ChrisWeigant.com

Trey Gowdy (Of All People) Debunks Trump

[ Posted Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 – 16:45 PDT ]

Representative Trey Gowdy -- not normally known for being a Trump antagonist -- has been publicly debunking the president's new favorite conspiracy theory, in his latest news interviews. This is a somewhat stunning development, and further marginalizes Representative Devin Nunes, who keeps fruitlessly trying to uncover the smoking gun that proves that Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other nefarious Democrats somehow entered into a giant plot to use the F.B.I. to further their own political aims. The F.B.I. and the rest of the "Deep State" conspired to put Hillary Clinton in the Oval Office, according to Nunes and the rest of the tinfoil-hat gang. Of course, this conspiracy theory never really gets around to explaining why, if this was the case, the F.B.I. intervened twice to undercut Clinton during the campaign, but never did so for Donald Trump. Recently, Nunes tried again to reveal the supposed truth of his suspicions by forcing a briefing about a confidential F.B.I. informant, initially to just him and Gowdy. Then Nunes would have run to the television cameras with his proof and the entire Bob Mueller investigation would just disappear like the morning dew. Or something. But the bombshell Nunes anticipated turned out to be a dud, once again. And in the past 24 hours, Gowdy has shot the whole "spygate" theory down in flames.

Gowdy, please remember, was in the briefing that was supposed to reveal the smoking gun. But since the briefing, Nunes hasn't uttered a peep about it, leading many to conclude that it was yet another example of the smoking gun being found in Nunes's hand, right after he had used it to shoot himself in the foot. The facts didn't fit his wild theory, therefore he went mum on the whole subject. Gowdy, to his credit (a line I never personally thought I would ever type), stepped up instead.

President Trump hasn't been as shy as Nunes, though. He's calling the whole affair "spygate" and has accused the F.B.I. of following the orders of Clinton and Obama to plant a "spy" inside his presidential campaign, for purely political purposes. The reality, from what has been reported so far, is that a confidential informant was used who contacted members of the Trump campaign a handful of times and had foreign policy discussions with them. That's it. No "spy" embedded within the campaign at all. The purpose of the informant was to further the investigation into what Russia was doing -- a legitimate thing for the F.B.I. to be looking into. But that hasn't stopped Trump from claiming (of course) that this is the biggest political scandal ever in all of American politics.

Which is precisely what Gowdy went on the air to contradict:

Gowdy, who was one of the few people to get briefed on the situation last week, told Fox News on Tuesday night that the briefing vindicated the FBI: "I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump."

Then Wednesday morning on CBS, Gowdy, a former U.S. attorney who is retiring from Congress this year, rebuked Trump's use of the term "spying" to describe his law enforcement colleagues. " 'Undercover,' 'informant,' 'confidential informant' -- those are all words I'm familiar with," Gowdy said. "I've never heard the term 'spy' used."

The comments are certainly the strongest GOP counterpoint to Trump's narrative to date, and they fill out a familiar pattern: Trump saying something baseless, almost no Republicans of any real stature vouching for him, and a few brave souls stepping forward to debunk him -- likely in vain.

Gowdy, on CBS, repeated several times that the F.B.I. had done nothing wrong, and had every right to follow the clues where they appeared to lead. He rejected the notion that this was somehow some sort of sinister effort to "get Trump." He drew on his experience as a prosecutor in answering the question of the use of the term "spy" -- saying over and over that he's never heard that term used by any prosecutors or investigators. Confidential informants, as Gowdy well knows, are a key part of how many criminal investigations are conducted, and are nothing new or unusual in the justice system.

Gowdy's words were a stinging rebuke to both Trump and Nunes. The key phrase in that news article to explain Gowdy's newfound independence is likely: "who is retiring from Congress this year," because Gowdy no longer has to pander to Trump voters who believe everything the president tells them (even when backed up, as in this case, by zero actual evidence). This frees him up to admit the truth, even when it contradicts the president, and even (gasp!) on Fox News.

