In a new op-ed, James Comey explained how Trump’s lies had eaten the souls of everyone around him and the Republican Party.
It starts with your sitting silent while he lies, both in public and private, making you complicit by your silence. In meetings with him, his assertions about what “everyone thinks” and what is “obviously true” wash over you, unchallenged, as they did at our private dinner on Jan. 27, 2017, because he’s the president and he rarely stops talking. As a result, Mr. Trump pulls all of those present into a silent circle of assent.
Speaking rapid-fire with no spot for others to jump into the conversation, Mr. Trump makes everyone a co-conspirator to his preferred set of facts, or delusions. I have felt it — this president building with his words a web of alternative reality and busily wrapping it around all of us in the room.
I must have agreed that he had the largest inauguration crowd in history because I didn’t challenge that. Everyone must agree that he has been treated very unfairly. The web building never stops.
From the private circle of assent, it moves to public displays of personal fealty at places like cabinet meetings. While the entire world is watching, you do what everyone else around the table does — you talk about how amazing the leader is and what an honor it is to be associated with him.
Comey continues to document the progression until Donald Trump has eaten your soul.
James Comey explains what happened to the Republican Party
Comey described what happens to individuals in Trump’s orbit perfectly. The corruption starts small, but from the first moment, Donald Trump is working to destroy personal integrity and values. What Comey described as happening is a sort of brainwashing where people are sucked into adopting Trump’s delusional world and views. Trump is a black hole that has swallowed up what used to be the Republican Party. As Barr’s testimony and Lindsey Graham’s lies reveal, down is now up, and reality has no home in Trump-centric universe where the former GOP now resides.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association