When President Donald Trump got a national security briefing from the intelligence agencies, he indicated he had a greater trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin over his American intelligence. It wasn’t the first time former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe heard something absurd coming out of the Oval Office.
In wake of FBI Director James Comey’s firing, Trump continued to voice a greater trust in Russia. McCabe said in a “60 Minutes” interview that he recalled finding it strange. One day in particular, an FBI official returned from briefing the White House that did not go well.
“The president launched into several unrelated diatribes,” McCabe said. “One of those was commenting on the recent missile launches by the government of North Korea. And, essentially, the president said he did not believe that the North Koreans had the capability to hit us here with ballistic missiles in the United States. And he did not believe that because president Putin had told him they did not. President Putin had told him that the North Koreans don’t actually have those missiles.”
CBS co-host Scott Pelley seemed floored and asked what the intelligence experts told Trump.
“Intelligence officials in the briefing responded that that was not consistent with any of the intelligence our government possesses to which the president replied, ‘I don’t care. I believe Putin,'” he said.
“It’s just an astounding thing to say,” McCabe continued. “To spend the time and effort and energy that we all do in the intelligence community, to produce products that will help decision-makers and the ultimate decision maker, the president of the United States, make policy decisions. And to be confronted with an absolute disbelief in those efforts and an unwillingness to learn the true state of affairs that he has to deal with every day was just shocking.”
Watch the video below:
‘The worst day with the most damning evidence’: CNN’s Tapper explains how Sondland was very bad for Trump
European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony before the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry on Wednesday generated several startling revelations, including confirmation of an explicit quid-pro-quo deal involving investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN's Jake Tapper described Sondland's testimony as " a monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry."
He then laid out all the ways that Sondland has been very bad news for the president.
"Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine," Tapper explained. "Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo -- this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed."
Here are the most important moments from Gordon Sondland’s bomshell impeachment inquiry testimony
EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, a key actor in President Donald Trump's effort to pressure Ukraine for dirt on his political rivals, was in the hot seat Wednesday as Democrats built their case for impeaching the US leader.
Here are some of the key quotes from his opening statement.
- Following Trump's orders -
- "As a presidential appointee, I followed the directions of the president. We worked with (Trump's personal lawyer Rudy) Giuliani because the president directed us to do so.
"We had no desire to set any conditions on the Ukranians. Indeed, my own personal view -- which I shared repeatedly with others -- was that the White House meeting and security assistance should have proceeded without pre-conditions of any kind."
‘Unusual’: Reporters surprised as a large swath of Republicans go missing during Sondland testimony
Reporters covering the House impeachment inquiry were mystified after most of the Republican lawmakers left the room during EU ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony.
Sondland directly implicated President Donald Trump, as well as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the scheme to withhold military aid from Ukraine until its president agreed to announce an investigation of Joe Biden.
Almost all of the GOP minority on the House Intelligence Committee left the hearing room as each party's counsel questioned Sondland in 45-minute sessions.
"Unusual that most Rs left room during this round of Dem questions," tweeted John Parkison, of ABC News. "Only Jordan, Ratcliffe with GOP counsel Steve Castor - and now Nunes returns to dais. No lawmakers seated in viewing area either."