There was no "spy" who wormed his way into the Trump campaign for political purposes. The word shouldn't even be used at all. The F.B.I. is not a cabal of anti-Trumpers who did everything they could to help Hillary Clinton get elected, on either her orders or those of President Obama. A confidential informant was used to help investigate a foreign government's interference in an American presidential election. Which, as Gowdy pointed out, is as it should be. Gowdy made a name for himself earlier by heading up one of the many investigations into Hillary Clinton that were launched during the campaign, so he's not exactly a dyed-in-the-wool liberal or anything. Quite the opposite, in fact. But now that he's retiring from Congress, he apparently feels a lot freer to examine real evidence and speak the truth. Of course, it'll probably take a lot more than this to totally debunk Trump's new favorite conspiracy theory among his supporters, but at least Gowdy is making the effort. For that, he should be applauded.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

34 Comments on “Trey Gowdy (Of All People) Debunks Trump”

  1. [1] 
    Balthasar wrote:

    Yeah, but Gowdy has by this admitted that it's hard to argue that the FBI didn't have reason to investigate, given the extracurricular activities of Papadopolous, Page and Manafort, and that's the point that sinks all of Trump's attacks on the investigation.

    Because if they had probable cause then, they have a downright duty to investigate now that we know so much more about it. And every reason to suspect that Trump's at the center of it all. Democrats have known this for awhile. It will be interesting to see whether Gowdy opens any Republican minds with this sudden interjection of truth to the Fox bloodstream. Will they reject it like a virus? Probably.

  2. [2] 
    Paula wrote:

    Some are speculating Gowdy is now "working" for Mueller in exchange for not being pursued for funding irregularities of his own. Trey is wired and he attends meetings with other Repubs, especially Nunes. In addition, he's to go on FOX and plant seeds of sanity. It's a nice idea but we don't know.

    What I think we can surmise with more accuracy is that Blotus knows he's got all kinds of bad stuff being discovered and it's been driven into his fat head that he will not get away with summarily firing Rosenstein, etc. He doesn't know what all will be found but he knows they aren't going to come up empty. He can't end the Mueller probe so his best move is to discredit it in any way he can. He knows the deplorables will swallow just about anything and they swoon in ecstasy when he or his henchswine - like Guliani - get all macho and foam at the mouth, so he provides all that to keep them happily slavering. His hope is that if he can keep the deplorables on his side they will scare the GOP leadership into doing nothing once Mueller presents his findings.

    Whether debunkings make a dent in the mindsets of Blotus followers remains to be seen. I think the smarter ones will be/are being worn down, to a degree, and some will see the light. But some will go down in denial to the bitter end.

  3. [3] 
    Paula wrote:

    oops: Giuliani

  4. [4] 
    neilm wrote:

    B [1] & P [2] - agreed.

    Trump will be able to intimidate Republicans who hate him as long as they feel he can primary them. With the midterm primaries coming up, this power will diminish. He can still reach over their heads to his supporters in their districts - but what is he going to do? Tell them to vote for the Green Party?

    Trump's populism could be very fragile and the midterms could well show everybody the power he has - we can see from some of the special elections that he can't really deliver and that the Democrats are fired up, so his ability to bully his party wimps could soon be over.

  5. [5] 
    neilm wrote:

    I'm worried about Trump, given his tweets, he must be swallowing several dozen Ambien a day.

  6. [6] 
    Paula wrote:

    [4] neilm: "...so his ability to bully his party wimps could soon be over."

    I hope so!

  7. [7] 
    Kick wrote:

    Now seems like yet another good time to interject with a reminder that Gowdy was on the Trump transition team, the one for which Mueller obtained every single one of their emails. Gowdy was the one who reviewed the FISA warrant granted on Carter "Went to Moscow" Page.

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/01/31/a-trainwreck-and-an-exit/#comment-114911

    Y'all remember what happened after that, right? To recap: After viewing the classified evidence of intelligence in the Trump-Russia probe in the FISA, Trey Gowdy told Nunes to slow down and then announced that he would not seek reelection whilst endorsing the Mueller probe in no uncertain terms.

    Trey Gowdy could easily win his seat yet will not seek reelection. Paul Ryan is third in line for the presidency yet has chosen not to seek reelection, and Jason Chaffetz has already left the House.

    Meanwhile, there's Devin "Ignorant Tool" Nunes...

