For Jehovah's Witnesses, in many cases, "priests" is not a literal meaning.
Priesthood office is literal:
Exodus 28:10 (NWT)
And with them you must clothe Aaron your brother and his sons with him, and you must anoint them and fill their hand with power and sanctify them, and they must act as priests to me.
Anointing is literal:
1 Samuel 16:13
Accordingly Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the spirit of Jehovah began to be operative upon David from that day forward. Later Samuel rose and went his way to Ra´mah.
Probably, in your interpretation, "priests" must be Israelis.
Well during the ancient times God's chosen people were the Israelites. Exodus 19:6
And even the Jews no dealings with the Samaritans:
John 4:9 (KJV)
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
But because of the grace of Christ:
Ephesians 3:6 (KJV)
That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
Well, a Protestant magazine in Japan says that the 144,000 means all Christians.
Yea means all Christians:
Galatians 3:8 (KJV)
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Now, C.T. Russel and all the previous and current Governing Bodies even those belongs to 144,000 JWs, who anointed them (1 Samuel 16:13)? Who ordained them (Jeremiah 1:5)? Who laid hands upon their heads (Acts 6:5-7; 1 Timothy 2:7)?
None of the above.
Although your comment is interesting, in that explanation, I think that it may be unconvincing for Jehovah's Witnesses, IMO.
Well pertaining to their beliefs they are consistent, but with regards to their predictions they are inconsistent.