I’m old enough to remember a time when we didn’t have to wonder whether or not the Kremlin has a secret video of the President of the United States paying Russian hookers to urinate on a bed in his Moscow hotel room. From the Washington Post‘s report on former FBI director James Comey’s new book:
The nation’s intelligence chiefs had just finished briefing Donald Trump on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election when FBI Director James B. Comey stayed behind to discuss some especially sensitive material: a “widely circulated” intelligence dossier containing unconfirmed allegations that Russians had filmed Trump interacting with prostitutes in Moscow in 2013.
The president-elect quickly interrupted the FBI director. According to Comey’s account in a new memoir, Trump “strongly denied the allegations, asking — rhetorically, I assumed — whether he seemed like a guy who needed the service of prostitutes. He then began discussing cases where women had accused him of sexual assault, a subject I had not raised. He mentioned a number of women, and seemed to have memorized their allegations.”
The January 2017 conversation at Trump Tower in Manhattan “teetered toward disaster” — until “I pulled the tool from my bag: ‘We are not investigating you, sir.’ That seemed to quiet him,” Comey writes.
Trump did not stay quiet for long. Comey describes Trump as having been obsessed with the portion dealing with prostitutes in the infamous dossier compiled by British former intelligence officer Christopher Steele, raising it at least four times with the FBI director. The document claimed that Trump had watched the prostitutes urinate on themselves in the same Moscow suite that President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama had stayed in “as a way of soiling the bed,” Comey writes.
Comey writes that Trump asked him to have the FBI investigate the allegations to prove they were not true, and offered varying explanations to convince him why. “I’m a germaphobe,” Trump told him in a follow-up call on Jan. 11, 2017, according to Comey’s account. “There’s no way I would let people pee on each other around me. No way.” Later, the president asked what could be done to “lift the cloud” because it was so painful for first lady Melania Trump.
Yeah, he cares so much about hurting Melania. More:
The next month, Trump called Comey to complain about the Russia investigation as a “cloud” that was impairing his presidency and, again, brought up the Moscow prostitutes allegation.
“For about the fourth time, he argued that the golden showers thing wasn’t true, asking yet again, ‘Can you imagine me, hookers?’ ” Comey writes of their March 30, 2017, call. “In an apparent play for my sympathy, he added that he has a beautiful wife and the whole thing has been very painful for her. He asked what we could do to ‘lift the cloud.’ ”
For the first time, I think the Russian videotape thing might — might — be true. Yes, I can imagine Trump hiring hookers. What, you can’t? Come on.
Stormy Daniels, the porn star with whom he is alleged to have carried on, was paid $130,000 for her silence by a shell corporation controlled by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
Former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal said that after they first had sex in 2006, Trump offered to pay her, but she refused, and was hurt by the insinuation that she was a prostitute. She was paid $150,000 by the National Enquirer‘s parent company for exclusive rights to her story … which they never published. This is a way of buying silence.
Trump has denied having had a sexual relationship with either woman. Presumably with a straight face.
If believing that there’s no tape of Trump hiring Russian hookers to perform a perverted act in a Moscow hotel room hinges on believing Trump would never hire a hooker, then put on your raincoat and open the Purell.
Of course Trump may be innocent of this disgusting thing. But what kind of innocent man keeps asking the FBI director to commit agents to investigate something he knows is not true? Isn’t it more credible to think that he wants to use the FBI’s unparalleled investigative powers to discover if the Russians really do have videotaped evidence of something he knows he did, or if they’re just bluffing? Why would it matter so much to him if he knew it was a lie?
That’s the thing about Trump: anything is possible with him. Anything. Donors to the Republican Party are actually funding a website, LyinComey.com, dedicated to discrediting the straight-arrow former FBI director. Comey might be a dour stick-in-the-mud, but to see the Republican Party spend money and moral capital with a tabloidy website trashing a former director of the FBI is grotesque. But hey, it’s Trump’s party now. Golden showers all around!
I had a conversation late this afternoon with a friend who is conservative, churchgoing, and decent to the marrow. An ordinary guy. Pillar of the community sort. In all the years we’ve known each other, we’ve never had a political conversation, to my recollection. But today, as we were talking, he unloaded on Trump. He’s just disgusted with everything — the filth, the lying, the tweeting. “What kind of idiot tweets out taunts to a country with nuclear missiles?!” he said. “It’s crazy! We’re talking about war!” Et cetera.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him about the pee tape. #MAGA
By the way, don’t miss James Risen’s Intercept piece about Joseph Mifsud, the missing academic with links to the Russia investigation. Risen, a veteran investigative reporter, says he has long been skeptical of the case for collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, but he now believes the case is stronger than he first thought.