Gotta hand it to the New York Times—this account of Donald Trump’s infamous meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the Oval Office is just spellbinding.
President Trump told Russian officials in the Oval Office this month that firing the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, had relieved “great pressure” on him, according to a document summarizing the meeting.
“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”
Good lord—what planet is Trump living on? He fired Comey on May 9 and his misguided meeting with the two Surgeys transpired on May 10. The pressure was “off” indeed—it had been going so well, in fact, his press secretary was hiding from reporters in the White House bushes just hours before. Anyway, the reason for Comey’s firing is now entirely cleared up. Obstruction, anyone?
Spicer “did not dispute” the story.
Don’t worry though, Trump really had the Russians in the palm of his hands.
A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.
Smart. Russian operatives—widely known for their empathy.
Never mind the international incident Trump caused when he revealed key Israeli intelligence to the Surgeys. Boy, that musta really relieved the pressure from having to keep all that classified info to himself.