Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe revealed Tuesday that he had briefed the “Gang of 8” that the Bureau was opening up a counter-intelligence investigation into President Donald Trump, and in a bombshell remark, said that “no one objected.” The FBI opened the unprecedented investigation just days after Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey, although it had been looking at Trump for months.
The “Gang of 8” consists of the Senate Majority Leader and Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House and the House Minority Leader. It also includes the top Democrat and top Republican from both the House and the Senate’s Intelligence Committees.
The Atlantic’s Natasha Bertrand interviewed McCabe for an article published Tuesday. He insists he was fired because he opened the investigation into President Trump.
Asked how Trump found out about the FBI’s investigation, McCabe said he believes then-House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) told Trump.
“McCabe told me that his guess is that the White House ‘immediately knew the steps I took after Jim [Comey] got fired, and the cases I opened’ because of [Chairman Devin] Nunes,” Bertrand writes on Twitter.
“When I was surprised to see Nunes at the briefing, I knew it would happen very quickly,” McCabe told her, she adds.
She also points to a quote from McCabe’s book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” which was released today.
And here is what McCabe says about this in the book: “Now that the Gang of Eight was a crowd of two dozen in the room, I thought, the chance of this not getting back to the president was basically zero. Then Devin Nunes walked in, and the chance was less than zero.”
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) February 19, 2019
“We felt like we had credible, articulable facts to indicate that a threat to national security may exist,” McCabe told Bertrand, which she reports in The Atlantic. She adds, “FBI officials felt this way, he said, even before Trump fired Comey.”
In their interview, McCabe tells Bertrand why the Bureau opened the counter-intelligence investigation into Trump, saying that Trump’s obstruction of justice and possible threat to national-security are “two sides of the same coin.”
“We were concerned,” McCabe says, “and we felt like we had credible, articulable facts to indicate that a threat to national security may exist. And, in fact, that a crime may have been committed: obstruction of justice. My own view of it is that those two things, the obstruction and the national-security threat, are inextricable. They are two sides of the same coin. ”
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Parnas: AG Bill Barr Was ‘Basically on the Team’ to Extort Ukraine
Indicted former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas delivered bombshell information Wednesday night, revealing Attorney General Bill Barr “was basically on the team” trying to extort Ukraine.
Parnas told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow the other team members included Fox News frequent guests Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova, who are attorneys and married to each other, along with Giuliani.
He also said Barr “had to know about everything,” and that the team members were all “best friends.”
Parnas told Maddow he “did not personally speak to” Barr but “I was involved in lots of conversations that Joe diGenova did.”
The extortion scheme, which former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly called a “drug deal,” included President Donald Trump holding hostage hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from Ukraine in exchange for President Zelensky manufacturing dirt in Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
.@Maddow: “[Was Giuliani] ever in contact with [Barr]…about the fact that he was trying to get Ukraine to announce these investigations into [Biden]?”
Q: “Barr knew about it?”
PARNAS: “Barr had to have known everything…Barr was basically on the team.” pic.twitter.com/3egdPj5e6T
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) January 16, 2020
Senate Appropriations Committee Grills FAA Over 737 MAX Air Safety Concerns
The Senate Appropriations Committee spent most of the morning Wednesday grilling the FAA over safety concerns regarding the 737 MAX. The agency told Congress they hope for “near-simultaneous approval” around the world for the 737 MAX plane, which was grounded after two crashes in the last year killed 346 people.
The FAA has been without a permanent chief until last week. Steve Dickson, the incoming FAA administrator, is a former Delta exec under fire for retaliation against a pilot after he flagged safety concerns.
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