For the first time on Friday, a bombshell New York Times report confirms that federal investigators looked into whether President Donald Trump was a Russian asset.
MSNBC host Joy Reid, who filled in for Rachel Maddow on Friday night, asked former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi what to make of the revelation that Trump was under a counterintelligence investigation by his own government.
“The impetus for the special counsel inquiry not necessarily just figuring out the degree to which the Russians influenced the campaign,” Figliuzzi said. “But, rather now, we’re faced with a worst-case scenario, which is the possibility that the president had been co-opted and was in the pocket of the Russians.”
Given how far the investigation proceeded there had to be “specific articulable facts” that Trump “may be an agent of a foreign power.”
“That would not have been done in a vacuum, that would have gone across the street to the Department of Justice,” Figliuzzi said.
Figliuzzi noted that we still don’t know how that investigation turned out.
“There are some unanswered questions here but it is really sobering to think that maybe, if the reporting is right, that Donald J Trump, that name, was in the header, in the subject title, of a counterintelligence investigation.”
“The FBI is privy to all sorts of information, and if you’re going to open a case, as the New York Times reports, into the President of the United States you’re going to have more than just unstable public behavior,” Figliuzzi said. “You’re going to have something that at least gives you a reasonable suspicion, if not specific and articulable facts…. it means they’ve got intercepted communications, it means they’re privy to how these Russians were talking to the president or about the president.”
Based on his 25 years of experience and running the counterintelligence division Figliuzzi said he’s sure “there’s more than just the crazy public behavior.”