  8. [8] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    2

    Very nice summary. I can picture all the "foam at the mouth" and "slavering," and it is bright orange from the Kool-Aid. :)

    His hope is that if he can keep the deplorables on his side they will scare the GOP leadership into doing nothing once Mueller presents his findings.

    Whatever happens at the federal level with the deplorables and pardons, etc., Benedict Donald finds himself in the unfortunate position of having a fixer for nigh on two decades who kept recorded conversations, and the people who know him best in the great State of New York cannot stand him and will proceed thusly. There is no escape for Trump regardless because... "death and taxes." :)

  9. [9] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Anybody else notice that the girls are setting the stage for being able to explain why, when the Trump campaign was guilty as sin of colluding with the Russskies, that when the dust all settled, years and $millions later, absolutely nothing amounting to anything, ever came from the Mueller crusade.

  10. [10] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Trump seems to have adopted a 2 phase approach to remaining in office.

    1) Dig a deeper and deeper hole.

    2) Demand a longer and longer ladder to get out of the hole.

    Gowdy is not highly motivated to help drag an unwieldy ladder to a deep hole on his last day at work....It is not Gowdy duty time.

  11. [11] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Oh, Stig!

  12. [12] 
    Mezzomamma wrote:

    Oh, Stig!

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    You are correct that Gowdy's newfound independence is probably due to his retiring and no longer having to pander to Trump voters.

    But the reason he had to pander to Trump voters is because that is what his Big Money contributors wanted him to do.

    We need to stop voting for Big Money candidates and start voting against them so that legislators can actually tell the truth while they are still legislating and not only directly preceding or after retiring.

    And this can be accomplished by mobilizing some of the 20-30% of voters that vote in presidential elections that will not be retiring but will be on sabbatical by not voting in 2018. Just like Gowdy these citizens should have no concerns about using their vote to participate in One Demand in 2018 rather than waste their vote by not voting.

    Perhaps you should consider retirement again so that you could then examine the real evidence and speak the truth about One Demand rather than commit a lie of omission by not informing citizens about this opportunity or at least addressing it in comments or direct personal contact.

    If Gowdy deserves applause for a moment of truth under no pressure after making a career of doing just the opposite then One Demand deserves to at least be acknowledged, addressed and be part of the public discourse for anyone claiming to be a reality based blogger.

  14. [14] 
    TheStig wrote:

    CRS-

    Anybody else notice that the girls are setting a stage for being able to explain why, when the Trump campaign was guilty as sin of colluding with the Russskies, that when the dust all settled, years and $millions later, absolutely nothing amounting to anything, ever came from the Mueller crusade.

    To be fair sir, it is you that is setting the stage.

    You don't know what has come from the Mueller "crusade" ("nice" use of loaded terms) because:

    1) Mueller has been extremely tight lipped about a work in progress

    and

    2) The Mueller investigation is nowhere near over yet. I am assuming you do not have a time machine.

    I'd like to stress that the media circus surrounding the Mueller investigation is not the Mueller investigation. I would also stress that some of press seems to be finding a lot of things that seem worthy of a closer look, while other members of the press deny any of this is important. Disagreement is a good reason for investigation.

    You are prejudging the validity of methods you don't know and you are prejudging the outcome which you also don't know. If you choose to speculate, why not present the full range of scenario outcomes. It's a complex scenario tree, but life is complex.

    People who live in rhetorical glass houses should not throw stones. You have the right to bitch and complain, but that is all you are doing, and rather unfairly with regards "the girls."

  15. [15] 
    Paula wrote:

    TS: "It is not Gowdy duty time" - made my morning!

  16. [16] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    TheStig,

    Bravo!

  17. [17] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    My money is on Sessions being the one who is wired and plans on turning on Trump. He has put up with non-stop abuse ever since he recused himself from the investigation. His recusal allows for him to act as an informant in the investigation. And lastly, if anyone knows just how screwed Trump and friends are, it would be the Attorney General. He probably rolled immediately after he became AG in an effort to avoid prison time. Even if you only consider Trump’s reactions to the on-going investigation and ignore everything else we know, there is little doubt that Trump worked with the Russians.

