Imagine if your Twitter account was so trash that federal investigators were called before Congress to publicly dismantle your tweets. For President Trump, that nightmare scenario became a reality on Monday.
While discussing Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 election during today’s intelligence hearing, FBI director James Comey and NSA director Michael Rogers were both asked if the country altered votes in any swing states. Both Comey and Rogers said they had found no evidence of Russian-led voter fraud or ballot manipulation. Trump, tweeting from his seldom used @POTUS account, wrote that the directors told Congress that “Russia did not influence the electoral process.”
The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence electoral process. pic.twitter.com/d9HqkxYBt5
— President Trump (@POTUS) March 20, 2017
But that’s not what either man said — at all.
The directors only testified that Russia didn’t change tallied votes in swing states, not that Russia didn’t have some influence on the “electoral process”. The latter is much more wide-ranging and would include everything from “fake news” and misinformation campaigns to hacking and leaked emails. In fact, Comey said during the hearing that Putin clearly wanted Clinton to lose.
Smelling Trump’s bullshit through his phone, Representative Jim Himes then pulled up the president’s patently misleading tweet and read it back to the two directors, asking “that’s not quite accurate, that tweet?”
Lol they're just fact-checking tweets now pic.twitter.com/OZzgGb8dhj
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) March 20, 2017
Comey and Stone — who, of course, had been sitting there the entire time and didn’t know about the tweet — had to hear it a few times before denying Trump’s characterization of their remarks.
“It certainly wasn’t our intention to say that today, because we don’t have any information on that subject,” Comey told Himes.
Does that make it fake news?
The @POTUS account’s timeline is filled with clips from the hearing cherrypicked to flatter Trump and bolster his narrative that Russian electoral influence is a conspiracy theory, but the head of the FBI just testified under oath that his Twitter account was trash. When you’re thin-skinned enough to post deceptively edited clips with misleading captions, that’s gotta hurt. If only Bernie had been there.