Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 11, 2017, while testifying before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Media critic Howie Kurtz has a new book out. If you aren’t familiar with Kurtz, he’s been in the critic business for quite a while. From 1998-2013 he was the host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources” program and now is the host “Buzz” on FoxNews. His book it titled Media Madness and, full disclosure, it is published by Regnery, which is a Salem Media property.
One of the stories in the book is very appropriate to a lot of what is happening this very minute as Andrew McCabe packs his boxes over at the Hoover Building.
In February, the New York Times ran this article Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.
The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.
But the intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.
The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services, they said. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.
When the story ran this was like Spanish Fly. This article cause never-Trump orgasms by the headline alone. Reading blogs and twitter then was like having to clean up Harvey Weinstein’s sofa.
According to Kurtz, Andrew McCabe asked for a meeting with then-White House chief of staff Reince Priebus in order to set the record straight:
Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe asked to speak privately with White House chief of staff Reince Priebus following a February 2017 intelligence briefing… McCabe said he asked for the meeting to tell Priebus that “everything” in a New York Times story authored by Michael S. Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, and Matt Apuzzo was “bullsh-t.”
McCabe claimed to want Priebus to know the FBI’s perspective that this story was not true. Priebus pointed to the televisions that were going non-stop on the story. He asked if the FBI could say publicly what he had just told him. McCabe said he’d have to check, according to the book.
McCabe reportedly called back and said he couldn’t do anything about it. Then-FBI director James Comey reportedly called later and also said he couldn’t do anything, but did offer to brief the Senate Intelligence Committee on the matter later that week, suggesting they’d spill the beans publicly.
Shortly after the meeting, CNN ran this article FBI refused White House request to knock down recent Trump-Russia stories.
The story is barely recognizable. In this one, the FBI claims it was approached by the White House to help counter the incessant leaks, particularly the patently false ones. Comey, in fact, later said in an interview what McCabe told Priebus before sandbagging him.
Again, this is just more #Resistance nonsense. What McCabe did was a cheap trick that served neither the White House he is legally obligated to serve nor his own agency well. While it caused difficulties for Priebus and Spicer, it effectively burned bridges between the White House and the FBI and you’re seeing a degree of payback being extracted right now. And rightfully so.