CNN host Erin Burnett on Wednesday used documents released by congressional Republicans to refute the “conspiracy du jour” alleging corruption within the FBI and Justice Department.
Burnett’s debunking started with a 25-page report released Tuesday by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) that suggests President Barack Obama was involved in an alleged FBI coverup of then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal in 2016.
Johnson’s report hinged on one text from the hundreds of pages of messages sent between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The text, sent September 2, 2016 from bureau lawyer Page to agent Strzok, reads that “potus [sic] wants to know everything we’re doing.”
“Facts and dates matter,” Burnett said, noting that the September 2 date of the text highlighted by Johnson falls squarely between the July 5 initial closure of the FBI’s Clinton email investigation and the September 28 re-opening of the case.
“That is 26 days after the POTUS text was sent,” the host said. “So if the people sending the text were not aware that the Clinton email investigation had anything more going on, they thought it was closed, how could they be talking about briefing the president of the United States on it? The facts simply do not add up to the text having anything to do with the Clinton investigation.”
Three days after Page sent Strzok the text about then-President Obama wanting to know what they were working on, then-President Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in China about intelligence they’d discovered about Russians meddling in the American election.
“It does seem rather likely that what POTUS wanted to be briefed about was everything related to Russian interference in the US presidential election ahead of that meeting,” she concluded.
Johnson, the host continued, also alleged publicly that texts between Page and Strzok proved the existence of an anti-Trump “secret society” within the ranks of the DOJ and FBI, only to be embarrassed upon revelation that the single text using those words referenced a joke between them and other colleagues that included gag gift calendars full of “beefcake” Putin photos.
Watch Burnett explain Johnson’s latest potential misstep below, via CNN: