We are living in a weird House of Cards parody and it is more absurd than you might think. I want you to really stop and analyze what I’m about to say…
The director of the FBI tried to hide from the President of the United States of America via color-blending with the White House drapes.
I’m not making this up. This actually happened.
In a ridiculously comical attempt to avoid having to interact with Donald Trump, [then] director of the FBI James Comey wore a blue and white suit in an attempt to blend in with the curtains of the White House. This human chameleon experiment happened at a White House event shortly after Trump’s inauguration. Director Comey, uncomfortable with the President’s attempts to ‘shmooze’ him (the man tasked with investigating Trumps ties to Russia), did not want to go to the event but felt it would be inappropriate for him not to attend. But you don’t rise to become director of the FBI without being the man with a plan.
James Comey decided a color-blending scheme was his best chance at victory. He would wear a blue and white suit to match the drapes of the oval office. This is where he would make his valiant stand; glued to the curtains on the perimeter of the room, as far away from the President as possible.
Unfortunately for Comey, he is a giant. The man is 6’8”. He was eventually spotted and singled out by the Commander in Chief, at which point James Comey had two options:
• Jump out of the White House window and make a sprint for freedom.
• Shake the President’s hand.
Sadly, he chose option number two, but not all of his planning had been in vein. Since he had positioned himself as far away from Trump as possible this meant he had to make a painfully long journey across the office to reach the President. This gave Comey a brief moment to collect himself and prepare for the encounter. He had a new plan. He would now use his tall and lanky posture to his advantage. He awkwardly avoids a dumb joke from the president and is within striking range. He uses his arm length to reach out first and establish that the encounter will be nothing more than a quick handshake.
His worst fears are confirmed when Trump uses his strange alpha male handshake tactic to force the director into an unwanted one-armed hug. Comey resists while trying to not cause an awkward scene. It’s bad enough that he will be seen being friendly and shaking hands with the man he is investigating. He’ll be damned if he’s going to be seen hugging that man as well!
“It was bad enough there was going to be a handshake. And Comey has long arms so Comey said he pre-emptively reached out for a handshake and grabbed the president’s hand. But Trump pulled him into an embrace and Comey didn’t reciprocate. If you look at the video, it’s one person shaking hands and another hugging.” – Benjamin Wittes recalling his conversations with former director Comey.
Comey, disgusted by the entire interaction, quickly walks away. He lives to fight another day.
So what’s better than knowing the director of the FBI tried to use urban camouflage in conjunction with the White House drapes to avoid a handshake with the President? Watching it happen in all its awkward glory. THAT’S RIGHT. THE ENTIRE THING WAS FILMED.
So take the amazing context of this situation and watch it all unfold before your eyes.
The specifc insight into exactly what was going through Comey’s head comes from Benjamin Wittes, friend of Comey’s who talked with PBS about their personal conversations. I highly recommend watching the entire interview although the link provided should start playing at the relevant part to this post.
Furthermore, If you would like to see the next chapter of the Trump vs Comey saga, be sure to tune into the Senate Intelligence hearing where Comey plans to testify, under oath, about his interactions with the President. We truly are living in a strange time of poltical history. This juicy showdown hasn’t been set with an exact date yet but is expected to happen sometime shortly after memorial day weekend!