“When Trump demanded to know whom he’d voted for in 2016, McCabe was so shocked…”

McCabe

I finally got around to reading George Packer’s piece in The Atlantic on Trump’s attack on American institutions. It is chilling.  It reveals a mafia-style presidency.  It sheds new light on the fact that Trump demands loyalty to him, not to American institutions. And he surrounds himself with right-wing Christians like Bill Barr and Mike Pompeo to carry out his tyranny.  This passage on how Trump treated former FBI Director Andrew McCabe is revealing:

“Your only problem is that one mistake you made,” McCabe later recalled Trump saying. “That thing with your wife. That one mistake.” McCabe said nothing, and Trump went on: “That was the only problem with you. I was very hard on you during my campaign. That money from the Clinton friend—I was very hard. I said a lot of tough things about your wife in the campaign.”

“I know,” McCabe replied. “We heard what you said.” He told Trump that Jill was a dedicated doctor, that running for office had been another way for her to try to help her patients. He and their two teenage children had completely supported her decision.

“Oh, yeah, yeah. She’s great. Everybody I know says she’s great. You were right to support her. Everybody tells me she’s a terrific person.”

The next morning, while McCabe was meeting with his senior staff about the Russia investigation, the White House called—Trump was on the line. This was disturbing in itself. Presidents are not supposed to call FBI directors, except about matters of national security. To prevent the kind of political abuses uncovered by Watergate, Justice Department guidelines dating back to the mid-’70s dictate a narrow line of communication between law enforcement and the White House. Trump had repeatedly shown that he either didn’t know or didn’t care.

The president was upset that McCabe had allowed Comey to fly back from Los Angeles on the FBI’s official plane after being fired. McCabe explained the decision, and Trump exploded: “That’s not right! I never approved that!” He didn’t want Comey allowed into headquarters—into any FBI building. Trump raged on. Then he said, “How is your wife?”

“She’s fine.”

“When she lost her election, that must have been very tough to lose. How did she handle losing? Is it tough to lose?”

McCabe said that losing had been difficult but that Jill was back to taking care of children in the emergency room.

“Yeah, that must have been really tough,” the president told his new FBI director. “To lose. To be a loser.”

As McCabe held the phone, his aides saw his face go tight. Trump was forcing him into the humiliating position of not being able to stand up for his wife. It was a kind of Mafia move: asserting dominance, emotional blackmail.

“It elevates the pressure of this idea of loyalty,” McCabe told me recently. “If I can actually insult your wife and you still agree with me or go along with whatever it is I want you to do, then I have you. I have split the husband and the wife. He first tried to separate me from Comey—‘You didn’t agree with him, right?’ He tried to separate me from the institution—‘Everyone’s happy at the FBI, right?’ He boxes you into a corner to try to get you to accept and embrace whatever bullshit he’s selling, and if he can do that, then he knows you’re with him.”

McCabe would return to the conversation again and again, asking himself if he should have told Trump where to get off. But he had an organization in crisis to run. “I didn’t really need to get into a personal pissing contest with the president of the United States.”

Far from being the political conspirator of Trump’s dark imaginings, McCabe was out of his depth in an intensely political atmosphere. When Trump demanded to know whom he’d voted for in 2016, McCabe was so shocked that he could only answer vaguely: “I played it right down the middle.” The lame remark embarrassed McCabe, and he later clarified things with Trump: He was a lifelong Republican, but he hadn’t voted in 2016, because of the FBI investigations into the two candidates. This straightforward answer only deepened Trump’s suspicions.

Read the entire piece here.

James Comey and Reinhold Niebuhr

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A lot has been made of James Comey’s interest in the public theology of Reinhold Niebuhr.  We have written about it here and here and here and here.

Over at The Conversation, Penn State’s Christopher Beem continues to explore Niebuhr’s influence on Comey.  Here is a taste of his piece, “What Comey learned from the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr about ethical leadership“:

Of course, many will find all this beside the point. Many Republicans and Democrats are deeply angry with Comey.

For all their disagreements, both sides believe that while Comey paints himself as a person of moral rectitude, when confronted with extremely hard choices, he handled them badly, and our nation is still reeling from the effects.

