Let's just tally up all the bizarre fallout from the Comey firing

Sometimes the world throws a thing at its inhabitants that requires everyone to blink a few times to reset their brains around their new collective reality.

Approaching 6 p.m. on Tuesday, we got one of those moments.

President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey around that time, amid an FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential connections to the Russian government. It’s a moment in which the United States’s separation of powers and the integrity of its institutions will be tested, and enough weird shit happened in the next hours that you’d be forgiven for believing we lived in a simulation that was struggling to work out a glitch. We listed some of those odd things, below. 

The FBI director thought his firing was a joke

If you found out the president fired Comey by watching TV, you and Comey have that in common

The FBI Director was speaking to the agency’s Los Angeles office when news of his firing reportedly broke on a TV in the back of the room. He laughed, because what else do you do in that situation, and admired what he figured was a prank. Then some staffers pulled him into an office and informed him that this is real life.

The press secretary hid in the bushes

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer didn’t seem to have a lot of time to prepare for the Comey firing, and Spicer isn’t a dude known for meticulous preparation as it is. The man knows that, every day, he will have to stand before the White House Press Corps and talk about whatever the hell is happening that day, and he still finds himself — for example — favorably comparing Adolph Hitler to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

But the Comey firing appears to have caught him so off guard that — rather than talk to reporters waiting around the White House — he hid from them in the bushes

When it became clear that this strategy was untenable, he said he was cool with some questions as long as there there were no lights and he wouldn’t appear on camera. 

Rudy Giuliani happens to be in town

Hours after Tuesday’s sun had set on Washington, D.C., two reporters happened upon former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani by the bar of the Trump International Hotel there. Giuliani was the Trump campaign’s designated ranting and red-faced uncle, but his job after the election has been a cyber position in which the Trump team doesn’t seem terribly invested. 

Giuliani has a long (and fraught) history in law enforcement, and though he told The Atlantic and New York Magazine that he wasn’t going to be Trump’s nominee for FBI director, he did say he was stopping by the White House. 

Also, another White House source told New York Magazine that Giuliani is, in fact, in consideration.

Trump live-tweeting CNN

Speaking of TV, you may know that the president of the United States seems to watch a lot of it. On Wednesday, his drug of choice was CNN, a favorite hate-watch of his. We know this because of this one micro-blogging website that also serves as a portal into the president’s brain.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal went on CNN Wednesday morning to criticize the president’s decision to fire Comey. Cue tweetstorm:

(As an aside, if you want to know what Trump’s tweets are in reference to…)

And then the president called out the network by name. 

Trump met with Russian government officials the day after

Trump said he fired Comey for mishandling the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. That’s the official explanation.

Trump once praised Comey for the director’s handling of an investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while Trump was campaigning against her, so, yeah. 

Rather than take up the official line, many believe Trump fired Comey because Comey was at the head of the FBI, which is investigating Trump team ties with the Russian government. 

So it was either incompetence or trolling that led Trump to meet with Russian officials the day after he fired Comey. Or maybe it was trolling on the part of the Russian government and incompetence on part of the president. Who am I to say. 

Here’s the president with Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov:

And here’s Lavrov, earlier, alongside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, mocking a reporter for asking about how the Comey firing colored today’s meetings. 

Speaking of strange optics…

The last time a president fired the person leading an investigation focused around him, the U.S. was led by President Richard Nixon, who resigned amid the Watergate scandal. Comparisons to that time flooded media outlets and Twitter in the hours after the Comey firing, so it was a little strange when Henry Kissinger — who served as secretary of state under Nixon — showed up next to Trump in the Oval Office on Wednesday. 

Strange how? I don’t know. But, strange. 

The timing of this firing just keeps getting worse

I mentioned earlier that many believe Trump fired Comey because he didn’t like where the investigation of Trump-Russia ties was headed. Though we can’t say for sure that’s what happened, that line of thought has only gained traction since Tuesday evening. 

Maybe this firing was hugely coincidental, or maybe Trump is developing a soft spot for Clinton that was absent during the campaign. Or maybe we should trust the reporting of people such as The New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, who has a knowledge of this White House like perhaps no other reporter, and who says it’s been planned for some time. Our call. 

Oh, one last thing

Here’s the interview:

Putin called the reporter’s question “funny,” said the Russian government has “nothing to do” with the Comey firing, and then said, according to the translator, “you see, I’m going to play hockey with the hockey fans.”

WATCH: Trump’s outrageous insults throughout his campaign

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