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Letter: Who do we believe?

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Deseret News

Watching and listening to the Trump/Comey matter reminds me of some experiences I had the first year I was an assistant high school principal. One time I was standing within 10 feet of a student who was smoking on the school grounds. I clearly saw him light a cigarette and puff on it. When I called his mother to tell her what he had been doing, he asked to talk to her. So I gave him the phone, and right there in front of me he didn’t even flinch when he told his mother that he had not been smoking.

Another time a teacher reported that a student had been missing class without proper excuse. When I talked to the student, he insisted that the teacher must have been marking the wrong student absent, that he had not missed any of those classes. He was so sincere and open about it, I believed him and let it go.

A week later I got another notice from the same teacher, this time for double the number of days missed. This time I took the student down to the teacher. To her face, he said, “Ms. C., I have been in class every day. I sit right over there.” And he pointed to a seat. I watched her look back into the room, clearly questioning herself, then slowly shake her head and say, “No, you have not been attending my class.” He was so open and innocent that he had almost convinced her that he had actually been in class, and that she had been mistakenly marking him absent.

What was so disturbing about these two experiences was that in each case, the student seemed to be very sure he was telling the truth. I wondered how many times I had been duped by “compulsive” liars when I was a teacher.

Mr. Comey hardly hesitated when he admitted “leaking” some of his interactions with President Trump. And President Trump has repeatedly said the conversations were taped, which will prove Comey’s guilt in the matter. Who do we believe?

Fred Ash