The release of former FBI Director James Comey’s notes of his conversations wth Donald Trump was a bit of a nothingburger, much to the disappointment of Trump loyalists looking to discredit Comey. But they do contain one nugget of insight into the president’s thinking.
If only he could threaten reporters with prison rape, maybe they’d stop printing stories based on leaks.
In an exchange with Comey about the sieve that is the Trump Administration, Comey suggested making an example of leakers by “putting a head on a pike as a message,” Comey wrote. (Presumably he was speaking metaphorically.) But Trump went Comey one better.
“[Trump] replied by saying it may involve putting reporters in jail,” Comey says in his notes. ‘They spend a couple days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk.’”
The “new friend” reference is clearly a reference to prison rape. And just in case you think that Comey is the martyr to the republic that he’s portraying himself as, here’s his response, “I laughed as I walked to the door.”
Prison rape is a real problem and hardly a joke. It’s bad enough that the president thought it was a laughing matter, without the nation’s chief law enforcement officer joining in the hilarity.
Of course, as with so much else in Trumpland, it doesn’t end there. In the ongoing drama about the fate of Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen, the conventional wisdom is that he will eventually flip against the president.
Adding a novel twist to the reason why is another Trump attorney, Jay Goldberg. Of course, the motivation is prison rape, but this time with a nice racist touch.
In an appearance on CNN, Goldberg insisted that Cohen will turn against Trump to save his hide, even if it means making up stories.
“He’s of a type that I’ve recognized in the past as one not suited to stand up to the rigors of jail life,” Goldberg said. “It’s difficult to say this — prison has a racial overtone. Michael doesn’t see himself walking down Broadway while people are clamoring, ‘You’re going to be my wife.’”
The “racial overtone” is a nice touch, bringing prison rape, homosexuality and right-wing fears about black male sexuality together in one incredibly offensive comment.
Of course, the most telling aspect of Goldberg’s comments, as with those of other Trump defenders, is that Goldberg never takes the obvious tact and says that Trump has nothing to hide.
Even his own supporters don’t assume Trump’s innocence. Who are the rest of us to argue with them?