Apr. 14-Apr. 21: Loyalty, Loyalty, Loyalty
Former FBI Director James Comey promotes his new Trump-centric book, and Sean Hannity of Fox News becomes part of the news.
Welcome to the Zeitgeist Chronicle. Every weekend we catch you up on the past week’s most noteworthy current events. Sometimes it’ll be what everybody’s talking about, other times it may be something we’d like to bring attention to. Our goal is keep you informed enough to be able to have a conversation about any of these current events. This week:
A Higher Loyalty
Here we are again with another high-profile book that’ll undoubtedly be a thorn in Donald Trump’s side. Earlier this year it was Michael Wolff’s Fire & Fury, and now it’s A Higher Loyalty, written by former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last May under very questionable circumstances.
The Zeitgeist Chronicle: May 8th — May 14th
This week was dominated by Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. What exactly happened? Plus, “The Daily Show”…
It was a critical moment in Trump’s presidency because Comey’s firing is what ultimately led to Robert Mueller, also a former FBI Director, being appointed to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia, which has perhaps been the biggest thorn in Trump’s side since he was elected.
Comey claims that after a meeting with Trump in the Oval Office, on Valentine’s Day, Trump asked everyone in attendance to give him the room so he could speak with Comey, and during that conversation, Trump told Comey: “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting [Michael] Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
In a different encounter, Comey claims that Trump told him that “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty”, which carries a much different connotation when the person saying that is the President of the United States and you’re the Director of the FBI, who is supposed to be completely objective.
Comey’s book, titled A Higher Loyalty, is a reference to Comey’s loyalty to the FBI and Justice, but perhaps also a subtle jab at Trump, and his words perhaps carry more weight than Michael Wolff, partially due to his stature, but also because of the careful crafting of his “holier than thou” image.
Comey has resonated with the public so much because he was one of the few people in positions of power that stood up to Trump. His firing then made him a martyr, and his recent media tour to promote his book has only solidified that. However, let’s not completely gloss over his time as the FBI Director, before Trump, because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
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A Different Loyalty
This week also saw news break that Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer”, had a third client: Fox News’ Sean Hannity. As part of the Stormy Daniels saga, Cohen was compelled by a judge to reveal the names of his clients at a hearing this week and shocked many when the final name he revealed was that of the well-known Fox News host.
This is interesting on two levels. One: Cohen’s handiwork for his other clients— Donald Trump and Elliot Broidy — have all been of the hush-money, silencing variety, which leads one to think whether or not Hannity hired him for similar reasons. Hannity has since denied that Cohen represents him, saying that he consulted Cohen on legal advice related to real estate, but never officially paid Cohen. (Yet, Cohen considered Hannity a client and was hesitant to reveal his name.)
Second: Sean Hannity is a high-profile Fox News talking head. He’s often on TV speaking to Trump’s core, defending him, and perpetuating Trump propaganda, and was particularly outspoken about the Stormy Daniels saga and Michael Cohen, which is a bad look and now comes across more as self-preservation than anything. It’ll be interesting to see how the Right reacts, but I would be surprised if there was any outrage at all. The show goes on.