At his core a dishonest and untrustworthy man

At this point the people who don’t think Trump is a confirmed resolute habitual liar would fit comfortably inside a boutique coffee shop in Sausalito. Dana Milbank won’t be sharing a table with them.

In the three hours I sat transfixed in Room 216 of the Hart Building, 15 feet behind the fired FBI director, the line that chilled me more than any other was Comey’s account of why he wrote extensive, real-time notes of his conversations with Trump. “The nature of the person,” Comey explained in part. “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document.”

The nature of the person.

This was the essence of Comey’s testimony: that the president of the United States is at his core a dishonest and untrustworthy man. It was judgment on character, not a legal opinion, and even Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee made no real attempt to dispel it.

Dishonest and untrustworthy as well as self-interested and greedy as well as malevolent and aggressive as well as too stupid and ignorant to hide any of that.

(And yet with all that he still got elected. That says something about us, and that something is not a good something.)

Republicans on the committee defended Trump on some technical points but not on matters of integrity. Sen. James E. Risch (R-Idaho) called Comey’s testimony “as good as it gets” for legal writing and accepted that “we know exactly what happened” between him and Trump. Collins said Trump “never should have cleared the room, and he never should have asked you, as you reported, to let it go — to let the investigation go.”

Trump is growing lonely in his protestations of his own probity. Friday morning he inexplicably claimed “total and complete vindication.” Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders vouched that “the president is not a liar. I think it’s frankly insulting that that question would be asked.”

She’s one of the customers at that coffee shop. I hope the scones are good.

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