Appearing on a Monday night CNN panel, GOP pundit and former congressman Jack Kingston made a number of demonstrably false and conflicting claims — and host Anderson Cooper was quick to shoot them all down.
First, he said the FBI has had “an opportunity to review” and provide input on the headline-dominating Republican memo, a claim Cooper immediately rebutted.
“They say they haven’t,” the host said. “The Department of Justice wrote a letter and said it’s ‘extremely reckless’ [to release the classified memo], that was their term.”
Indeed, the only reported FBI official to have viewed the memo is Director Christopher Wray, who was finally granted access to it on Sunday after news broke that the House Intelligence Committee was keeping it from them.
“I can’t react to that letter because I just heard about it tonight,” Kingston said of the DOJ’s response to the memo, which was issued five days ago. “But I do know talking to members that it’s been available to members of Congress, 200 members of Congress have read this, and it’s interesting that if there’s anybody who has let it become a partisan issue, it’s the Democrats because they should have been there reading the memo and saying, look, this is not right.”
“Well, they did,” Cooper rebutted. “They wrote their own memo pointing out what is inaccurate in that memo.”
“They did not read it,” Kingston insisted, but the host and his co-panelists Gloria Borger and Bakari Sellers cut him off as Cooper explained that Democrats had written their own memo in response.
“I’m talking about rank and file members could have done that,” the Republican insisted. “I think the Democrats on the committee felt like there was a line in the sand.”
After more dissent from the panel, Kingston doubled down and said “rank and file members have had the opportunity to read the memo and come back and push back on it and they haven’t done that.”
“Wait a minute, you’re doing double talk,” Cooper said. “What you’re saying makes no actual, logical sense.”
“We won’t know what the Democrats say,” the host argued, appearing to begin to make a point about how the Republican majority in the House voted to not publish the Democrats’ counter-memo when deciding to release the Nunes document. From there, the panel dissolved and the topic was dropped.
Watch below, via CNN: