not particularly honorable, if you have information that you believe is of immediate and vital national importance, to wait to 11 months to release it until you can have a giant book launch and publicity tour around it.”
If anti-Trumpers were hoping for a smoking gun, Comey didn’t not deliver. First, he flat-out admits that politics colored his decision to re-open the Hillary Clinton email investigation days before the election. He writes: “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls.”
Second, Comey says he doesn’t know if Trump broke the law. “I have one perspective on the behavior I saw,” Comey writes, “which while disturbing and violating basic norms of ethical leadership, may fall short of being illegal.”
Meanwhile, the Trump-Russia collusion investigation continues without, so far, evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, while the media’s Trump Derangement Syndrome rages on. Anti-Republicanism has, of course, long been a staple of the mainstream political news media. In the 40-plus years The Washington Post has been endorsing presidential candidates, they have never endorsed a Republican. The New York Times has not endorsed a Republican president in 60 years — since Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956. But this is a whole new level of hostility.
America would be on fire had President Barack Obama spent the first year and a half of his presidency battling bogus charges of Russian “collusion,” and then an Obama collusion probe turned into an investigation about lying to investigators; expanded into an investigation of obstruction of justice; became an investigation of tax fraud; and morphed into an investigation about the validity of a nondisclosure agreement with a porn star with whom the President may or may not have had a sexual relationship with 12 years ago.
Even Democratic former President Jimmy Carter, a few months ago, offered this observation about Trump and his treatment by the media: “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about. I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”
Comey is making millions, but his reputation is now in tatters. As for the hard leftists at MSNBC who accuse Hannity of violating journalistic standards, there is but a two-word response: Al Sharpton.
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.