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March 19, 2018

McCabe: Comey Was Aware of My Leaks to the Press

Really?

Because Comey told Congress that he had never leaked and was aware of no leaks.

Following his termination late Friday night, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe declared that he was "singled out" after "unrelenting" attacks by President Trump and critics. McCabe's objections are less than credible, given the virtually unprecedented recommendation of career officials to fire the one-time acting FBI director.

However, McCabe may have rectified his "singled out" status with his long statement criticizing his termination: In the middle of it is a line that could be viewed as incriminating fired FBI director James Comey, not just in leaking sensitive information but also in lying to Congress.

McCabe is accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to "share" that information to the media but did so with the knowledge of "the director." The FBI director at the time was Comey.

"I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor," McCabe stated. "As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter."

If the "interaction" means leaking the information, then McCabe's statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing. Asked if he had "ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation" or whether he had "ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation," Comey replied "never" and "no."

Howard Kurtz may have already reported on the leak that sunk McCabe, as Mollie Hemingway wrote about in January.

The FBI's top brass initiated conversations with a White House official that were quickly leaked to CNN, according to a new book.

Two news outlets had reported yet another "bombshell" Russia story that was bullshit. McCabe contacted the White House to tell them that the story being reported was, in the view of the FBI, untrue.

So McCabe called the White House to tell them that.

Reince Priebus asked McCabe if he would mind telling the press that as well, because the cable "news" stations were blathering about it as if it was the Next Huge Story (after yesterday's Next Huge Story, of course).

What happened next will amaze you: Someone very familiar with the thoughts and feelings of Andrew McCabe called the press to tell them that Reince Priebus was pressuring senior FBI officials to knock down a media story.

From Kurtz's book:

Now, a week later, CNN was airing a breaking news story naming Priebus. According to 'multiple U.S. officials,' the network said, 'the FBI rejected a White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to U.S. intelligence.'

Priebus was stunned by the implication that he was pressuring law enforcement. Had he been set up? Why was the FBI leaking this information when one of its top officials had initiated the conversation?

Incidentally, this incident did in fact involve Comey, because Priebus also asked Comey to tell the press what the FBI's assessment of the story was (that it was untrue). Comey said he'd think about it and might testify to that effect at an upcoming congressional hearing.

And yet: Soon after, someone was leaking to the press that the FBI had "rejected" the request by the White House to share its assessment of the story with the press.

And now we learn, very curiously, that McCabe says of the leak he got fired for that Comey knew about his "interactions" with the press and approved of them.

Connection? I don't know. I'm sure that Comey will clear this all up in the book he's written, for which he's charging $100/ticket for attendance at his book tour talks.

Will he be doing a Q&A afterwards? Doubt it. It would be too easy for people to pay that $100 and ask him some very difficult questions.

Apologies for Lateness: I got hit with bad insomnia last night and took a sleeping pill at 4:30 am. Well, it worked, but it knocked me out until 1 pm, and I'm still foggy.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 02:58 PM

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