For these Americans, Comey’s book not surprisingly conveys an air of sanctimony. But even if that’s true, it serves only to bring home a very Niebuhrian point: that while we humans strive to make the world a better place, and while we must, in Jesus’s words, look first for the mote in our own eye, we will not always succeed. We cannot always escape the worst parts of ourselves.

That decidedly Niebuhrian point is worth remembering. More to the point, at this particularly contentious moment in American political history, we, as Americans, can and should take from it this equally Niebuhrian reminder: that in this regard, Comey is not one jot different from any one of us.

Read the entire piece here.

It’s Official: Jim Comey is Tweeting Under the Name Reinhold Niebuhr

Comey

We reported on this back in March.  It now looks to be confirmed.  Comey is tweeting.

From Slate:

James Comey has quietly been on Twitter since 2014, but since that time, the former FBI director had only tweeted once—and it was only after Gizmodo blew up his spot. Then last week, as though suddenly possessed, he started tweeting, posting five times in six days, a fairly rapid rate for someone whose previous output was a single Will Ferrell joke. Still using the name Reinhold Niebuhr, for the theologian he wrote his college thesis on (and still not bothering to change the default profile picture), Comey decided to allow us a peek into his post-FBI, country-spanning, decidedly Under the Tuscan Sun–like journey of self-reflection, which has taken him from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Iowa. Yes, Iowa—the very place you go to kick the tires of a presidential run. (Comey’s wife is from Iowa, but c’mon, we all have “relatives from Iowa.”) Whether Comey is trying to lay that particular groundwork or simply feels inspired to connect with regular Americans (who can one day buy his book, which is conveniently forthcoming) is anybody’s guess. For now, all we have to go on is the tweets themselves. Let’s review them, with the forensic attentiveness Comey would no doubt demand, one by one.

Read the rest here.

Historians Are Tweeting About Comey’s Testimony

Rick Shankman has collected some tweets at History News Network.  Some tweets deal with the past.  Some do not deal with the past, but do reveal historical thinking skills. Others are straight-up political.  Decide for yourself.

My favorite remains:

“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

In case you were confused about this reference during James Comey’s testimony yesterday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sarah Pulliam Bailey explains at the Washington Post:

The reference between Comey and King goes back to an outburst from King Henry II about the Archbishop of Canterbury. The story passed down through history is that Henry II, who was frustrated by Becket, cried out, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”

Becket was then murdered by four knights.

In his book “Medieval England 1042-1228,” historian Toby Purser of the University of Northampton writes that it’s unclear whether Henry II uttered those infamous words, but the king said something that set the knights off to Canterbury Cathedral to kill Becket.

“At the third blow he fell on his knees and elbows, offering himself a living victim, and saying in a low voice, ‘For the Name of Jesus and the protection of the Church I am ready to embrace death,’ ” clerk of Cambridge Edward Grim is quoted as saying. Becket is now viewed as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

Henry II had appointed Becket, his lord chancellor, to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, thinking Becket would be more loyal to him than the pope. (At the time, the kingdom was still Catholic, and the archbishop was the leader of the church in England.) But the two faced off over church-state disagreements.

Read the entire piece here.

 

We are the #19Percent

 

RoadYesterday James Comey, a former Methodist Sunday School teacher and Reinhold Neibuhr fan, was calling Donald Trump a liar before the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Near the end of Comey’s appearance on Capitol Hill,  the POTUS was speaking to the annual meeting of the Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC). The irony is too hard to pass up.

FFC is the brainchild of Ralph Reed, the Christian nationalist who came of age in the 1990s as Pat Robertson’s right-hand man and the first executive director of the Christian Coalition.

Reed disappeared from God and country politics in 2005 after he was implicated in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal.  In essence, he helped Abramoff mobilize evangelicals to help close casinos on Indian reservations.  He was paid for his efforts by rival casinos.  When Reed expressed concern that the evangelical constituency of his Christian Coalition might not look too favorably on such an arrangement, Abramoff laundered his fees through other organizations.  As Alex Gibney put it in a September 2010 piece in The Atlantic: “there was probably nothing illegal about what Reed did. But, he was engaged in a kind of spiritual fraud: telling his supporters that he was opposed to gambling when, in fact, gambling was making him rich.”

