Left-wing MSNBC host Chris Matthews had to admit that the testimony Thursday from former FBI Director James Comey collapsed the Russian collusion story that the Democrats have been pushing for months.
"But the big story has always been," Mathews explained, "the assumption of the critics of the president, of his pursuers, you might say, is that somewhere along the line in the last year, the president had something to do with colluding with the Russians.
"Something to do, a helping hand, encouraging them," he added, "feeding their desire, to affect the election in some way, some role they played, some conversation he had with Michael Flynn, or Paul Manafort, or somewhere."
"And yet what came apart this morning was that theory," Matthews said, "because in two regards the president said according to the written testimony of Mr. Comey, 'go ahead and get anybody satellite to my operation and nail them, I'm with you on that,' so that would mean Manafort, Carter Page, someone like that."
"And then he also came across today," he continued, "what was fascinating, Comey said that basically Flynn wasn't central to the Russian investigation, that he was touching on it. That there was, of course, Flynn had an honest, we assume, wasn't honest in his answer on the official forms that he had to fill out to become a national security head."
"But it only touched on that, it wasn't really related to that," he said. "But he could be flipped for that, but in other words, they could flip him because they had him caught on something he dishonestly answered but he wasn't central to the Russian thing, and I always assumed that Trump was afraid of was that he had said something to Flynn, and Flynn could be flipped on that. And Flynn would testify against the president that he had had some conversation with Flynn in terms of dealing with the Russians affirmatively."
"And if that's the case, where's the there there?" he concluded.
"If it isn't Manafort because he wants to throw him under the bus, and Flynn wasn't central to the investigation, where is the concern that Trump has, that has put him on defense for all these months?" he asked. "That's my question coming out of the morning hearing."