Texas Republicans Dismiss Comey's Testimony, Defend Trump

WASHINGTON -- Much ado about nothing.That was the assessment many Texas Republicans offered of former FBI Director James Comey’s highly anticipated testimony Thursday before the Senate intelligence committee in which Comey said that he felt Trump had directed him to drop the FBI’s investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.“I don’t know if we know anything,” said Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, pointing to the fact that Trump’s lawyer had disputed Comey’s version of events.Most members said they had not watched the hearing, tied up with their own committee hearings and other legislative business. But those who had read about the testimony or watched clips of it said it did not change their determination that the president is innocent of any wrongdoing.Even if Trump did ask Comey for his loyalty, Williams said he sees no problem with that, despite the FBI’s investigations into people close to Trump. And even if Trump did tell Comey he hoped he could let the Flynn investigation go, Williams argued that would not represent a directive.Many Republicans, like Rep. Jodey Arrington of Lubbock, chalked Trump’s actions up to being a “rookie politician” who did not realize how cautious the president should be in his interactions with the FBI director.“There’s some sensitivities that I don’t think he’s used to in this environment,” Arrington said. “I think you’re dealing with a guy that’s a businessman and a person who’s never been in public office or politics, and maybe people interpret things differently.”But Arrington argued that even if Trump said what Comey alleged, that would not amount to obstruction of justice.“My perception of President Trump is if he has strong feelings about something and if he wants to direct somebody to do something as Comey implied, then I think that would have been abundantly clear,” Arrington said, echoing an argument Trump’s son made in a tweet during the hearing.  Continue reading...

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