(National Sentinel) Frame Job: During several media appearances in which he promoted his new book, “A Higher Loyalty,” fired FBI Director James Comey has given conflicting statements regarding President Donald J. Trump’s first national security adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.The conflicting claims center around an interview Flynn had with FBI agents during the Team Trump transition to the White House in January 2017.
According to newly released documents pertaining to testimony Comey gave to the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017, Comey said that agents had no inkling or indication to believe that Flynn was lying to them regarding his contacts with a Russian diplomat after the November election.
Comey told members that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn “saw nothing that indicated to them that [General Flynn] knew he was lying to them,” according to the documents.
The agents — one of whom was anti-Trump counterterrorism official Peter Strzok — reported back to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe they did not think Flynn was lying to them.
McCabe, aware that Flynn’s conversations with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak did not match up perfectly, nevertheless told the committee as well, “The two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying, [which] was not [a] great beginning of a false statement case,” according to the report.
Comey added that “the agents…discerned no physical indications of deception. They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them,” he said.
But during interviews for his book, Comey has been recounting a different version of events.
As Byron York of the Washington Examiner reports:
Comey has been asked about the matter in some of the publicity interviews he has given for his new book, A Higher Loyalty. In those interviews, Comey has denied telling lawmakers that the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe Flynn had lied.
“No,” Comey told Fox News’ Bret Baier. “I don’t know what — maybe someone misunderstood something I said. I didn’t believe that and didn’t say that.”
“Not true,” Comey told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
“I don’t know where that’s coming from,” Comey told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “That — unless I’m — I said something that people misunderstood, I don’t remember even intending to say that. So my recollection is I never said that to anybody.”
“The newly released portions do not resolve all the questions about the Comey-Flynn episode,” York adds.
“Did Comey think that the agents were wrong, and that their normal practices to detect deception had just not worked with Flynn, and that Flynn was in fact lying? Did Comey believe that Flynn had honestly forgotten some of the things the agents asked about? Was there some other explanation?”
He noted further that the House Intelligence Committee is pressing the Intelligence Community to un-redact more of the testimony so they can answer more of those questions.
But on the surface, it appears that Comey’s public statements are not aligning with his released testimony.