“Lies are a little fortress; inside them you feel safe and powerful. Through your little fortress of lies you try to run your life and manipulate others. But the fortress needs walls, so you build some. These are justifications for your lies.”

— William Paul Young, author (b. 1955)


President Donald Trump “is not a liar” is what Sarah Huckabee, Trump’s deputy press secretary, said to reporters during a press briefing in response to the testimony given, under oath, by former FBI Director James Comey last week, which often implied that our president was lying, and several times downright accused Trump of doing so.

Trump followed up on the back of Huckabee and told the press, and his Twitter followers, that he is not a liar and doubled down by calling Comey a liar, and being dismissively suggesting the Russia investigation is “a politically motivated stunt orchestrated by adversaries bitter about [his] victory in November.”

History is being made while history is being repeated.

The White House and Trump’s “I am not a liar” sounds like a remake from Nixon’s “I am not a crook” and, from history, we know where that ended up.

And the “he said, she said; you’re a liar” reminds me of the schoolyard taunt with Trump calling out to anyone who will listen “Liar, liar, pants on fire” about Comey.

That’s part of the problem with Trump; while Comey, under oath, gives a credible account of what happened, Trump stays on the sidelines and cries foul, says this vindicates him (maybe in his world and in the world of those who believe that Trump can do nothing wrong – or illegal), and promises 100 percent to tell his version, under oath.

We know that, like his income taxes becoming public once the audit is over, this will never happen, at least not voluntarily. It just won’t, and I have $1,000 to bet should anyone want to take me up on a little wager that, while in office, President Donald J. Trump will never voluntarily, under oath, speak in front of Congress or the Senate, about this matter. He says he will, 100 percent, but he says and tweets a lot of things that never happen; and, by the way, it’s always someone else’s fault.

He won the presidency by skirting the truth, and then began his presidency by telling House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in their very first meeting that he won the popular vote. He then bragged to the world that the attendance at his inauguration was the largest ever, and on it goes.

The takeaways I got from the Comey hearings were twofold.

First, Comey is credible. It seems obvious that he loves his country and he respects and loves his former colleagues, and the institution itself, of the FBI.

Second, when asked why we should believe him; he began to speak and then stopped, citing something (implied) his mother had taught him. The inference was that his mother taught him humility; saying he was better than anyone else, or that he was on the moral high ground was bragging, and he wasn’t going to do that.

So instead, he thoughtfully told the committee that they should decide for themselves and so should the American people. He shared that from his years of being a prosecutor, where you can’t trust anyone or their testimony; he relied on a couple of indicators.

One was he always looks at the body of work of a person. What has the person done over a long time period? You look for patterns. The other was to create a judgment of the person; in other words what is that person’s credibility range?

In both these cases, it is hard for me not to see the weight of my foot in the Comey camp. Comey seemed comfortable in the fact that he does not know it all, and perhaps did not do everything correctly, but rather he did it all to the best of his ability (which, by most accounts, is a pretty high standard).

He even admitted to leaking certain information to the mainstream press and told us why; he wanted a special prosecutor named to the case, and that’s exactly what happened with the appointment of Robert Mueller.

I was not a fan of the leaking, but after listening to the “why” and seeing the result, my comfort level improved.

In most professional sports they have gone to instant replay in an effort to take some of the human emotion, guesswork, and fragility out of close calls. The idea is simply that they want to get the calls right and do not want the game affected by an incorrect call, if possible.

This isn’t sports, this is real life, but shouldn’t we demand the same thing? Getting it right should be all that is important, and most believe that will happen with Mueller in the lead.

While Comey comes out as credible to me, Trump’s responses are typical Trump and not credible. It is a classic Trump response to all criticism to change the subject, divert the conversation, and use Twitter and his minions (now, in the Comey matter, including both his sons in this case) to discredit the other side.

As Trump himself might put it; “sad.”