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Geraldo Rivera has ‘little doubt’ Obama DOJ spied on Trump; dismisses ‘disingenuous’ Comey

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Geraldo Rivera has 'little doubt' Obama DOJ spied on Trump; dismisses 'disingenuous' Comey

Geraldo Rivera has “little doubt” the Obama Justice Department spied on the Trump campaign and “made absolutely probable all of the trauma we’ve gone through with this whole Russia thing.”

Speaking on Fox & Friends, Rivera, Fox News’s roaming correspondent-at-large, hailed William Barr as an “impeccable superb professional” after the Attorney General’s testimony this week that “spying did occur” against the 2016 campaign.

Barr’s comments have since been questioned by James Comey, the former FBI Director, as well as Democrats and the media. Comey said during a cybersecurity conference in California Thursday that he had “never thought of” electronic surveillance as “spying”.

Rivera dismissed Comey’s latest comments as “one of the most disingenuous interviews I have heard recently”.

COMEY SCOFFS AT BARR TESTIMONY, CLAIMS ‘SURVEILLANCE’ IS NOT ‘SPYING’

“To say that electronic surveillance and spying are different, what is the exact difference? Is it the method? There is no doubt, I believe they did wiretap…Trump’s office here in New York,” Rivera said. “I believe that they turned informants in the way they twisted arms to get people in trouble, get them conflicted. So they had to snitch. Anything they knew about the president.

“[George] Papadopoulos, Carter Page, you have a situation. Poor Michael Flynn, they twisted these people, they got them in the perjury trap, they had them by the short hairs, got them to cooperate, and guess what? There was still no Russian collusion. But there is no doubt, to make a fine distinction between surveillance and spying is, I think, deflecting attention from what is going on,” he said.

Despite the backlash from the likes of Comey and Democrats over Barr’s testimony, he appeared to refer to intelligence collection that already has been widely reported and confirmed.

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page are currently the subject of a Justice Department inspector general investigation looking at potential misconduct in the issuance of those warrants. That review also reportedly is scrutinizing the role of an FBI informant who had contacts with Trump advisers in the early stages of the Russia investigation.

Rivera continued: “President Trump, President-elect Trump, was totally paranoid. That doesn’t mean he did not have people spying on him. And as it turns out, everything he said basically is correct.

BARR HAMMERED FOR STATING ‘SPYING DID OCCUR’, DESPITE CONFIRMATION OF TRUMP TEAM SURVEILLANCE

“They went after him full bore… It is not overstating to say ‘spying’. Maybe it’s overstating to say there was an attempted coup. But they were talking about the 25th Amendment, they were talking about high management getting cabinet-level officials to declare the president non-compos mentis, and to take over.

“I mean this was very, very serious. I think the blowback from this is gonna be way bigger than Russia gate was. The collusion illusion is going to dim into history as we find out how a group of non-elected officials try to overthrow the president of the United States.”

Rivera also reserved a few words for Julian Assange, who was arrested in London Thursday after spending years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy.

“Julian Assange, to me, is an anti-American slimeball whose every action was designed to hurt the United States of America. He did it with Chelsea Manning in the spying in 2010, 2011, when he released those videos of civilian casualties from American airstrikes.”

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He added: “I have nothing but contempt for Julian Assange and I hope that justice finally comes calling.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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Trump’s written — at times snarky — answers to Mueller’s questions revealed

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Why the Mueller report could turn into a never-ending story on the Hill

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and President Trump communicated directly at one point during the long-running investigation into Russian election interference, when the president’s legal team submitted written testimony in response to Mueller’s questions on a variety of topics in November 2018.

And in some cases, Trump and his attorneys brought the sass.

One of Mueller’s questions referred to a July 2016 campaign rally, when Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

That was a reference to the slew of documents deleted from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server — one that prompted numerous accusations that Trump was improperly sending a signal to Russian hackers. Mueller’s report noted that hours after Trump’s remarks, a Russian-led attempt to access some Clinton-linked email accounts was launched, although there was no evidence Trump or his team directed or coordinated with that effort.

“Why did you make that request of Russia, as opposed to any other country, entity or individual?” Mueller’s prosecutors asked.

