Trump to Russians: Comey "was crazy, a real nut job" -- and firing him has reduced the pressure over Russia

I mean, the guy *did* try to camouflage himself with drapes.

Seriously, though, Trump admitted that he canned Comey because of the Russia investigation to the Russians themselves? What?

Is there no photo of them smoking cigars and drinking champagne together to celebrate Comey’s unemployment?

“I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Mr. Trump said, according to the document, which was read to The New York Times by an American official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Mr. Trump added, “I’m not under investigation.”…

The White House document that contained Mr. Trump’s comments was based on notes taken from inside the Oval Office and has been circulated as the official account of the meeting. One official read quotations to The Times, and a second official confirmed the broad outlines of the discussion.

That’s the second time in four days that the Times has dropped a bombshell on Trump over a memo it hasn’t actually seen. Reached for comment, though, Sean Spicer … didn’t deny that Trump said it. Instead he made the case that it was Comey’s behavior, not the Russia investigation itself, that Trump meant had generated “pressure”: “By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia. The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.” Laying aside the fact that Spicer is also connecting Comey’s firing to the Russia investigation, which only makes the obstruction suspicions stronger, if the White House wanted less “grandstanding” and more investigating why did it oppose the appointment of a special counsel? Congressional probes are about to go dark now that Bob Mueller’s on the case, achieving Trump’s alleged goal of less politicization. They could have had a quieter investigation without firing Comey simply by nudging Rod Rosenstein to act sooner.

Also, is this for real?

A third government official briefed on the meeting defended the president, saying Mr. Trump was using a negotiating tactic when he told Mr. Lavrov about the “pressure” he was under. The idea, the official suggested, was to create a sense of obligation with Russian officials and to coax concessions out of Mr. Lavrov — on Syria, Ukraine and other issues — by saying that Russian meddling in last year’s election had created enormous political problems for Mr. Trump.

Trump was trying to guilt the Kremlin into making concessions to him? For fark’s sake, Putin probably thinks Trump owes him for everything Russia did during the campaign to try to damage Hillary. Plus, the more bumbling Trump does in handling the Russia investigation, the harder it is for Moscow to have any meaningful dialogue with Washington. Watching Trump dig a deeper hole for himself is doubtless amusing to Putin, but at a certain point even he must wince at Trump inadvertently making relations with Russia more radioactive.

Anyway. The “nut job” comment’s going to play very, very well, I’m sure, with an intel community that already dislikes Trump and an FBI that was unhappy with how unceremoniously Comey was fired. Exit question: Remember when the White House used to claim that it fired Comey because of how he handled the Clinton investigation? That was nine days ago.