THE hotly anticipated appearance before the Senate Intelligence committee of James Comey, whom Donald Trump fired as the FBI’s director last month, was scheduled to begin after The Economist went to press on June 8th. But his written statement, released the previous day, offered an explosive preview. In it Mr Comey related how, at a private dinner at the White House on January 27th, Mr Trump ominously advised him that many people wanted his job, explaining: “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.” Mr Comey added the small but telling detail that he received the invitation that very day—in other words, right after Sally Yates, then the acting attorney general, had told the White House that Michael Flynn, then the national-security adviser, was vulnerable to Russian blackmail and had been interviewed by the FBI.
That, in Mr Comey’s words, was “a very awkward conversation”. So was an encounter in the…Continue reading