After laying low for a few years, Reed created the FFC in 2009.  He describes his organization as a 21st century version of the Christian Coalition.  This is a good description.  The FFC appeals to evangelicals of a certain age who are nostalgic for the glory days of the Christian Right.  It fuses traditional evangelical moral values with free market capitalism, tax reform, national defense, the GOP, and the support of Israel.

The 2017 FFC conference got underway yesterday.  The theme is “Road to Majority.” So much for the narrow road of Jesus as laid out in Matthew 7.

Speakers include Trump, Mike Pence, Mitch McConnell, Mark Meadows, Joni Ernst, Ted Cruz, Michael Medved, Pat Boone, Grover Norquist, Eric Metaxas, and James Dobson.  It seems to be a very friendly place for the Court Evangelicals.

Here is Trump’s speech:

A few more thoughts.

  • Trump begins by acknowledging that 81% of evangelicals voted for him in November 2016. He said,  “We got 81% of the vote.  I want to know, who are the 19%? Who are they? Where do they come from?” Well, I think it’s time to let Trump know that we are here. Let’s try to revive the hashtag #19percent.
  • When historians study what happened in the United States on June 8, 2017, they will inevitably compare the humility of Comey before the Senate to the arrogance of Trump’s speech before evangelicals.  These comparisons will not be missed.
  • Trump says “we are under siege.”  Who is under siege?  Is this a veiled reference to the Comey hearing?  Does he mean that evangelicals are under siege?  But Trump continues:  “we will come out bigger and better and stronger than ever, you watch.” Since when does the Christian gospel teach us to seek political power that makes us bigger, better, and stronger than ever?  The Court Evangelicals love this stuff.  The crowd goes wild.
  • Trump says his “one goal” is to fight for America and “America First.”  Do any other Christians get a bit queasy when the Court Evangelicals cheer “America First?”
  • Trump doesn’t stop there.  He actually has the audacity to quote Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do right; seek justice.  Defend the oppressed.  Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” (Someone in Trump’s camp must know that evangelicals love the New International Version).  I want to hear Trump apply this verse to his budget proposal, his (now long-term) plans for a border wall, his health care plan that will keep over 20 million people uninsured, and his attempt to ban refugees.  And yes, the Court Evangelicals applaud.
  • Trump takes credit in this speech for repealing the so-called Johnson Amendment. Actually, The amendment is still on the books. Only Congress can change this amendment to the tax code. Trump says that repealing the Johnson Amendment “was a big deal and a very important thing for me to do for you, and we are not finished yet.” What does Trump mean by “not finished yet?”  Does he plan to continue to support the Christian nationalism of the Court Evangelicals?  Is there a connection between this vision for America and his attempt to ban Muslims from entering the country?  “We are not finished yet.”  Somewhere David Barton must have been smiling.
  • Trump says that “we are here to celebrate two values that have always been linked together…faith and freedom.”  As an American historian it is hard to argue with this statement. Evangelicals have been linking these things for a long, long time.
  • Speaking of history, Trump says “Benjamin Franklin reminded his colleagues at the Constitutional Convention to begin by bowing their heads in prayer.” I am not sure what Trump is referring to here because this did not happen. Those who want to explore this further should check out pp. 151-152 of Was America Founded as a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction.

Proud to be a member of the #19percent.

Comey Channels Reinhold Niebuhr

Comety

James Comey and Reinhold Niebuhr (from The Episcopal Cafe)

We have done some posts this year on the James Comey-Reinhold Niebuhr connection. You can read them here and here and here.  I have followed Comey on Twitter @projectexile7, but his tweets are protected and he hasn’t accepted my follow request yet.  Stay tuned!

Comey is a big Neibuhr fan.  He wrote about Niebuhr in his senior thesis at The College of William and Mary. Frankly, I really wish I could sit down and have a cup of coffee with Comey.  I would love to talk with him about how and if Niebuhr’s still shapes his thinking about public life.

