10 May 2017

BBC: Did Trump fire Comey as part of a cover-up?

By John Mecklin

As much as the Bulletin is concerned with global threats—nuclear weapons, climate change, and other technologies that could end or seriously diminish human civilization—it is even more focused on the management of those dangers. Governments, after all, choose whether to start nuclear wars. Simply put, preserving humanity over the long term requires good governance.

If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey amid an FBI investigation of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia has raised questions, at home and abroad, about the quality of US governance and the character of the US-Russia relationship. As one might expect, The Washington Post offered a thorough lineup of fact and opinion pieces on the Comey ouster, including a “Daily 202” column notable for its ferocious documentation of a fierce thesis: “Firing FBI director Comey is already backfiring on Trump. It’s only going to get worse.” Also notable is Jennifer Rubin’s column calling on the Justice Department official who argued in writing for the Comey firing, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, to seek appointment of a special prosecutor to lead the Trump-Russia inquiry—and then to consider resigning, “perhaps the one act that could save his reputation and restore the integrity of the Justice Department.”

The New York Times coverage of the Comey firestorm was also broad and deep, including the revelation that Comey had, just days before he was fired, requested funding to expand the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. The Times’ editorial board directly accused Trump of trying to squelch investigation “into what could be one of the biggest political scandals in the country’s history.”

NPR, meanwhile, listed all the “flavors”—Democratic and Republican—of calls for an independent investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and noted that Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared to be violating his vow to recuse himself from the Russia-Trump case by participating in the search for a new FBI director.

BBC News directly asked the central question raised by the Comey firing (Did President Trump fire James Comey as part of a cover-up?”), and the South China Morning Post and even Saudi Arabia’s major English-language newspaper, the Arab News, published fairly straightforward and balanced reportage on the Comey firing.

The coverage by RT, the Kremlin-backed propaganda venue that packages itself as a news organization, was predictably dismissive of concerns about Trump administration connections to or collusion with Russian efforts to influence the presidential election or the president himself. The headline on the RT home page? “(Russian Foreign Minister Sergey) Lavrov trolls NBC before Trump meeting as US media, Democrats lose it over Russia.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publication Name: 
BBC News