Chuck Todd’s Interview With James Comey Was a Speculative Thing

Chuck Todd's Interview With James Comey Was a Speculative Thing

Why ‘The Good Fight’ is the Trump era’s best political drama: It understood liberals, Republicans didn’t

In December, when he was the White House correspondent for NBC News, Chuck Todd was called with the grim task of predicting the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency. NBC and NBC News had been a thorn in Trump’s side from the beginning, and the White House Correspondents’ Association would not suffer a worse blow to Trump’s campaign when Todd’s interview with James Comey was aired on Dec. 15. Comey publicly accused Trump and his inner circle of lying under oath about the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia. A second set of questions—this time asked by a Democratic Senate Intelligence Committee member—had Comey say Trump attempted to pressure him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

During the interview, which NBC aired in full, Todd tried to ask Comey about his past relationship with Trump, which by then was a factor in this latest round of speculation that Comey was about to be fired or subject to some kind of special security investigation. Todd followed up: “I don’t know if you ever had any contact with the president of the United States. Did you talk about the investigation when you were there [at the White House]?”

“Chuck, if that’s the question, the answer is yes,” said Comey. “Absolutely.” He went on to explain that he had called Trump at some point and, according to Todd, appeared at the White House to discuss the Flynn matter with a White House lawyer. Comey said he did not feel pressured by Trump, and his White House conversations with the White House counsel were, in his words, just “a chat.”

It was a remarkable, at times awkward, interview. But it wasn’t the first time that Comey had been in the crosshairs of Republican criticism. He’d been one of three officials to deliver a scathing cable news conference on the “Russian dossier.” He testified repeatedly in public hearings before the House Intelligence Committee while the committee was chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and was a target of that committee’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election

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