Yesterday, the Associated Press published former FBI director James Comey’s memos from his meetings with President Trump. The memos reveal things we either know or have assumed about Trump: he’s petty, vindictive, obsessed with loyalty, and has an attention span that makes fleas look as contemplative as Buddhist monks. But there’s one thing from the memos which allows us to glimpse Trump’s psychic hellscape: his obsession with the Steele Dossier’s allegation that the Russians have a videotape of him watching Russian prostitutes pee on a bed that the Obamas slept on at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton.
The most infamous of the Dossier’s allegations, the pee-pee tape has yet to be proven, with many in the mainstream media casting doubts on its legitimacy. While I believe its existence to be plausible given my previous writing and research into the sexual habits of sociopaths (including Trump himself), it is important not to jump to conclusions.
However, Trump’s obsession over this small detail betrays his paranoia that somebody, somewhere has something on him to embarrass him in front of the whole world. Whether it’s the pee-pee tape or not is yet to be revealed, but given what we now know from Comey’s memos, wouldn’t an innocent man brush off such a remark as sheer hyperbole and not spend so much time obsessing over it?
These recaps recount the times throughout Comey’s seven memos that Trump mentioned the incident:
First Meeting: 1/6/17
In this meeting shortly before the inaugural, Comey briefed Trump on the existence of the Dossier and its sensational claims. Trump replied to him, “There were no prostitues, there were never prostitutes.” Comey continues:
“He then said something about him being the kind of guy who didn’t need to ‘go there’ and laughed (which I understood to be communicating that he didn’t need to pay for sex). He then started talking about all the women who had falsely accused him of grabbing or touching them (with particular mention of a stripper who said he grabbed her) and gave me the sense that he was defending himself to me. I responded that we were not investigating him and the stuff might be totally made up but it was being said out of Russia and our job was to protect the President from efforts to coerce him. I said we try to understand what the Russians are doing and what they might do.”
Trump did all of this unprompted, trying to clear himself of other accusations before being asked about them by one of the top law enforcement officials in the country.
Second Meeting: 1/28/17
This meeting occurred in the White House after the inaugural, and Comey describes it as “conversation-as-jigsaw-puzzle” given how many topics the President dropped without following through on them, and how he never allowed the FBI Director to raise a topic himself. Except for the moments when the waiters came in for their plates, Comey says there was not a moment of silence throughout the entire meal.
As the meal progressed, Trump got back to the golden showers tape, insisting it was “fake news” and claiming that the only time he was even at the hotel was to get his things to catch a plane back to the States after the Miss Universe pageant ended. We know from David Corn and Michael Isikoff’s Russian Roulette however, that Trump barely stayed in Moscow following the pageant, but did spend at least one night in the Ritz-Carlton. Comey insisted that he gave Trump the news of the allegation because he wanted him to have a head start before the media ran with it.
Following this exchange, the President asked Comey for “loyalty,” which Comey admits he understood differently from his boss. This difference in opinion would become a key factor in his dismissal a few months later.
Third Meeting: date not listed
In Comey’s second trip to the Trump White House, he met with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, where he mentioned that Trump had “expressed interest in having me investigate the Golden Showers thing. I repeated what I had told the President about not wanting to create a narrative that we were investigating him.” After the discussion concluded, Comey met briefly with Trump, who once again insisted that there was no Golden Showers incident, and that the idea that he had Russian hookers was “nonsense,” although Putin told him that “we have some of the most beautiful hookers in the world.”
(Again, Trump was not saying that he did hire Russian prostitutes to pee on a bed, but the implication is that if he had, they would’ve been beautiful hookers, the best hookers, the most unbelievable hookers you’ve ever seen).
Meeting Six: 3/30/17
This memo recounts a phone exchange with the President, in which he complained that Comey was getting more publicity than he, and that the Russian allegations were making governing difficult. He then went on to deny the Golden Showers incident once more, saying (according to Comey), “can you imagine me, hookers? I have a beautiful wife, and it has been very painful.” He asked if Comey and the FBI could “lift the cloud” that had surrounded his presidency, and he replied that they were moving as quickly as possible, but wanted to do a good job.
What can we gleam from the fact that Trump brought this up four different times? It doesn’t give us any further insight into whether or not the tape is real or if it actually is “fake news.” But Trump has never acted like an innocent man, and if Putin does have something in his possession that could embarrass him, then we must assume that it is a scandal of the highest magnitude - one that could possibly dwarf a tape of Russian prostitutes peeing on a bed. And if that image hasn’t left your minds since the Dossier came out, then these memos reveal how it’s been devouring what little is left of Trump’s brain.