CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday shut down Hogan Gidley after the White House deputy press secretary tried to use an anecdote about his Uber drive to claim Americans don’t care about the Russia investigation.
Gidley was discussing the memo, drafted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), that purported to show surveillance abuses by the FBI and Department of Justice. Asked by Cooper whether Donald Trump will likewise declassify the Democratic memo, which counters some of the points summarized in the memo, Gidley demurred.
“I can say that the president will treat it exactly the same, using the same methods and the same mechanisms,” Gidley said. “You’ll recall, what he did was sit down with the White House counsel, also members of the national security team and go through it meticulously, [see] if there were any sources and methods that were revealed. If the Democrat memo comes over, we’ll have the same treatment.”
Cooper pointed out that Trump said off-mic at the State of the Union he would “100 percent” release the Nunes memo and “supposedly he hadn’t even read it at that point.”
“I don’t know if he had read it at that point or not but the president will make the same accommodations for the Democrats as he did for the Republicans,” Gidley said. “He wants sunlight here, he wants this stuff to be out in the open and he’ll treat it as such.”
Cooper later asked Gidley why the president “feels vindicated” by the contents of the memo, prompting the White House spokesman to insist there were biases in the FBI and DOJ against Trump and in favor of Hillary Clinton.
“You think James Comey was biased for Clinton?” Cooper asked.
Gidley said the “tweets” by FBI agent Peter Strzok—who sent text messages critical of Trump to his lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page—prove there were biases against Trump. “Now we know from the that Nunes memo, for example, that a large portion of the case for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants were granted solely on the purpose of a discredited Hillary Clinton-funded document.”
Cooper pointed out “that’s not true” that the FISA warrants were based off the Trump-Russia dossier, forcing Gidley to correct himself. “I said largely,” Gidley insisted.
“How do you know largely?” Cooper asked. “In the Nunes memo it doesn’t include the other information, it is a very cherry picked memo.”
“Right,” Gidley replied.
“The American people have been concerned,” he later claimed. “I was in an Uber just yesterday. I was driving, the driver looked at me and asked me something about politics and I was making small talk. And he said, ‘I don’t like Donald Trump at all—he had no idea where I worked—but he said, ‘A whole year and nothing in the investigation? It is time for it to end.’ If there is no collusion is that no obstruction, it is time to quit spending time and, quite frankly, the American people’s money, on a witch hunt.”
“I’m not sure the Uber driver is a scientific survey,” Cooper shot back.
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