Mueller’s report noted that after Trump’s statement, future National Security Adviser Flynn contacted operatives in hopes of uncovering the documents, and another GOP consultant started a company to look for the emails.

“I made the statement quoted in Question II (d) in jest and sarcastically, as was apparent to any objective observer,” Trump’s attorneys shot back. “The context of the statement is evident in the full reading or viewing of the July 27, 2016, press conference, and I refer you to the publicly available transcript and video of that press conference.”

Separately, Mueller asked Trump why he previewed a speech in June 2016 by promising to discuss “all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons,” and what specifically he’d planned to talk about.

Trump didn’t hold back.

“In general, l expected to give a speech referencing the publicly available, negative information about the Clintons, including, for example, Mrs. Clinton’s failed policies, the Clintons’ use of the State Department to further their interests and the interests of the Clinton Foundation, Mrs. Clinton’s improper use of a private server for State Department business, the destruction of 33,000 emails on that server, and Mrs. Clinton’s temperamental unsuitability for the office of the president,” Trump responded.

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE ‘BOMBSHELLS’ THAT FIZZLED? BUZZFEED’S COHEN TESTIMONY SCOOP, THE GOP PLATFORM SWITCH, ETC?

After discussing other events, Trump concluded his reply: “I continued to speak about Mrs. Clinton’s failings throughout the campaign, using the information prepared for inclusion in the speech to which I referred on June 7, 2016.”

In all, Mueller’s 448-page report included 23 unredacted pages of Mueller’s written questions and Trump’s written responses. The special counsel’s team wrote that it tried to interview the president for more than a year before relenting and permitting the written responses alone.

An introductory note included in the report said the special counsel’s office found the responses indicative of “the inadequacy of the written format,” especially given the office’s inability to ask follow-up questions.

Click here for the full exchange between Mueller’s team and Trump.

Citing dozens of answers that Mueller’s team considered incomplete, imprecise or not provided because of the president’s lack of recollection — for instance, the president gave no response at all to the final set of questions — the special counsel’s office again sought an in-person interview with Trump, and he once again declined.

Mueller’s team said it considered seeking a subpoena to compel Trump’s in-person testimony, but decided the legally aggressive move would only serve to delay the investigation.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Mueller report has held America ‘hostage’ for 2 years, Federalist editor says

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Mueller report has held America 'hostage' for 2 years, Federalist editor says

While many analysts are advising Democrats to move on from Mueller report and the issue of collusion, The Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway said Thursday it will be hard for America to move on because it’s been “held hostage” by the idea of President Trump colluding with Russia.

“The country was basically held hostage by a collusion theory, a theory that the president of the United States was a foreign agent. This undermined the administration of our government. It totally sidelined the Department of Justice, it hampered our ability to do foreign policy. It was a very negative thing,” Hemingway told “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

MUELLER REPORT SHOWS PROBE DID NOT FIND COLLUSION EVIDENCE, REVEALS TRUMP EFFORTS TO SIDELINE KEY PLAYERS

“There needs to be accountability. We are being given indications there will be accountability for this.”

After two years, a redacted version of Mueller’s report was released Thursday showing investigators did not find proof of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia but revealed an array of controversial actions by the president that were examined as part of the investigation’s obstruction probe.

Democrats criticized Barr and demanded an unredacted version of the report while Republicans demanded an investigation into how the Russia collusion narrative began.

RUDY GIULIANI ON THE RELEASE OF THE MUELLER REPORT: ‘THIS PRESIDENT HAS BEEN TREATED TOTALLY UNFAIRLY’

Hemingway said the idea that people would just “move on” was “absurd.”

“The American people tolerated this investigation because they were told there was reason to believe the president was a traitor. The idea that we are just going to quickly move on from this like ‘OK, I guess it was our bad, there was no collusion,’ but now we’re trying to go on obstruction is patently absurd,” Hemingway said.

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James Comey tweets he has 'so many answers' after release of Mueller report

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Former FBI Director James Comey had “so many answers” on Thursday following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, after he initially tweeted he had “so many questions.”

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