Comey Insinuates Trump Romanced By Putin- Doesn’t Even Realize He’s Being Exploited

In what was perhaps the most interesting and revealing exchange of the House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian Election Interference, FBI Director James Comey delivered a thinly veiled jab at President trump, insinuating when questioned that “romance” could be a potential factor in situations where a US government agent might be exploited into helping a foreign nation state.  He actually completely interupts Admiral Mike Rodgers, almost as if he is compelled to share the ‘hypothetical situation’.

COMEY: And romance can be a feature. Somebody dating someone to create a close relationship and the U.S. government person thinks that they’re in love with this person and — and vice versa and the other person’s actually an agent of a foreign power, that’s sort of a classic example.

When questioned by Representative Mike Quigley (D-Illinois), who was very careful to state he was asking in general terms; not pointing to any particular sitution/person- Comey responded only after he qualified his own statements as “generally”as well. It was surprising that Comey offered any response at all considering the majority of the hearing he declined to answer many of the other members more directed questions.  When asked about specific people and events, Comey almost always declined to offer an adequate response- instead saying he couldn’t comment on open investigations.

But when given the opportunity to explain a possible situation in which a foreign government could infiltrate the United States covertly, Comey takes the bait.  You’ve got to think, although he doesn’t overtly say- ‘this is happening to Donald Trump’- he is, after all, in a hearing about Russian involvement in the Trump Election.  It’s funny too, because most of the time Comey and Admiral Rogers sit there and chuckle through questions like the whole proceeding is a big joke.

Read between the lines, and you essentially get James Comey calling President Trump an idiot.  Amazing.

You’ve got to respect the man’s professionalism.


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Full Transcript

QUIGLEY: Thank you, Mr. Ranking Member.

Gentlemen, thank you for your service. Thank you for being here. We’ve talked a little bit about the Russian playboook, right? Extortion, bribery, false news, disinformation, they all sound very familiar, correct? Well, as we talk, without thinking about anybody in the United States, just generally the Russian playbook and how it’s worked in particularly Eastern Europe and Central Europe, a lot of it involves trying to influence individuals in that country, correct?

ROGERS: Yes. QUIGLEY: So what we’ve talked about a little bit today seems so — be sort of a black and white notion of whether there was collusion, but does a Russian active measure attempting to succeed at collusion — does the person involved have to actually know? I mean, does it have to involve knowing collusion for there to be damage?

COMEY: I can answer generally. In the world of intelligence, oftentimes there are people who are called co-optees, who are acting — don’t realize they’re dealing with agents of a foreign power and so are doing things for someone they think is a friend or a business associate, not realizing it’s for that — the foreign government. So it can happen, it’s actually quite a frequent technique.

QUIGLEY: Is it beyond that sometimes to include things where the — the actor doesn’t necessarily know what they’re doing is helping that other government?

COMEY: Exactly.

QUIGLEY: And what are instances, just examples of what that might include in a generic sense, in Europe and so forth?

COMEY: Oftentimes, a researcher here in the United States may think they’re dealing with a peer researcher in a foreign government and not knowing that that researcher is either knowingly or unwittingly passing information to a foreign adversary of the United States.

QUIGLEY: And can you explain and elaborate how this sort of — problems with defining what collusion is — the differences that might be involved with explicit or implicit collusion?

COMEY: Collusion is not a term, a legal term of art and it’s one I haven’t used here today, as we’re investigating to see whether there was any coordination between people associated with the campaign…

QUIGLEY: Explicit or implicit coordination?

COMEY: I guess implicit, I — I would think of it as knowing or unknowing. You can do things to help a foreign nation state, as I said, without realizing that you’re dealing with. You think you’re helping a buddy, who’s a researcher at a university in China and what you’re actually doing is passing information that ends up with the Chinese government. That’s unwitting, I don’t know whether it’s same as your implicit.

Explicit would be, you know, I’m sending this stuff to this researcher in China and I’m doing it because I wanna help the Chinese government and I know he’s hooked up with the Chinese government.

QUIGLEY: Admiral Rogers, would you give other examples of what you witnessed in your career?

ROGERS: Sometimes, U.S. individuals would be approached by other individuals connected with — with foreign connections who will misrepresent what not just the researcher, they’ll assume an identity if you will, hey I want you to think that I’m actually working for a business, exploring commercial interests, those kinds of things. Create a relationship and then it turns out, there really is no commercial interest, here they’re acting as a direct extension of a foreign government…

(CROSSTALK)

COMEY: And romance can be a feature. Somebody dating someone to create a close relationship and the U.S. government person thinks that they’re in love with this person and — and vice versa and the other person’s actually an agent of a foreign power, that’s sort of a classic example.

QUIGLEY: You describe this as naive acquiescence?

COMEY: I don’t — I’m not sure I know what that means, exactly (ph).

ROGERS: I don’t know what that really means (ph).

QUIGLEY: You’re — you’re going along with it and without really acknowledging, understanding in your mind or being naive about the issue.

COMEY: Sure, that can happen.

ROGERS: Yeah, you see that at times.

 

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