So was Niebuhr’s ghost present during Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee?  Yes.

1. Niebuhr valued humility.  It was clear to me that Comey does too.

When asked “do you want to say anything as to why we should believe you?”  Comey responded with this:

My mother raised me not to say things like this about myself so I’m not going to. I think people should look at the whole body of my testimony. As I used to say to juries, when I talked about a witness, you can’t cherry pick it.

2.  Niebuhr loved irony.  Though historian Julian Zelizer‘s tweet does not apply directly to Comey, it is still worth noting.

3.  Niebuhr was pessimistic about human nature.

When Mark Warner asked Comey what led him to take notes after his first meeting with Trump, Comey replied:

A combination of things. I think the circumstances, the subject matter, and the person I was interacting with. Circumstances, first — I was alone with the president of the United States, or the president-elect, soon to be president.

The subject matter I was talking about, matters that touch on the FBI’s core responsibility, and that relate to the president — the president-elect personally — and then the nature of the person. I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I thought it important to document. That combination of things I had never experienced before, but had led me to believe I got to write it down and write it down in a very detailed way.

4.  Niebuhr spoke truth to power.

Here is a taste of Comey’s opening remarks:

And although the law required no reason at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me and more importantly the FBI by saying that the organization was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple. And I am so sorry that the FBI workforce had to hear them, and I’m so sorry that the American people were told them.

I only wish he would have been more Niebuhrian to Trump’s face during their meetings. But I guess that’s where the humility comes in.  Reinhold is smiling.

Primary Sources for a Future History Class

Trump on May 19, 2017:

Former FBI Director Jim Comey on June 7, 2017:

On February 14, I went to the Oval Office for a scheduled counterterrorism briefing of the President. He sat behind the desk and a group of us sat in a semi-circle of about six chairs facing him on the other side of the desk. The Vice President, Deputy Director of the CIA, Director of the National CounterTerrorism Center, Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and I were in the semi-circle of chairs. I was directly facing the President, sitting between the Deputy CIA Director and the Director of NCTC. There were quite a few others in the room, sitting behind us on couches and chairs.

The President signaled the end of the briefing by thanking the group and telling them all that he wanted to speak to me alone. I stayed in my chair. As the participants started to leave the Oval Office, the Attorney General lingered by my chair, but the President thanked him and said he wanted to speak only with me. The last person to leave was Jared Kushner, who also stood by my chair and exchanged pleasantries with me. The President then excused him, saying he wanted to speak with me.

When the door by the grandfather clock closed, and we were alone, the President began by saying, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn.” Flynn had resigned the previous day. The President began by saying Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong in speaking with the Russians, but he had to let him go because he had misled the Vice President. He added that he had other concerns about Flynn, which he did not then specify.

The President then made a long series of comments about the problem with leaks of classified information — a concern I shared and still share. After he had spoken for a few minutes about leaks, Reince Priebus leaned in through the door by the grandfather clock and I could see a group of people waiting behind him. The President waved at him to close the door, saying he would be done shortly. The door closed.

The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, “He is a good guy and has been through a lot.” He repeated that Flynn hadn’t done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” I replied only that “he is a good guy.” (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.) I did not say I would “let this go.”

The President returned briefly to the problem of leaks. I then got up and left out the door by the grandfather clock, making my way through the large group of people waiting there, including Mr. Priebus and the Vice President.

I immediately prepared an unclassified memo of the conversation about Flynn and discussed the matter with FBI senior leadership. I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign. I could be wrong, but I took him to be focusing on what had just happened with Flynn’s departure and the controversy around his account of his phone calls. Regardless, it was very concerning, given the FBI’s role as an independent investigative agency.

Even More on the Niebuhr-Comey Connection

COmeyWe have done a few posts over the past year about James Comey’s undergraduate thesis at The College of William and Mary.  The thesis compared the political theologies of Reinhold Niebuhr and Jerry Falwell.

Over at Christianity Today, University of Pennsylvania religion professor Steven Weitzman probes deeper into the Comey-Niebuhr connection, especially in light of very current events.

