As evidence continues to mount that President Trump had asked former FBI Director James Comey for loyalty regarding the Russia investigation, a ‘he said, she said’ has seemingly emerged. While Trump claims he never asked for loyalty from the former FBI Director, James Comey testified under oath that he in fact did. Comey claimed that during a one-on-one dinner meeting in February, Trump stated, “I need loyalty. I expect loyalty,” while the two men discussed the Flynn investigation and it’s relation to possible Russian collusion with his campaign.
President Trump was not under oath when making such claims, so until he does go under oath, if he decides to at all, Comey’s words should hold more weight. Despite this, many political pundits on the right are pushing a narrative that Comey lied to the Senate Intelligence Committee and that the President never would have said such a thing, especially in the midst of a possible investigation into his own campaign.
The problem is, even though Trump may have a somewhat limited vocabulary, concentrating on words like “bigly”, “huge,” and “loser,” the word “loyalty” is actually one which he has used extensively in the past. Take for instance a 1992 interview with Charlie Rose in which Rose asked Trump if he regretted anything about a particular failed business deal. His reply was as follows:
“I think I would have treated people differently. I think that some of the people that were most loyal to me were people that I didn’t think would be. Some of the people that were least loyal to me are people that I think I would have treated them differently. I think I would have treated different groups differently. I would have wiped the floor with the guys that weren’t loyal which I will now do which is great. I love getting even with people but I will. If given the opportunity. If given the opportunity, I will get even with some people that were disloyal to me. I had a group of people that were disloyal.”
While such a statement from 25 years ago may not be a smoking gun, it does show that Trump seems to be caught up on getting back at people who are disloyal to him, and he expects loyalty from those he works with.
When you now consider that Comey was not loyal to the President, and was thus fired and thrown under the bus, the narrative that Comey used to explain his firing seems to become quite obvious. Numerous accounts have also corroborated that Trump views loyalty as an important characteristic of those he works with. Watch the entire interview with Charlie Rose below. (Note that the loyalty discussion starts around the 41 minute mark.