May 25, 2017

"White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus is nervous about what could be in store for him if the former FBI director reveals more details of his secret memos."

Write Betsy Woodruff, Lachlan Markay, and Asawin Suebsaeng at The Daily Beast.

How do they know he's "nervous"?
Three White House officials told The Daily Beast that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has privately expressed worry about a possible Comey memo specifically involving one of their reported chats, and how it might play in the press and to investigators.

“Nervous laughter,” one official succinctly characterized Priebus’ demeanor in the midst of recent revelations.
So... he's "nervous" because he laughed at something — we're not told what — and one unnamed person characterized the laughter as nervous. And, in the opinion of the reporters, Priebus should be nervous — "Any anxiety on Priebus’ part, however, would appear to be well-justified" — because Comey wrote memos — which the reporters characterize as "judicious" — about conversations and
"Priebus’ private conversation with Comey could have violated longstanding FBI policy barring officials from discussing its cases with the White House."

Maybe Comey should be nervous, but Comey wrote a memo, and perhaps Priebus should be worried that any Comey memo in this situation would protect Comey's interest in not being seen as violating FBI policy.

I've noticed what I think may be a significant trend in reporting in the Trump era: reporting it as news that somebody is — perhaps only by slanted inference — nervous. Here's last Sunday's post, "Nervous." I'm making a new tag for this trend: nervous.

42 comments:

Rene Saunce said...

Comey was judicious - except with Hillary. How dare he ruin it for poor Hillary!

Virtually Unknown said...

Three White House officials told The Daily Beast that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has privately expressed worry about a possible Comey memo specifically involving one of their reported chats, and how it might play in the press and to investigators.

Hey! It's a thing! Lois Lerner took the Fifth during the IRS investigation because she was worried abut how her words would be twisted by the conservative press and by investigators. I always thought that was about self-incrimination, but the constitution changes so fast these days, but only in favor of Democrats.

Kevin said...

Every day. The Dems need a reason to tune into the news every day or they're going to go back to living their lives under President Trump and the media profits will fall.

The day impeachment is no longer a possibility for the disaffected, the disaffected will no longer tune in.

Kevin said...

Nervousness is entirely subjective but it implies guilt. Guilt implies lawbreaking. And lawbreaking implies impeachment.

If nervousness is all they need, wink wink, it is easily manufactured.

Hagar said...

Trump needs to call Orkin!

Bay Area Guy said...

Anonymous sources!

Otto said...

"I've noticed what I think may be a significant trend in reporting in the Trump era:
Your naivete is astounding or is it a con . Tet, Duranty, Nixon, ad nauseum.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The media has special mind-reading abilities when it comes to Trump and anybody associated with him. They just know that that was a nervous laugh, just as they know an unsmiling Melania is a sign that she is a secret member of The Resistance.

Pretty soon, they'll tell us that Pence is sending out coded messages via eye blinks.

Valentine Smith said...

Geeez, that's a lot of power packed into these memos. Do they tick?
Maybe the WH can produce transcripts of tapes that don't exist and never existed to counter Comey's nuclear horseshit.

Browndog said...

When did hand written personal notes (Dear Diary...) become a "memo"?

When did said "memo" become an unimpeachable/adjudicated official U. S. document of record?

DanTheMan said...

Trump... Russia... chaos... nervous...

Scott Adams would call this a Master Persuader approach. The goal is to make you think "Russia!" or "Chaos!" whenever you hear the word "Trump".

The story doesn't matter.

Remember the claims shortly after the election that the transition was in chaos? That died down very quickly. Now it's back again. The exact same word.
Not because it's true, but because it's what they want you to think when you think "Trump".


Danno said...

The media is "all hyperbole all the time" in the age of Trump.

Ken B said...

Trump is right about reporters, and especially political reporters. This is like grade school kids whispering in the corner.

campy said...

Imagine how damaging the double-secret memos will be!

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I seem to recall something about "who, what, when, why, and how." Also, "if your mother says she loves you, get a second source."

traditionalguy said...

Inside sorceresses. They curse Trump every day.

Reince probably is afraid of being unmasked to President Trump as Leaker#1.

Amadeus 48 said...

Now I'm nervous. See what you did?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

When did said "memo" become an unimpeachable/adjudicated official U. S. document of record?

Yeah, I thought about that too. Wow, Comey wrote some notes, they say things!

So?

Lucien said...

How does this memo stuff work exactly? Why are these memos any better than a he-said, she-said argument?

If we are going to give Comey's memos special credence, then what's to stop Comey from writing a memo right now, back-dating it, and claiming that he wrote it right after a conversation he had with Trump (or Reibus or Clinton or Obama or whoever)? Is it the fact that Comey wrote it rather than said it that gives the words magical powers of truth?

Trump said Comey assured him three times that he wasn't under investigation. And Trump wrote it down. And he even sent it to millions of twitter followers. Do written tweets not get magical powers of truth the way a written memo does?

I'm confused.

Bruce Hayden said...

The article seems to be glossing over one of the things were were talking about late last nigh, and that is the question of who does have Comey's notes right now? And the answer seems to be AG Sessions, after that raid on Comey's office when he was being fired while 3,000 miles away. Maybe Comey has a set too, on his laptop (storing a copy at his house would likely be illegal, akin to the felonies committed by Crooked Hillary with her private email server). But if they were created while he was FBI Director, they belong to the govt, and not to him. Think of it almost like a due on sale clause - the minute that Comey was fired, he had a legal duty to turn over every note or memo that he created while in office, and to delete every copy he had of notes and memos that were not in the public domain. Potential blackmail material is clearly in that category, which means that if Comey is caught with any of it, he could go to prison (and given his relationship with Trump and Sessions, likely would). Which also means that he would be blackmailable if he ever provided evidence of retaining this sort of document. Comey's secret memos and notes are, thus, a two edged sword, usable to him while in office, but liable to burn him if caught with them after being fired.

