Reacting to Donald Trump’s fury over a New York Times report that said the FBI investigated whether the president was working for Russia after he fired James Comey, Comey himself tweeted a quote by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made,” the former FBI director wrote on Saturday, adding an attribution: “FDR.”
Tweet - Trump - November - Reality - TV
It soon became clear the tweet almost exactly matched one by Trump, issued on 21 November 2012, when the then reality TV star was digesting the re-election of Barack Obama.
“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made,” Trump wrote, adding a slightly longer attribution: “Franklin D Roosevelt.”
Quote - Speech - Portland - Oregon - September
The quote is from a speech in Portland, Oregon, on 21 September 1932, in which Roosevelt, then a candidate for the White House, attacked the behaviour of owners of public utilities. According to documents made available online by the 32nd president’s library, he told his audience: “My friends, judge me by the enemies I have made”, and was greeted with “cheers, prolonged applause”.
The Times article, published on Friday night was greeted with a mass intake of breath. It concerned FBI attempts to determine whether the president was a Russian asset. The president’s reaction to the report included a failure in a Fox News interview to deny he had “ever worked for Russia” and familiar abuse of the FBI director he fired in May 2017. It all made the congruence in their tweets seem amusing.
Comey - Point - November - Date - Trump
But it seems Comey might have been making a sharper point. 21 November 2012, the date of Trump’s FDR tweet, was also the date of a presidential memorandum issued by Obama. Its subject: “National Insider Threat Policy and Minimum Standards for Executive Branch Insider Threat Programs.”
In the memo, Obama defined its purpose as “to provide direction and guidance to...
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