President Asserts Comey Testimony Totally Vindicated Him

The divide between the President and the mainstream media over his conduct in office continues to be a gulf in terms of perception.

The President did not live tweet during the testimony of his fired FBI director James Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday (June 8), but early Friday morning he tweeted the following:

Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication...and WOW, Comey is a leaker!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017

That came only hours after the stories from major media (the major broadcast and cable news outlets had carried the hearing live) filled digital and print news hole with headlines like "James Comey just went nuclear on Donald Trump, "Comey Slams Trump in Bombshell Testimony," and "Trump Impeachment Odds Grow After Comey Testimony Amid Rush of Bets on President’s Exit," though that turned out to be a literal headline having to do with the actual betting odds in Britain.

Some CNN analysts still saw fodder for obstruction of justice.

In any event, while there was some doubt that the President's conduct rose to the level of a crime, vindication was not a term being used by the media except to cite the President's tweet or comments from his lawyer.

Dan Rather, speaking on MSNBC, said the President was at the point where he was going have to say: "I am not a liar."

Then there was the Washington Post editorial page saying Comey had "painted a picture of a President who grossly abused his executive authority."

But there were also stories that suggested while damning in one sense--Comey called the President a liar and said he was convinced Trump was trying to get him to back of the investigation of former NSA director Michael Flynn, there did not appear to be any impeachable offenses. "Even after James Comey's testimony, looks like we're stuck with Donald Trump."

The President, who tends to praise positive stories while pillorying negative onces, appeared to recognize that fact, also tweeting:

Great reporting by @foxandfriends and so many others. Thank you!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2017

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.