It’s the Comey Letter Wot Won It

Joshua Green’s new book, Devil’s Bargain, confirms that the Trump campaign knew exactly what everyone else knew: the Comey letter is what allowed them to beat Hillary Clinton. The Daily Beast provides the summary:

“The last few days have proven to be pivotal in the minds of voters with the recent revelations in reopening the investigation of Secretary Clinton,” the memo read, according to Green. “Early polling numbers show declining support for Clinton, shifting in favor of Mr. Trump.” It added: “This may have a fundamental impact on the results.”

….“[Many in the campaign were] pessimistic but some in the [top] ranks saw glimmers of hope even before the Comey letter hit,” the second Trump 2016 vet said, still conceding however that it is very “difficult to write the history of [Trump’s] win without mentioning Comey.”

Green also reports that Trump’s internal numbers had him gaining momentum before the Comey letter, which then provided a “sharply upward” turn “in every state.” By the time they published the five-day-out memo, aides worried that the campaign was already leveling off.

This is no surprise to anyone who’s actually paid attention to the voluminous evidence that the Comey letter shifted the election by about three points, more than enough to turn an easy Clinton win into a loss. Can we all now please stop talking about the white working class?


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.