Here is a taste of his piece “The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict“: 

Many Christian theologians in Niebuhr’s day embraced love as the solution to the world’s problems. As Comey explains in the thesis, Niebuhr rejected that view. Since human selfishness gets in the way of perfectly emulating Jesus’ sacrificial love, they must instead inject love into the world through justice.

Reading Comey’s description of Niebuhr’s views suggests a theological-moral logic at work in his career as FBI director. A Christian has an obligation to seek justice, the theologian argued, and this means entering the political sphere because that is the realm where one can find the power necessary to establish whatever justice is possible in the world. Comey’s decision to work for the FBI can be understood as a way of fulfilling Niebuhr’s vision of Christianity as a defender of justice.

At the same time, however, the Christian commitment to justice can also compel one to behave like a prophet, to speak truth to power, as Niebuhr himself did during the era of Comey’s most infamous predecessor, J. Edgar Hoover.

By the late 1960s, Niebuhr had cofounded an anti-war clergy group deemed suspicious by the FBI, and one of his cofounders, the Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan, had been the subject of an FBI manhunt, arrested and sentenced to three years in jail. Niebuhr, a subject of FBI surveillance himself, was no fan of the bureau and felt moved to speak out against it.35ad1-niebuhr

In an essay called “The King’s Chapel and the King’s Court” published in 1969, Niebuhr rebuked Hoover himself, comparing his spying on Martin Luther King, Jr. to the actions of the biblical Amaziah, a priest who abused the prophet Amos in an effort to suppress his critique.

It is ironic that Comey admires a figure who felt he had to denounce a previous FBI director. What is even more ironic, however, is that the essay anticipates the predicament Comey himself faced when, on January 27—in the midst of the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn for his contacts with the Russians—he was invited to dinner with Trump and asked to declare his loyalty. At the time he wrote his thesis, Comey could have had no idea that he would one day be summoned to the court of the king and then, like Amos, driven out for not saying what the king wanted to hear.

It is tempting to read Comey’s thesis as an explanation for how has conducted himself as FBI director over the last year.

Niebuhr’s writings supply a moral argument for Comey’s aggressive assertion of the FBI’s power—some describe him as the most aggressive FBI director since Hoover himself. His influence also sheds light on another side of Comey’s conduct as FBI director. Niebuhr noted that while humans can’t change the animal nature that makes them so selfish, they can achieve a kind of freedom from their situation by becoming self-conscious, by recognizing the truth about themselves. Comey has sought to institutionalize such self-awareness in the FBI through programs that encourage FBI trainees to learn about Hoover’s mistreatment of Martin Luther King Jr. and the complicity of law enforcement in the Holocaust.

But the theologian’s influence potentially sheds light on yet another side of Comey’s conduct as well. For a student of Niebuhr, justice is about using power to balance the power of those not predisposed to recognize any limits on their self-interest. Perhaps this helps to explain why Comey felt he had to criticize Clinton even though he found no reason to pursue a legal case against her. At that time she seemed to be on her way to becoming the most powerful person in the world, and her email troubles suggested someone who did not sufficiently respect limits.

Read the rest here.

Some Historical Perspective on the Watergate-Comey Comparison

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Nixon’s resignation speech (Wikipedia)

Princeton University historian Julian Zelizer and Brandeis University historian Martin Keller wonder if current comparisons between Watergate and the firing of James Comey are just another way for liberals, progressives, and Democrats to score political points.

Here is a taste of their conversation at The Atlantic:

Morton Keller: Julian, yours is a strongly argued, but highly partisan, criticism of Trump’s action in dismissing James Comey from the directorship of the FBI. My view of the episode is more complicated—as I think the episode itself is.

Watergate was a steadily expanding scandal: the break-in, the coverup, the dirty tricks campaign against the opposition using the FBI, the CIA, and the IRS.

This was hardly a one-party event. The Senate established a Select Committee in a 77-0  vote. Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment—of necessity a two-party threat.

