Republicans Frantically Twist Comey Testimony to Distance Themselves from Russia
Trump Lawyer Launches False Narrative about Russia’s involvement in the presidential election
James Comey’s bombshell testimony today answered a lot of questions and posed some stark new ones as well. No sooner had Comey left the committee chambers than Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz went on the attack. Of special note was the rhetoric that he and other Republicans drove home. Conservative mouthpieces spun a false narrative that Comey said, under oath, that Russia had not interfered with the US Election. In fact, Kasowitz was certain of it and made it a talking point of the president’s statement.
“He (Comey) …admitted that there is no evidence that a single vote changed as a result of any Russian interference.”
Trump’s Twitter brigade soon fell into lock-step compliance, tweeting out the same false information.
"No evidence that Russia changed one single vote" – James Comey
— SirJimVonTrumpnstein (@bd4791) June 8, 2017
After all the noise and invective THERE IS STILL NO EVIDENCE INVOLVING THE RUSSIAN STATE! NO MORE VERBAL DIARRHOEA – PUT UP OR SHUT UP!
— Terry Morris (@jemerlia) June 8, 2017
So no evidence of collusion. Russia never changed votes. And trump never obstructed russia investigation. Louise Mensch meltdown pending!
— Mule (@Mulester) June 8, 2017
This is, of course, classic word parsing, like Clinton’s famous ‘it depends on what the definition of is is’. GOP operatives want so badly to distance the administration from conspiring with, befriending or otherwise engaging with the Russian government that they’ll throw context to the wind and replace it with pretense. Their version of the testimony today certainly wasn’t parallel to what was actually said. Here is the exchange in question between Committee chair Senator Richard Burr and James Comey.
BURR: Do you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the intrusions in the D triple C systems and the subsequent leaks of that information?
COMEY: No, no doubt.
BURR: Do you have any doubt the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion in the state voter files?
BURR: Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?
COMEY: I’m confident. When I left as director I had seen no indication of that whatsoever.
Most recently NSA contractor Reality Leigh Winner released an intel report to the media that indicated Russia’s attempts at election hacking may have included plans to physically change votes at polling places. Senator Burr’s question refers to just such a claim. Comey ,in his straightforward manner, answered what should have been a simple question. He didn’t say ‘not a single vote changed’ as Trump lawyers claim. He agreed that no votes had been ‘altered’. Those are two entirely different types of voter fraud. So far,there is no evidence votes already cast were altered in any way. As far as voter persuasion and votes changing from one candidate to another however (namely from Clinton to Trump) because of Russian propaganda, that evidence is piling up day after day and James Comey said as much in today’s hearing.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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