Trump's Republican defenders are stipulating that Trump is a liar

Donald trump james comeyAndrew Harrer/Pool,Getty ImagesU.S. President Donald Trump (C) shakes hands with James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), during an Inaugural Law Enforcement Officers and First Responders Reception in the Blue Room of the White House on January 22, 2017 in Washington, DC.

President Donald Trump has made an allegation of serious criminal wrongdoing against former FBI Director James Comey, and Trump’s Republican allies are mostly ignoring the accusation.

Trump says Comey lied under oath about two important matters in his testimony before Congress last week. Trump never asked Comey for his loyalty, he says. And Trump never asked Comey to “let go” the criminal investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump claims.

Perjury is a serious matter. Yet other Republican politicians are taking Trump’s accusation against Comey about as seriously as they took his claim last year that Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Instead, they are fixating on Comey’s admission that he provided one or more unclassified memos about his conversations with Trump to a friend, with the intention that his friend share the contents of the memos with the media. Unlike perjury, this is not a crime.

Isn’t this weird?

Usually, if a president makes a claim of criminal wrongdoing against someone he fired from his administration  — someone who is providing damaging testimony against that administration  — you would expect his co-partisans to latch onto that claim.

Why aren’t Republicans in Congress outraged that Comey lied under oath to impugn the character of the president, according to the president? Where are the calls for Comey to be indicted? Why aren’t they chanting, “Lock him up?” 

The choice by most elected Republicans to to politely ignore Trump’s perjury accusations against Comey reflect Trump’s complete lack of credibility. Not only do his co-partisans not believe him, they’re not even going to try to pretend to believe him.

And yet, here we are.

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