We learned a lot from former FBI Director James Comey about Donald Trump’s attempts to shut down the investigation into Russia and Comey’s subsequent firing when he refused to comply.
But Comey’s statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump appeared to show no interest in Russia’s nefarious attempts to hack our democracy is perhaps the most alarming revelation of all.
When Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) asked Comey whether Trump showed “any concern or interest or curiosity about what the Russians were doing,” the answer was nothing short of chilling.
“I don’t remember any conversations with the president about the Russia election interference,” Comey said.
Then he added, “They’re coming after America.”
They’re coming after America. And the president of the United States does not seem to care.
MANCHIN: Sir, the seriousness of the Russian aggressions in our past elections, and knowing that it’ll be ongoing, as Senator King had alluded to — what’s your concerns there? I mean, what should the American public understand? People say, “Well, this is — why are we worried about this, why make this a big deal, this Russian investigation?” Can you tell me what your thoughts would be? And then the final thing is on this same topic: Did the president ever show any concern or interest or curiosity about what the Russians were doing?
COMEY: Thank you, Senator. As I said earlier, I don’t remember any conversations with the president about the Russia election interference.
MANCHIN: Did he ever ask you any questions concerning this?
COMEY: Well, there was an initial briefing of our findings, and I think there was conversation there, I don’t remember it exactly, where he asked questions about what we had found, and what our sources were, and what our confidence level was. But after that, I don’t remember anything.
But the reason this is such a big deal is — we have this big, messy, wonderful country, where we fight with each other all the time. But nobody tells us what to think, what to fight about, what to vote for, except other Americans. And that’s wonderful and often painful.
But we’re talking about a foreign government that, using technical intrusion and lots of other methods, tried to shape the way we think, we vote, we act. That is a big deal. And people need to recognize it. It’s not about Republicans or Democrats.
They’re coming after America, which I hope we all love equally. They want to undermine our credibility in the face of the world. They think that this great experiment of ours is a threat to them, and so they’re gonna try to run it down and dirty it up as much as possible. That’s what this is about. And they will be back, because we remain — as difficult as we can be with each other, we remain that shining city on the hill, and they don’t like it.
MANCHIN: This is extremely important, it’s dangerous what were dealing with.
That Russia made efforts to influence the outcome of our presidential election is not in dispute. And unfortunately, our country — and the whole world — cannot undo the damage. We are stuck with Donald Trump in the White House for now.
But we can and should learn the full truth of what Russia did and just how much influence it had. That’s something we will never know so long as we have a president who does not seem interested in the truth.
And that should terrify us all.