- - Wednesday, June 7, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Since before President Trump was even inaugurated, the mainstream media has been on a mission to distort, discredit and delegitimize his presidency. On matters big and small, they have lied and misrepresented the president’s statements and actions, and now they’ve found a new hero: disgruntled former FBI Director James Comey.

The media’s latest line would have you believe that James Comey is a victim who was competently serving the nation until he was baselessly fired by Mr. Trump. But the facts tell a different story.

The record actually shows that Mr. Comey had lost the confidence of elected officials from both political parties and could no longer be trusted to serve as FBI director.

This includes Democratic leaders like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who both said publicly that Mr. Comey was doing a poor job, and Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, who derided the former FBI director for presiding over the “lowest moment in the history of the FBI.” Even Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly criticized Mr. Comey for the role she believes he played in the 2016 election.

But now these Democrats have changed their tune, attacking Mr. Trump for doing precisely what a bipartisan consensus in Congress agreed was right: relieving Director Comey of his responsibilities and moving forward with fresh leadership at the FBI.

Instead of acknowledging the president’s clear constitutional prerogatives, the Democrats and many in the media immediately leapt to wild theories and speculation about the president’s motives. Leaks and “unnamed sources” in the media have added fuel to their fire.

As the president has said, he never asked anyone, including then-Director Comey, to end any investigation, and even Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified after Mr. Comey’s firing that “there has been no effort to impede our investigation.”

On top of that, Mr. Comey himself testified on May 3 that he had never been asked to stop an investigation for a political reason, and reconfirmed that in the written testimony he will read on Thursday. The sworn testimonies, punishable by perjury if the former director was lying, contradicts virtually all of the media “reporting” about this issue.

What makes these claims more outrageous is that Mr. Comey should have raised a red flag, or made it widely known, if he felt the president or someone in the White House was trying to impact an ongoing investigation. That never happened — another key fact that the media willfully ignores to try to drive its preferred anti-Trump narrative.

As the spotlight once again shines on Mr. Comey, it is important for viewers not to get wrapped up in the media spin. James Comey was removed from office because both Democrats and Republicans lost confidence in his leadership, plain and simple. Ultimately, Mr. Comey has no one to blame but himself for his termination.

A weaker president may have ignored James Comey’s failures, but that’s not the kind of president Donald Trump is. He took decisive action and is moving forward with fresh leadership at the FBI for the good of the country.

• Pete Hoekstra is a former chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.

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