And what is the current status of the supposed Russia-Trump connection, the current counterpart to Watergate? To paraphrase Chicago’s former Mayor Daley: lots of allegations, but damn few alligators.

Let us accept that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to see Trump elected (though given Hillary’s reset efforts, and the isolationist, small-American profile of her party, that preference needs more explaining). But how much solid, Watergate-like evidence is there that Russian hacking, etc., made much difference in the election? Or are we supposed to swallow whole the risible idea that the disgruntled working-class (and middle-class) Trump voters of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin were receptive to Putin’s blandishments? Even in the current out-of-control politics of our time, that is a stretch.

I’m quite ready to see what emerges with respect to Trump, his associates, and Putin. But to airily equate the still far-from-demonstrated fact of significant Russian influence in the election (compared, say, to Hillary’s massive missteps) with the incontrovertible facts of Watergate is something I’m not prepared to do.

There is another defect in any meaningful Watergate-Comey comparison. The departures of special prosecutor Archibald Cox and Attorney General Elliot Richardson were sought by Nixon and his aides alone. The Democrats have been baying for Comey’s scalp since the days of the election. To erupt in high dudgeon when Trump—quite legally, if questionable politically—fired him, is to bring political hypocrisy to a high level indeed. Do you think for a moment that if Hillary Clinton was president, Comey’s tenure could be counted in more than milliseconds? Would she have bounced him because he had been a political detriment? Of course.

Did Trump do it because of the Russian inquiry? Perhaps—though there was good reason for him to have had doubts about Comey from the beginning of his presidency. Did he do it with typically Trumpian ham-handedness? You bet. Can more come out about Trump and Putin, Russia and the election, than we know now? Possibly. Has it yet? Not to my knowledge. As historians, we should not rush to judgment until there is good and sufficient evidentiary reason to do so.

At present, I don’t think the action is a demonstration of authoritarianism—any more than former President Barack Obama’s playing fast and loose with the handling of illegal immigrants or the specifics of Obamacare was. That’s just the sort of things that presidents do.

Read the back and forth here.

Some Historical Context on the Comey Firing

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Historians Brian Balogh and Nathan Connolly talk about the context on WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station.

Listen here.

A summary:

President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey has drawn historical comparisons to the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” in 1973, in which President Richard Nixon fired the special prosecutor who had been investigating the Watergate scandal.

But historians Brian Balogh (@historyfellow) and Nathan Connolly (@ndbconnolly) tell Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that to fully understand the relationship between a president and FBI director, one must look further back to J. Edgar Hoover, who oversaw the bureau under six presidents from 1924 to 1972.

Balogh and Connolly are co-hosts of the podcast BackStory, which is produced at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.

Is James Comey Tweeting as Reinhold Niebuhr?

COmey

Could this really be true? (Let’s also remember that we just dropped Episode 19 of The Way of Improvement Leads Home Podcast.  It focuses on Niebuhr.).

From The New York Daily News:

A Twitter account named after a prominent theologian has amassed a huge number of followers after a report suggested that it belongs to FBI Director James Comey.

The handle @Projectexile7, which goes by the name Reinhold Niebuhr, is “almost certainly” the secret account that Comey recently referenced, according to Gizmodo reporter Ashley Feinberg.

Feinberg stops short of saying that the account, which had only a handful of followers before she published her story Thursday afternoon, definitely belongs to the FBI head.

Despite a lack of verification about @Projectexile7’s origin, the account had become a phenomenon of its own, with more than 5,000 followers about an hour after the possible Comey connection was alleged.

Though it has not been proven to be anything other than a random barely active account on Twitter, it was soon deluged with comments joking about his supposed uncovering or wishing him luck in investigations.

Its follower count had ballooned to more than 8,000 by Thursday evening, when it issued what seemed to be a response to the report.

“Actually I’m not even mad. That’s amazing,” Reinhold Neibuhr posted with a picture of the movie “Anchorman” and a link to the FBI jobs website….

Evidence presented by Feinberg includes the fact that Reinhold Niebuhr, the famed Union Theological Seminary professor, was the reported subject of Comey’s senior thesis at the College of William and Mary.

Read the entire piece here.