    I’m sick of hearing the media say that the reason Trump is so focused on the investigation is because he fears it will discredit his election victory. No! He is terrified of going to prison for any number of crimes that he knows he has committed!

  18. [18] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Mezzo, Paula.

    Glad somebody else is old enough to remember or at least know about Howdy Doody. Family lore has it that my mom got me into the Peanut Gallery when I preschool age. I have absolutely no memory of this, but it's possible since my family visited relatives in NYC frequently. More likely I was on some local TV kid show clone.

    I have fairly vivid memories of the Daniel Boon TV series on WW Disney (likely reruns) and have lots of poorly shot photos of me with a coonskin cap, fringed jacket and pants, plus a (short) long rifle. My dad build me a backyard palisade fort with firing ramparts and a blockhouse with firing loops. It was very popular. Then we moved. Damn.

  19. [19] 
    Paula wrote:

    [17] Listen: "I’m sick of hearing the media say that the reason Trump is so focused on the investigation is because he fears it will discredit his election victory. No! He is terrified of going to prison for any number of crimes that he knows he has committed!"

    This: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/donald-trump-scared-mueller-investigation-d-c-outsider-he-s-ncna877681

    First sentence is: "Donald Trump is afraid of going to prison."

  20. [20] 
    Paula wrote:

    [18] TS: My Mom used to sing "It's howdy doody time!" -- but I remember watching Daniel Boone myself. Fess Parker and Ed Ames...

  21. [21] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Stig

    Can't guess where you're finding anything in my [9] post to call "bitch and complain" - 'laugh and ridicule' I can imagine, but hardly "bitch and complain", right???

    But you're right, the dust has NOT settled, but the proverbial "handwriting's on the wall", right???

  22. [22] 
    neilm wrote:

    WRT the Mueller investigation, nobody knows nothing. Mueller is holding his cards close and his insiders have shown remarkable fortitude avoiding the DC chattering forums.

    Every time Mueller has shown a card, it hasn't looked good for Trump - indictments, guilty pleas, subpoenas of key insiders, etc.

    Trump's natural reaction is to counterpunch, so you can read his state of mind about the seriousness of the charges mounting against him by his increasing desperation.

    As we've said time and time again, we need to be patient and let Mueller do his job. Then we will see if DC puts party before country. My guess is they will, sadly,

  23. [23] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Paula,

    Thank you for posting that. I have been watching too much FoxNew lately (went back to Georgia to help Dad move out of the house that was “home” for the last 43 years.)

    -R

  24. [24] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    The problem with picking off the small fry, the minor-leaguers, the nobodys that permeate all of government and all of politics, is that it just doesn't fulfill the basic urge you were so vigorously hoping for - kinda like sex sans orgasm. But hey, I presume if you're sufficiently sex-starved, perhaps it's better than no sex at all, but I really wouldn't know!

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    C. R. Stucki
    9

    Anybody else notice that the girls are setting the stage for being able to explain why, when the Trump campaign was guilty as sin of colluding with the Russskies, that when the dust all settled, years and $millions later, absolutely nothing amounting to anything, ever came from the Mueller crusade.

    How far up your backside does your head have to be for you to even remotely suggest something so asinine when Mueller has already gotten 5 guilty pleas, and the "snitch hunt" choir keeps adding singers?

    Anybody else notice that the old man has a reading comprehension problem? It's not really a difficult concept to understand that if Trump, et al. are pardoned at the federal level that there will be state charges for which there is no escape. I regret to inform you, Stucki, but Mueller and company have got the goods on Trump and company. That's why there have been so many indictments already and so many guilty pleas... with indictments under seal at the ready.

    There is no escape for Benedict Donald, and he's whining like a little witch because he knows where the hunt leads, and... yes... there are tapes! :)

  26. [26] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    10

    Gowdy is not highly motivated to help drag an unwieldy ladder to a deep hole on his last day at work....It is not Gowdy duty time.

    I like what you did there. :)

    Gowdy is privy to the classified FISA and considered his choice between a lifeboat or going down with the Trumptanic. ;)

  27. [27] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Kick

    OK, if you're one of those who can go orgasmic over some unknown Rusky hackers far from the reach of Mueller & Co. being indicted, more power to you.

