Comey testimony lights up social media, Illinois pols

Jun 08, 2017

If 2017 has taught us anything, it’s that the news never stops. After last week, which was filled with updates on Kathy Griffith’s severed career and uproar over President Donald Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord, we were all looking for a break. Maybe watch a competitive NBA Finals, or shop for a Father’s Day gift.

Nope. This is America. And in America, there are no weeks off. Ever.

And so we dive into the media madness that is the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey. On Thursday, Comey sat before the Senate Intelligence Committee, laying into the Trump administration which, he said, tried to smear him.

ICYMI: Trump fired Comey in May. Several sources, including Comey, claim Trump grew frustrated with the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential election. Comey said Trump asked him to stop the investigations and demanded “loyalty” to his administration in private conversations.

During Thursday’s testimony, Comey said he took detailed notes of those talks because he did not trust Trump and thought the president might lie about their discussions.

We’re sure you’ve been bombarded with Comey coverage, so we’re impressed if you’re still reading at this point. Double thumbs up if you made it this far in the day without a drink. Some in the D.C. area couldn’t make it beyond brunch without a testimony-themed breakfast and a cold one.

So we’ll spare you the blow-by-blow and just sum up a few key highlights from the hearing:

  • Comey leaked the notes from his conversations with Trump, hoping there would be a special prosecutor appointed to the Russia investigation.
  • Comey declined to comment on whether he thought Trump obstructed justice when he was fired from his post as FBI director.
  • According to Comey, Trump told him he was doing ‘a great job’ before his ousting.
  • Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., graced the hearing with a string of bizarre questions, and then blamed the Arizona Diamondbacks for the performance. He stayed up late to watch the baseball game, which the D’backs won over the San Diego Padres, 7-4. (Disclaimer: While journalists are meant to remain objective on most topics, some on the Reboot staff personally think this excuse was pretty funny.

But how did your elected representatives respond to the news of the Comey hearing? Republicans were pretty quiet as the details unfolded. In fact, we looked at the websites and social media accounts of multiple federal- and state-level officials, but could not find any immediate reaction to the testimony.

Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of the Chicago-based Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit group, said he believed the testimony was a distraction. Many Republicans echoed that sentiment, and called the Russian investigation a political witch hunt.

Illinois’ Democratic members of Congress, however, were a little more vocal.

U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin both said Comey’s testimony proved the need for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to complete a thorough investigation of Russian meddling.


Mr. Comey’s testimony about the President’s behavior should concern any American who respects the basic rule of law and our democratic institutions. Let’s be clear: the former FBI Director has now testified under oath that he believes the President lied and may be under investigation for obstructing an active investigation into Russia’s interference in our democracy. These accusations are not normal and they transcend petty partisanship. Special Counsel Mueller must now swiftly complete a transparent, impartial and independent investigation to ensure the American people learn the truth.


The question for the American people is: who do you trust? Director Comey kept extensive records of what the President asked of him, and agreed to testify publicly under oath. That speaks volumes. No person—not even the President—should try to influence or stop a criminal investigation. Special Counsel Mueller is investigating any criminal activity, and he is the right person for this historic assignment.

Members of the U.S. House had a similar message. Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Chicago, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement the testimony raised “serious concerns.”

It’s important to recall the central focus of these Congressional probes—Russian interference into our 2016 Presidential election. Today, Director Comey clearly reinforced that the United States was attacked by an opportunistic foreign adversary with the goal of undermining our democracy. Director Comey testified that despite directly contacting him on nine separate occasions, not once did President Trump inquire about how we can prevent future Russian hacking. This apparent lack of interest in getting to the bottom of Russian interference in our elections is perhaps one of the most troubling things to come out of this hearing. Today’s testimony was an important step forward in what will continue to be a thorough investigation. I remain as committed as ever to following the facts, wherever they lead.

Remember, especially after all this drama, that it’s important to step away from the news every once and awhile. Go outside. Pet a dog. Grab some gelato. Stay off social media for as long as you can — anything to help you avoid the constant news overload and, more importantly, to keep you from losing your sanity.

Related: Reboot Illinois poll: Rauner up 8 points over Quinn; Democrat dominant in Chicago
Sep 03, 2014

Copyright 2014, Reboot Illinois A new Reboot Illinois poll  shows a tightening in the race between Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner as a Libertarian candidate for the…

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