CNN host Brian Stelter hammered Fox News hosts who have been dismissive of former FBI Director James Comey’s scorching new book, A Higher Loyalty.
As he put it, “Fire and Fury, you haven’t seen anything yet!”
Stelter began by playing a supercut of clips showing Fox hosts putting down Comey’s book for not breaking any real news or dropping new bombshells about the Trump White House. He then said,
[Comey is] saying that the commander-in-chief who just ordered missile strikes in Syria is unethical, untethered to truth. Comey says this presidency is a forest fire.
In response, Trump’s world is trying to burn the book down. Let’s go live to Twitter where there are at least eight presidential tweets so far today, the president spending the morning rage tweeting, reacting to TV coverage, tweeting out meme nicknames for Comey, even accusing Comey of crimes without evidence.
Reporters always try to make sense of the president’s behavior. It’s a natural instinct. But right now, there’s no sense to be made. He’s just swinging wildly, hoping to land a punch.
Stelter then argued that the fact that a former FBI director is slamming a sitting president publicly is news enough, with Stelter asking incredulously,
No bombshells? The book is the bombshell! I mean, have we ever seen a fired former FBI director write a tell-all book only a year or so into a person’s presidency? This entire situation is remarkable.
Later, in a roundtable discussion, Stelter outlined the damning picture that Comey paints of Trump and his presidency, which he said could do the country a significant amount of harm in the longterm. In particular, he quoted Comey’s description of Trump’s White House:
As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the mob, the silent circle of assent, the boss in complete control, the loyalty oaths, the us-versus-them worldview, the lying about all things.
Guest David Gergen agreed that this might help shape the public narrative against Trump if Comey succeeds in making Americans think of the president as a mob boss:
The significance of the book is, it may change the narrative about what we’re dealing with. It’s been really hard to put all the pieces together in our minds about, how does this all add up? And Comey comes along and says, “This reminds me of prosecuting the mob, and essentially a mob boss that I’m having to deal with. And he’s got all these tentacles and circles out there of people, networks of people who are doing bad things.”
And if that becomes the narrative, sort of the dominant narrative, that’s going to affect our politics, it’s going to affect the way historians see this.
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