I Was Right About James Comey: When my appearance on CNN illustrated the FBI scandal before anyone else imagined it was even possible

I have to say I’m just a little proud of myself. It was the beginning of June in 2017 when a friend of mine called to invite me to be a part of a group of CNN viewers to watch the James Comey testimony in front of Congress. The whole things was set up at Rick’s Tavern in Fairfield, Ohio. The CNN producer Stephen Samaniego had picked a place on the map in the heart of Trump country and wanted to gauge audience reaction to what they thought would be really damning testimony from the recently fired FBI Director. I knew what I was saying yes to and understood that CNN was hoping to catch us flat-footed with overwhelming evidence that President Trump had obstructed justice by firing Comey to stop an investigation into some mystical collusion with Russia to win the American election. So I showed up with about 8 or 9 other people early in the morning as CNN was setting up the popular sports bar as a viewing center. When the testimony started the CNN team was kind enough to buy us all lunch and film us as we watched the hearing unfold. It was an interesting experience. Throughout the testimony most of the people left before it was done leaving me and one other woman there until the conclusion.

I love that kind of thing. I have a busy life professionally, but I usually take time for big national events like this testimony. Even if CNN hadn’t invited me on the air to talk about it, I would have taken the day to watch it, so I was quite happy to stay for the entire event and speak with the CNN people afterwards. As anti-Trump as their network was, the crew with me were pretty neutral guys. We talked about regional bubbles which is why they wanted to come to Trump country and how different regions of the country had different perspectives, which I agreed with. We talked about the signs that something was wrong with John McCain who just a few months later would be diagnosed with a serious terminal ailment. We talked about what a great location Rick’s Tavern was for an understanding of the typical Trump voter. I was with CNN for another hour or so after the event ended and they seemed interested in my perspectives.

We were all told to come back later that evening for the Anderson Cooper show where we’d give live feedback to questions asked of us about the Comey testimony. I had taken copious amounts of notes during the testimony and there were a lot of fishy things said that gave me very strong opinions about the nature of James Comey—who up to that point I had been willing to give the benefit of the doubt. I thought he was an honest cop who had gotten caught in a political cross fire—but his testimony revealed holes that apparently only I could see, because the CNN guys thought the evidence against Trump was overwhelming in an obstruction of justice case. Again, the attribution to our differing points of view at that moment was thought to be regional. But to me it was just pure logic, so I had a feeling that I was going to be called on as a feature during the Cooper segment.

The mood of that night was against Trump supporters. On the surface Comey came across as a nice guy who was believable. I have however a built-in bullshit detector that had serious alarm bells going off inside me, and my instinct told me that Comey was up to no good. That bullshit detector is something I have learned to trust over the years as it is almost always correct. I don’t always let the people know whom I’m dealing with that I know they are giving me bullshit. There are tactical advantages to not saying so, and given that this was a CNN event, I didn’t come right out and announce my thoughts to the producers—rather I let them talk most. When they called on me during the Anderson Cooper segment I was free to articulate the situation the way I truly felt about it, which was to compare Comey to the fiction writer Ian Fleming of the famous James Bond series. James Comey to me after his testimony was a radical hiding behind a good old American façade who fancied himself as some kind of secret agent saving the world from itself, so I said as much to the millions of people watching and in hind-sight, I’m very proud of it.

On the cusp of the congressional memo announcing in grim detail how the FBI abused its power to spy on the Trump transition team inspiring a phony Russian conspiracy to shield the real criminal behavior that our top law enforcement agency in America had actually conducted—I am happy to say that when it mattered most, I called it correctly. Now the rest of America is about to learn what I’ve been saying for many years, and the proof is right there in front of everyone to deal with—just as I told you it would be many years ago. The only real collusion that occurred during the 2016 election was between the Democratic Party and our very own FBI. And Comey was the ring leader. When I stated to CNN that Comey was more inclined to fiction than the truth it went against all conventional thinking on that early June day in 2017.

After the show was over and the CNN guys were packing up their equipment we spoke for a little and I wondered if they’d be angry with me for saying what I did. After all, I thought I was pretty kind in how I said it—and as it turned out, they liked the statement and even went so far to feature it on their YouTube site. Rush Limbaugh picked it up the following day and I felt I had done a pretty good job. It was however only over the coming months that slowly I would be proven right. As it usually is, people who make bold predictions or say things that aren’t yet accepted as reality are ridiculed and at that time saying that Comey and the FBI were up to fictional testimony to hide a crime they committed was very scandalous and was an extraordinary thing to do. But now we are all learning that what I said wasn’t at all outlandish. It was rather, quite factual.

Like I said, I have a built-in bullshit detector. I know a lot more about people than I let on because once you say something, you can never take it back, and often that’s not the way to communicate most effectively with others. With the CNN guys, I had a chance to tell millions of people my thoughts about James Comey just hours after his testimony and without question because I made it easy for others to follow, I played a small part in shaping the defense of Trump in some critical hours when the White House needed it most and now that the FBI has been caught—I am extremely proud of my position so early on. That’s certainly not the first time for me nor will it be my last—but it feels good when the current seems against you to stand up to the pressure and trust your instincts—then to be confirmed correct. If I had been a rambling partisan, they likely wouldn’t have put me on television and who knows what would have happened next. Its one thing to be right, but if you really want to communicate it’s not always best to rub the nose of your opponent into their own excrement. Sometimes you have to let them come to things in their own way. Sometimes you do want to rub their face in it, but usually that’s not the best thing. But when it comes to standing up to the FBI and going against an icon of justice that James Comey was before that day of testimony, it wasn’t easy to sit there in Rick’s Tavern and declare that the former FBI Director was lying. But he was, and I’m very glad to have been one of the first to say so. Now, when I say that the Democratic Party is about to destroy itself, maybe you’ll listen to my thoughts a little more carefully dear reader.

Rich Hoffman

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