by Ruth Riddle:
NOTE: This article was written in collaboration with Karen Schweitzer. She is a former owner of a telemarketing company and a current consultant in that industry. She lives in Florida, and is a long-term Trump supporter.
What did President Trump mean when he asked for “loyalty” from FBI Director Comey?
Among the myriad definitions of loyalty presented in online dictionaries, the definition that best suits the Trump/Comey situation is from Merriam-Webster:
“Loyalty implies a faithfulness that is steadfast in the face of any temptation to renounce, desert or betray.”
When did Trump ask for loyalty from Comey?
According to Director Comey, President Trump first mentions loyalty in the meeting of January 28, 2017 (Comey memo, p. 2), following his description of the conversation about leaking.
Comey wrote: “He [Trump] asked whether the FBI leaks and I answered that of course in an organization of 36,000 we were going to have some of that [leaks]. He [Trump] replied that he needed loyalty and expected loyalty.”
From this interaction, as reported by Comey, it can be concluded that Trump’s request for loyalty stemmed from his concern about the leaks; he considered leakers not to be steadfast in the “…face of temptation to renounce, desert or betray.”
Comey wrote (immediately following the previous comment): “I did not reply, or even nod or change my facial expression, which he [Trump] noted because we came back to it later.” (Whether or not Trump “noted” is Comey’s opinion only.)
Why did Comey not respond at this point? Was it because he had already been disloyal to the president and the country during his January 6, 2017, meeting with Trump? How was he disloyal? Prior to the January 28 meeting, Comey was already fully aware of the “dossier” and its many implications, but failed to provide the president with full disclosure. Comey’s memo of the January 6 meeting merely states, “I then executed the session exactly as I had planned. I told him that I wanted to meet with him about reports written by [readacted] although I didn’t use the name.” Comey kept the name of the writer from the president during this meeting. Why? He did tell the President that CNN had the report.
Comey reports (in the memo regarding the January 28 meeting) that after a lengthy conversation about the “golden showers thing” wherein he told Trump that CNN was releasing the report, “We returned to the topic of my job….” Comey states: “The president then spoke again about being glad I wanted to stay.” (Comey’s self-aggrandizement included at this point in the memo has been excluded here.) “He then returned to loyalty, saying, ‘I need loyalty.’ I replied that he would always get honesty from me. He paused and said, that’s what he wants, ‘honest loyalty.’ I replied ‘you will get that from me.’”
Comey then includes the following parenthetical information. “(It is possible we understood that phrase [honest loyalty] differently, but I choose to understand it as consistent with what I had said throughout the conversation: I will serve the President with loyalty to the office, the country and the truth. I decided it would not be productive to push the subject further.)”
Comey’s comments lead to some questions…
Why would Comey think that he and President Trump had a different definition of honest loyalty? These are basic concepts widely understood in American society. Being loyal does not trump being honest.
Why did Comey think there was a need to distinguish the office, the country and the truth from the president? Clearly, Comey was intimating he would not be loyal to Trump, having already been disloyal.
Why did the mainstream media pick up on this topic? Because loyalty is a concept the mainstream media do not understand. Rather, they view their job as taking small, non-newsworthy information, and blowing it out of proportion in an attempt to destroy anyone that doesn’t adhere to their left-wing agenda.
In conclusion, the memos (readily available in PDF on the internet) make it clear that Comey was self-serving in documenting his meetings with the president. He must have sensed his days as FBI Director were numbered, and he wanted to ensure he cast a positive light on himself, while throwing shade on President Trump.