Quantcast
Connect with us

Here are 4 ways the GOP’s star witness just undermined Trump’s bogus talking points about the Russia investigation

Published

on

Andrew McCarthy has been an aggressive defender of President Donald Trump against the charges brought up by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Fox News and elsewhere. In fact, the former federal prosecutor has been such a fierce advocate for Trump and a purveyor of the right wing’s talking points that Republicans called him before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday to testify.

ADVERTISEMENT

But before the committee and under penalty of perjury, McCarthy actually contradicted several of the GOP’s favorite talking points about the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign, as both John Amato and Kyle Cheney pointed out.

1. He said no one who approved the Carter Page FISA application — which has been the source of outrage on the right — was acting in bad faith.

One of the biggest sources of trumped-up outrage in right-wing media about the Russia investigation has been the surveillance of one-time Trump aide Carter Page, who was actually only surveilled after he left the campaign. (The Mueller report indicates Page has been targeted as a Russian intelligence asset in the past, though he wasn’t charged with any wrongdoing.) This one choice by investigators has been used to suggest that the FBI was on a politically motivated crusade targeting the Trump campaign — possibly in a conspiracy that went up to President Barack Obama.

But on Wednesday, McCarthy admitted that none of this is based in fact. Indeed, he said he doesn’t believe that the FBI agents, DOJ officials, or the judges who approved the surveillance were acting with bad faith — only that they made “mistakes.”

ADVERTISEMENT

2. He also said he sees no reason to believe there was an FBI plot against Trump at all.

McCarthy has previously endorsed the view that there was something “shady” about the Obama administration investigating the Trump campaign — despite the ample evidence that there was reason to suspect criminal activity, and criminal activity was indeed found.

But speaking before Congress on Wednesday, he seemed to back down from the conspiratorial view beloved on the right wing that the FBI was trying to thwart Trump’s campaign. (In fact, it thwarted Hillary Clinton.)

ADVERTISEMENT

“I never have said that they were trying to scuttle the Trump campaign. I don’t know that there’s evidence they were trying to scuttle the Trump campaign so I don’t want to be in a position of agreeing that that is my position because it’s not,” McCarthy told Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the committee.

3. McCarthy also undermined the claim that Obama did nothing to stop the Russian election interference in 2016.

This has been one of Trump’s favorite assertions to deflect criticism for his weak stances toward Russia, but McCarthy correctly noted that it’s not true.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think that they did take some investigative steps,” he said. “It’s debatable whether they should have taken more.”

Of course, it is true that many people think Obama should have done more to counter Russia in 2016. One reason the administration was hesitant, though, was that it thought Trump and the Republicans would cry foul if Obama made a conspicuous public effort to discuss the interference.

4. He said the Trump campaign should have called the FBI.

ADVERTISEMENT

When asked directly by Rep. Michael Quigley (D-IL) if the Trump campaign officials who received overtures from the Russians in 2016 should have called the FBI, McCarthy clearly broke with the president.

“Yes,” said McCarthy.

Later on Wednesday, ABC News aired an interview in which Trump said campaigns have no obligation to call the FBI if foreigners approach offering election help.

“Who does that?” said Trump.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Manafort said he would personally update Trump on WikiLeaks’ damaging Hillary Clinton leaks: Rick Gates

Published

on

Former Trump campaign official Rick Gates on Tuesday testified in court that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort said that he would personally give then-candidate Donald Trump updates on the timing of WikiLeaks' damaging information dumps on Hillary Clinton.

As reported by Vox.com's Andrew Prokop, Gates told the court that Manafort in 2016 instructed him to regularly touch base with Trump ally Roger Stone to get information about when WikiLeaks could be releasing stolen emails intended to harm Clinton's campaign.

Manafort then said that he would update others in the campaign, "including the candidate," about future email drops, Gates testified.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Rick Wilson gives Democrats the perfect blueprint to shut down Jim Jordan at impeachment inquiry

Published

on

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently moved Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) to the House Intelligence Committee in the hopes of getting one of President Donald Trump's fiercest defenders into impeachment hearings.

However, conservative strategist Rick Wilson on Tuesday gave House Democrats the perfect way to shut Jordan down -- by bringing up his alleged role in covering up sexual abuse of wrestlers during his tenure as a coach at Ohio State University.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Russian propaganda’s effect on 2016 election worse than previously understood: Federal prosecutors

Published

on

Prosecutors are updating the charges against Russians who blasted social media propaganda at American voters in the 2016 election.

John Demers, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's national security division, and Jessie Liu, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, intend to issue a superseding indictment against those foreign individuals who interfered in the election won by President Donald Trump.

The revised indictment won't add new defendants or charges but will instead allege that their propaganda campaign interfered more than previously understood with the Federal Election Commission's lawful functions.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image