Bad Communication is Not Criminal: What President Trump Should Do to Move Beyond Comey

Former F.B.I. Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday was one of the most widely covered congressional hearings in American history. Ever since last July, when he basically acquitted Hillary Clinton for her mishandling of classified information over a private email server, James Comey has lived in the limelight like no other F.B.I. Director since J. Edgar Hoover. He has been a near-constant presence in the national news, and he has been at the center of current political affairs. This high level of scrutiny ultimately led to the end of Comey’s career in law enforcement, and has, once again, overshadowed the conservative agenda in Congress.


Comey’s testimony on Thursday was neither devastating nor flattering to President Donald Trump. Comey confirmed what most members of Congress already knew: that the President was not the target of the F.B.I. Investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Democrats since last November have claimed that Russia made Donald Trump president, and that Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russians to make certain the outcome. No evidence has yet to substantiate these claims, and numerous current and former national security and intelligence officials have confirmed as much. Nevertheless, the constant drumbeat from the Democrats has been that Russia ruined Hillary Clinton’s campaign and that Trump is an illegitimate president.

Comey not only confirmed that the President was not the target of the Russia investigation, he also confirmed that Trump did not obstruct justice. In recounting the conversation he had with the Commander-In-Chief in the Oval Office on February 14th, Comey told Senator James Risch (R-Idaho) that the President’s words were not an order. As such, not only is there no evidence of collusion with Russia, it is pretty clear that the President did not commit a criminal act. These facts will not be enough to slow-down Democrat claims that this is all worse than Watergate and that Trump is the new Nixon.

Democrats have a nasty habit of attempting to de-legitimize any newly elected Republican president, while denouncing any Republican who ever disagrees with a Democrat president as a bigot. President Trump has been slandered by the liberal media and the Democrat Party, but he has not been treated any worse than George W. Bush was during his White House tenure. Instead of doing what Bush did during his first term, burrowing-in and passing his agenda through Congress while maintaining clear communication, the Trump Administration has taken too many swings at a pitch in the dirt. By engaging in rapid-fire tweets, and responding to every nasty thing said in the media, the President and his team have added fuel to the fire. There are times when success is truly the greatest revenge, and the President and his team would do well to remember that fact.


While I certainly did not support Jeb Bush for the Republican nomination last year, there was some merit to his assertion that Trump was a “chaos candidate.” The President is now allowing undisciplined communication to undermine implementation of the conservative agenda that this country desperately needs enacted, ranging from the repeal of Obamacare to balancing our budget. Being a chaos candidate can work, because it keeps other campaigns guessing about what comes next, but being a chaos chief executive is not going to work. President Trump needs to get his White House communications under control so that he does not lose momentum and this moment to enact lasting change.

President Trump is not a criminal, but his undisciplined communications style is killing his presidency. Instead of just being being a “counter-puncher,” he needs to rise above the noise and be the President of the United States championing a positive agenda. President George W. Bush’s first six months in the White House were more legislatively successful than President Trump’s, and the media said that he stole the 2000 presidential election. He was able to enact tax cuts and pro-life legislation quickly because he ignored the noise, did his job, and focused on his priorities. I pray that President Trump will now do the same thing while we have total Republican control of Washington. Trump’s agenda is not the problem; the Administration’s messaging is what is holding the country back from being great again.



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