Several right-wing media figures attempted to deflect from the substance of former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony about President Donald Trump’s alleged interference in the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn by attacking his gender and sexuality, saying of his written statement that “men don’t write like this” and claiming that he needed to “cowboy up” and tell someone about Trump’s actions when they happened.
Comey testified to Senate that Trump gave him “direction” to halt Flynn investigation
Wash. Post: Comey said that he was “stunned” when Trump said he hoped Comey would let the Flynn investigation go. Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8 about his interactions with President Donald Trump since the 2016 presidential election, saying among other things that he “took at as direction” when Trump urged him to drop the investigation into former national security Michael Flynn. According to The Washington Post, in response to a question about why he didn’t “stop and tell President Trump ‘this is wrong’ if he felt he was being pressured by the president to halt the probe into Michael Flynn,” Comey responded, “Maybe if I was stronger I would have…I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in.” From The Washington Post:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked James Comey why didn’t he stop and tell President Trump “this is wrong” if he felt he was being pressured by the president to halt the probe into Michael Flynn during a Feb. 14 Oval Office meeting after Flynn had been fired.
In Comey’s prepared testimony, he said Trump had said: “I hope you can let this go.” Comey interpreted that remark as referring to the FBI’s Flynn probe and not its look at the entire Russia-related investigation.
Explaining the fact he didn’t object at the time, Comey said: “Maybe if I was stronger I would have…I was so stunned by the conversation that I just took it in.”
“Maybe other people would be stronger in that circumstance.”
Comey said when he finally agreed with Trump that Flynn was a “good guy,” it was a “slightly cowardly way of telling him ” that the investigation would not be halted. [The Washington Post, 6/8/17]
Right-wing media figures claim Comey “couldn’t cowboy up, couldn’t man up” under pressure
Radio host Laura Ingraham: Comey “is a drama queen.” “Men should not write like this.” Laura Ingraham mocked Comey’s leaked opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying, “the man is a drama queen. I'm sorry, men should not write like this.” From the June 8 edition of Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show:
[Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 6/817]
CNN contributor and Trump supporter David Urban: Comey “couldn’t cowboy up, couldn’t man up” and confront Trump directly. Just prior to Comey’s testimony, CNN contributor and Trump supporter David Urban mocked Comey’s masculinity, calling his decision not to confront Trump directly about Trump’s comment that he “hope[d]” Comey could “see ... clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go" a failure to “cowboy up” and “man up.” Urban said that, instead, Comey “runs out to his car and scribbles notes down for some later date.”
[CNN, Comey Senate hearing coverage, 6/8/17]
Townhall’s Kurt Schlichter: “So, Comey swallows.”
So, Comey swallows. https://t.co/mbzG0gOglK
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) June 8, 2017
Infowars: Comey “brag[ged] about being a beta.” During the June 8 edition of The Alex Jones Show, host Alex Jones claimed Comey was “signaling, I’m a poor baby, l don’t want power, just want money.” Frequent guest host David Knight suggested that Comey had “brag[ged] about being a beta” because he “thinks there’s some virtue in that.”
CALLER: [Comey] mentioned himself being a coward and how he was trying to get off phone … with Trump. He’s revealing to the whole word that Trump, the alpha Trump is intimidating him, the beta. He was intimidated by Trump, and that’s almost a microcosm of, or a metaphor, if you will, of Trump intimidating deep state.
JONES: I kept saying, why would he say I’m weak, I’m cowardly, I’m afraid? … Because he's signaling, I'm a poor baby, leave me alone, I don't want power, I just want money. I want to roll over, I want to give in.
DAVID KNIGHT: Why would he brag about being a beta? He thinks there's some virtue in that. That’s what these people think.
[Genesis Communications Networks, The Alex Jones Show, 6/8/17]
Fox News’ Charles Payne: “James Comey is a lot more emotional than you would think the head of the FBI should be…and vindictive too.”
Let's face it James Comey is a lot more emotional than you would think the head of the FBI should be...and vindictive, too. pic.twitter.com/bAnqkb7X98
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) June 8, 2017
Jack Posobiec: “‘I was...stunned when Trump talked to me like that.’ #ComeyDay”
— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) June 8, 2017
Fox News’ Kevin Jackson: “Yet again #Comey showed no BALLS against #Lynch!”
— Kevin Jackson (@KevinJacksonTBS) June 8, 2017
CNN contributor Amy Holmes: “Comey sounds like a 13 year old girl.”
Comey sounds like a 13 year old girl.
— Amy Holmes (@realamymholmes) June 8, 2017
Fox’s Greg Gutfeld: Comey is like a “pearl-clutching senior who’s upset about the short skirts” on Fox News. Fox News host Greg Gutfeld criticized James Comey’s “homey, folksy persona” by comparing it to “a pearl-clutching senior who’s upset about the short skirts” on the Fox program he co-hosts, The Five. From the June 8 edition of Fox News’ The Five:
GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): The media and the left, they wanted Watergate. They got a water balloon. Because everything we found out about Trump we already know. He's a Queens roughneck who sells real estate. This is what he does. We elected a bull in a china shop. What a hearing is is everybody sweeping up the broken china, but this is what you get. He didn't break any laws.
I'm getting a little tired of Comey's homey, folksy persona. It's like he's from Yonkers, OK? He keeps morphing into Comey Pyile, you know? He keeps saying, “lordy.” It’s like a pearl-clutching senior who’s upset about the short skirts on The Five. [Fox News, The Five, 6/8/17]