    In fact, if you can get your jolloes that easily, you ought to get on their email and SCOLD them! Hell, if indicting them induces an orgasm in you, think of what scolding them would do for you!

  28. [28] 
    Paula wrote:

    [23] Listen: Does your Dad listen to FOX News? If so, can you wean him off?

    Separately, it's interesting how it skews your perception of events/news, isn't it? When they aren't outright lying/disinforming, they mold perception by NOT covering news events at all, replacing them with their endless Hillary-hunts and the like.

    FOX News is wicked.

  29. [29] 
    Kick wrote:

    Russ
    17

    My money is on Sessions being the one who is wired and plans on turning on Trump.

    The Sessions sessions. :)

    He has put up with non-stop abuse ever since he recused himself from the investigation.

    Yes, sir, and as we have discussed previously at the very time he was giving testimony, the shifty little man lied under oath... multiple times. We wondered what his answer would have been if he had known there were intercepts/tapes. :)

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2017/06/12/three-court-cases-worth-noting/#comment-102628

    His recusal allows for him to act as an informant in the investigation.

    And whether he likes it or not, he's definitely a witness, hostile or otherwise.

    And lastly, if anyone knows just how screwed Trump and friends are, it would be the Attorney General. He probably rolled immediately after he became AG in an effort to avoid prison time. Even if you only consider Trump’s reactions to the on-going investigation and ignore everything else we know, there is little doubt that Trump worked with the Russians.

    I like the way you think. :)

  30. [30] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    18

    My dad build me a backyard palisade fort with firing ramparts and a blockhouse with firing loops. It was very popular. Then we moved. Damn.

    Sounds just like our backyard, TS! We had a most excellent fort complete with a moat, guns, and alligators... mostly plastic except two real guns (no ammo) and one real alligator. I'm not kidding. When the alligator grew too large to keep, we donated him to the local zoo. :)

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    Paula
    28

    FOX News is wicked.

    They can't help themselves; if some of them seem desperate and insistent lately, it's because they know they're under investigation. :)

  32. [32] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    Paula,

    I have tried to convince him that he needs to watch something other than FoxNews, but my uncle is now living with him and he watches FoxNews 24/7. They know Trump is a liar, but the way Dad sees it, his lies are obvious while other politicians lies are much harder to uncover. He’d rather know what he is dealing with than having to trust that politicians are actually telling the truth.

    I honestly think a lot of Republicans like Trump simply because he drives the establishment -the one that is constantly screwing us over at every turn- nuts. They figure that there is no chance DC can be fixed, so if Trump is upsetting those in power, so be it! And because the economy is still chugging along, they don’t realize the long term damage that Trumps’ policies will eventually cause.

    Kick,

    I want to see that Elf AG behind bars, but I’ll probably have to make due with him getting a sweet deal for testifying against the Trump cartel.

  33. [33] 
    TheStig wrote:

    Kick-30

    What was the name of your alligator? Bitey? Thrashy?

    I used to run into alligators towards the northern end of their distribution, where they tend to be small. That said, a 5 foot gator is pretty intimidating when it rams your 10 ft John boat. You learn to put the trolling motor in full reverse as soon as you hear baby gators yelping.

  34. [34] 
    Kick wrote:

    TS
    33

    What was the name of your alligator? Bitey? Thrashy?

    The kids called him "Tick-Tock"... Peter Pan... but my father called him "Jack" (no idea why), and my mother called him "that thing." I will never forget the look on my mother's face when my father brought him home.

    He was a lazy little thing, though. We put him in the moat where he had all kinds of room to move around, but he would just sleep all day and barely move at all. We fed him worms, chicken, and marshmallows. When he got to about 2-ish feet long, my mother made my father take "that thing" to the zoo. They promised to find him a good home at another zoo; I hope they did.

    That said, a 5 foot gator is pretty intimidating when it rams your 10 ft John boat. You learn to put the trolling motor in full reverse as soon as you hear baby gators yelping.

    That sound! Tick-Tock was a quiet little thing during the day, but would yelp at night until he got his dinner and would then promptly go right back to doing nothing. He wouldn't harm a fly, but he had some sharp little teeth and looked really mean. :)

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