The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: James and the Giant Speech

Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Today in 5 Lines

During his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers that he believed President Trump fired him “because of the Russia investigation.” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders disputed Comey’s claim that the administration had spread “lies” about his dismissal. The president’s personal lawyer responded to Comey’s testimony by attacking the former FBI director’s integrity on dubious grounds. The Republican Steering Committee picked Representative Trey Gowdy to replace Representative Jason Chaffetz as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The House voted to undo much of the Dodd-Frank Act, the banking law signed by former President Barack Obama after the 2008 economic crisis.

Today on The Atlantic

  • ‘Honest Loyalty’: Peter Beinart explains how the phrase illustrates the “conflict of values” between President Trump and former FBI Director James Comey.

  • What Did Mike Pompeo Do?: The director of the CIA was reportedly in the room with the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats when President Trump complained about the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. Pompeo’s role in the exchange, however, remains a mystery. (Adam Serwer)

  • An Impossible Boss: Donald Trump’s supporters thought he would be a successful president because he would surround himself with experts. But, writes John Dickerson, the president’s “improvisation saps experts of their key skill: pattern recognition.”

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


Former FBI director James Comey walks through a corridor on the way to a secure room to continue his testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

What We’re Reading

From Teapot Dome to Watergate: Former FBI Director James Comey’s appearance on Capitol Hill on Thursday quickly became must-see TV. But it’s not the first congressional testimony to fall under that category. Here are five other hearings that captured the nation’s attention. (Joshua Zeitz, Politico)

Welcome to the ‘Suite of Power’: Alex Altman tells the story of how the Trump International Hotel became the “new town square in Donald Trump’s Washington.” (Time)

Is America in a New Civil War?: Not quite, argues David French, but the cultural, religious, and political polarization in the country has put America on the road to “national divorce.” (National Review)

Helping Trump Be His ‘Best Self’: Republican Senators are intent on keeping President Trump focused on the conservative agenda—and the lawmaker perhaps most committed to the job is Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton. (Maggie Haberman and Matt Flegenheimer, The New York Times)

Trump Should Keep Tweeting: Even though the president’s tweets don’t always reflect well on him, Matt Bai argues that Trump deserves credit for using social media to modernize the presidency. (Yahoo News)


Check out the Chyrons: This side-by-side chart shows how MSNBC, CNN, and Fox covered former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. (Kevin Schaul and Samuel Granados, The Washington Post)

Question of the Week

Former FBI Director James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, as part of the panel’s probe into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials.

Ahead of the hearing, we asked you what you would ask Comey if you were on the Senate committee. In our Notes section, we’ve rounded up some of your most pressing questions, and included some of Comey’s answers where possible.

Thanks to everyone who submitted responses, and stay tuned for next week’s Question of the Week.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)