The President pointed his fingers at his head

Chris Cilizza comments on some highlights from the memos:

3. “The conversation, which was pleasant at all times, was chaotic, with topics touched, left, then returned to later, making it very difficult to recount in a linear fashion…..It really was conversation-as-jigsaw-puzzle in a way, with pieces picked up, then discarded, then returned to.”

No observation anywhere in these memos rings truer of Trump than this one, which comes from the one-on-one dinner the two men at the White House eight days after Trump had been sworn in.

Watch any Trump press conference or speech and you are immediately struck by the massively haphazard nature of it. Trump can jump — as he did earlier this week — from his Electoral College win to the situation in North Korea without blinking an eye. To his supporters, it shows an able mind unbound by needing to stay “on message.” To his critics it shows someone incapable of focusing on much of anything for any extended period of time.

Comey’s recounting of the logical hops in the conversation — from Trump’s inaugural crowd size to the nastiness of the 2016 campaign to how tall his son, Barron, was is perhaps the most powerful moment in the memos. It captures Trump’s approach and mindset perfectly.

It’s not just the inability to focus on one thing – it’s the absence of a coherent through-line, in other words it’s the absence of thought. Non-stop babblers like Trump are story tellers as opposed to diccussers; they’re all narrative and no analysis. That’s a really very drastic disability for a president.

4. “I said I don’t do sneaky things. I don’t leak. I don’t do weasel moves.”

Comey critics will fixate on these lines because we know that he leaked parts of these memos after he was fired in an attempt to have a special prosecutor appointed to examine whether — among other things — Trump was secretly taping conversations in the White House. By Comey’s own standard — as laid out above — his purposeful leak was ‘weasel move.”

Wait. Comey said that as the FBI director. He said it on the job, in his official capacity. He was saying what his interactions with the president would be as head of the FBI. When he was no longer in that job and thus not reporting to the president, he was free to make his own rules.

Plus, on a human level, Trump deliberately fired him in the most abrupt embarrassing caught in LA without a ride home way possible. I have a hard time seeing it as a “weasel move” for Comey to share his own memos after that.

7. “He then went on to explain that he has serious reservations about Mike Flynn’s judgment….the President pointed his fingers at his head and said ‘the guy has serious judgment issues.'”

Reminder: This comment by Trump comes just eight days after he has become President! Which means that he harbored doubts about Flynn long before January 20, 2017. And yet he still chose Flynn as a his national security adviser. Which is curious except when you remember that dogged loyalty is by far the most important thing to Trump. And there was no one more loyal to Trump in the campaign than Flynn.

Yes. That one is just stunning.

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