Humperdink said...

Wonder if Bill and Hill are nervous about the Uranium 1 deal? Forget it, lost my head there.

Larry J said...

It's also interesting that there are reports Trump will fire (and perhaps prosecute) three White House officials for leaking when he returns from overseas.

Sam L. said...

For me, the Daily Beast is beastly. I ignore it.

Achilles said...

If you read the news and place the point of view of the writers as paid government shills that work as part of a ruling class in DC trying to protect a corrupt bureaucracy and two corrupt parties who have the same goals these stories will make a lot more sense to you Ann. Especially if you factor in Trump as an outside force taking one of those parties against it's will.

Scott M said...

He's just worried that people will find out he's an avid Anne Rice LARPer.

Fen said...

Bruce, I have a similar question from yesterday's link to the DWS srory. She keeps demanding the laptop be returned by police, since it's "member property"... Aren't these government laptops paid for by the taxpayers?

Jeff Brokaw said...

Articles like this are exactly why I quit taking political "news" - if that is what are now calling this nonsense - seriously a couple of years ago, and pay very little attention to it any more. When it isn't outright obfuscation and running interference for Dems, or made up bullshit, it's "OMG he's nervous, you guys!". Yeah, right, whatever.

grackle said...

So... he's "nervous" because he laughed at something .... And, in the opinion of the reporters, Priebus should be nervous …

Maybe just this once these reporters know something. It is rumored that Trump is going to fire some folks after he returns from his tour. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them is Priebus. The reason? Priebus may have been one of the leakers.

And might not these reporters be aware of the firing rumors and also know that Priebus is one of the leakers and therefore have good reason to believe that Priebus is justified in being nervous? Perhaps they have even received some leaks from him themselves.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Also, what Achilles said at 9:57AM. The media is best viewed as shills working PR for their government masters. Note the subtle framing in every single article about Comey that presents him as the reasonable, sober, extremely careful and judicious character, surrounded by buffoons and crooks. Sorry, not buying that. His credibility cratered on July 5 2016 with his nonsensical, legally tortured, and theatrical performance for the cameras. He had his one shot to establish whether he was trustworthy or not. He failed it.

n.n said...

Democrats and journolists are placing their faith in memos.

Were they notarized by an independent party? Are they viable witnesses?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Were they notarized by an independent party? Are they viable witnesses?"

-- They're better than nothing, but they aren't smoking guns.

Kevin said...

Note the subtle framing in every single article about Comey that presents him as the reasonable, sober, extremely careful and judicious character, surrounded by buffoons and crooks.

You should read the articles about him they had written in expectation of Hillary winning the election.

I mean, the nerve of that incompetent, unprincipled, asshole!

Yancey Ward said...

As I have written many times in the last week- photographs of paper documentation is trivial to gather and use to buttress oral descriptions of the content. It isn't proof that the content or the document itself isn't false, but it is a level of evidence that is open to examination by parties on all sides. It will always be suspicious when a leaker and the journalists don't take the step to give us visual evidence of this sort- always suspicious.

Yancey Ward said...

As for the Priebus story, really how far are we from the WaPo/NYTimes story where 3 anonymous White House officials tell us that Priebus' nervousness has manifested itself in his going to the restroom every 30 minutes to take a piss?

Bruce Hayden said...

@Yancey - sounds more like a prostate problem.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Comey's secret memos and notes are, thus, a two edged sword, usable to him while in office, but liable to burn him if caught with them after being fired.
5/25/17, 9:07 AM

Haha! That's why the leaks are so bizarre. Comey gave up his papers like a good boy, or had them seized, but he left copies with some confederate at the bureau who still has the proper clearances, and that is who is trickling the stuff out.

Bad Lieutenant said...

If Priebus is the one of the leakers I hope he is hanged by the neck until he is dead.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Kevin @ 10:47am

Good point. Comey is either the worst thing ever, or the greatest thing ever, depending on the needs of the story at hand. And the media expects me to believe any of this?

southcentralpa said...

Maybe Comey was telling him that the previous administration had passed around Priebus' derog file, Clinton-style ... Has Priebus ever gotten a security clearance? Anything in the derog file would make the person concerned very nervous, by definition.

[A derog, short for derogatory, file is what is made after they have completed a background check. They sit you down and say "This is what we have found out about you. If there is ANYTHING else bad you have done, even if you were never caught, tell us now. If it comes out later that you left out anything, doom on you." It is supposed to never see the light of day. However, http://www.nytimes.com/2000/05/26/us/2-officials-rebuked-for-tripp-disclosures.html Both of those and several others in the so-called "White House Security Office" should have received prison.]

Sigivald said...

Priebus’ private conversation with Comey could have violated longstanding FBI policy barring officials from discussing its cases with the White House

...

Wouldn't that be a problem for Comey for violating "FBI policy", rather than Priebus?

Because an FBI policy that their people shouldn't/can't discuss cases with the White House doesn't seem like it's a legal requirement against White House officials ... trying to get them to. Or succeeding.

Kevin said...

Wouldn't that be a problem for Comey for violating "FBI policy", rather than Priebus?

Didn't you hear Comey was an honorable and incorruptible man? That means anything bad that happened must be someone else's fault.

Wink, wink.

Kevin said...

And the media expects me to believe any of this?

The media are not interested in people looking for the truth. Truth cannot withstand the 24-hour news cycle.

The media are interested in people looking for innuendo. Innuendo can go on for hour after hour and day after day.

Even when the media have truth, they put it aside to peddle the innuendo. Their purpose is not to inform but to inflame.