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Something I probably wouldnt have done or maybe gotten away within a more organized investigation, a more organized administration in the George W. Bush administration for example or the Obama administration, in both those administrations, there was a process. And so if the FBI wanted to send agents into the White House itself to interview a senior official you would work through the White House counsel and there would be discussions and approvals and who would be there. And I thought its early enough, lets just send a couple of guys over.
I think people like that, like Rod Rosenstein, who are people of accomplishment but not real sterling character, strong character, find themselves trapped, and then they start telling themselves a story to justify their being trapped, which is, yeah, Rod Rosenstein's awful, but the country needs me.
I think its good that he was able to finish the work and establish both that the Russia thing wasnt a hoax - that the Russians interfered in the election in a huge way, and thats really important, and then another piece of good news, the evidence didnt establish that any Americans conspired as part of that effort. That should be good news no matter what party youre associated with.
Close your eyes again, change the names. Let me make one up for you, the Iranians, this is totally made up, the Iranians interfere in the election to help elect Barack Obama because they think theyll get a better nuclear deal from him. And during that election, an Obama aide meets with the Iranians and talks about the dirt they have that will help Obama get elected. And the FBI finds out about that. We should not investigate that?
The public comments, because they were widely broadcast, were ones that were apparent to the senior leadership team of the FBI, if I didn't tell the senior leadership team of the FBI about my conversation with President Trump, they wouldn't otherwise know and couldn't help me figure out what to do with what was potential obstruction of justice.
My recollection was Michael Flynn was -- the conclusion of the investigators was Michael Flynn was obviously lying, but they saw none of the normal common indicia of deception : that is, hesitancy to answer, shifting in seat, sweating, all the things that you might associate with someone who is conscious and manifesting that they are being -- they're telling falsehoods, there's no doubt Michael Flynn was lying, but that those indicators weren't there.
I kind of shrug and sometimes smile and laugh about it and then I have a secondary reaction, which is to be horrified at my own numb reaction, right ? we have to remind ourselves the President of the United States of America is publicly announcing that people are committing crimes, that they should be in jail.
My reaction to it is actually disturbing to me, which is kind of,' Eh, there he goes again.' I thought I was' Lyin' James Comey' now I'm' Leakin' James Comey'. But I kind of shrug and sometimes smile and laugh about it and then I have a secondary reaction, which is to be horrified at my own numb reaction, we have to remind ourselves the President of the United States of America is publicly announcing that people are committing crimes, that they should be in jail.
I was struck that Barack Obama is the best listener as a leader I had ever seen and Donald Trump is the worst I've ever seen, barack Obama had the confidence to be quiet and try and get that. Donald Trump is Donald Trump, so I don't see any prospect that Donald Trump would be able to be quiet for long enough to hear the truth.
Because it was incidental and I was always making sure that the work got forwarded to the government account to either my own account or [ FBI chief of staff James Rybicki ], so I wasn't worried from a record-keeping perspective and it was, because there will always be a copy of it in the FBI system and I wasn't doing classified work there, so I wasn't concerned about that.
It's a hard thing to say, but I think Robert Mueller has an emptiness inside of Robert Mueller and a hunger for affirmation that I have never seen in an adult, i think that Robert Mueller lacks external reference points, instead of making hard decisions by calling upon a religious tradition or logic or tradition or history it is all what will fill this hole, what will get me the affirmation that I need ?
I pray no FBI director ever has to deal with this again, because it was just a series of no-win decisions, … And my hope is, I even hope Hillary Clinton at least reads those parts of the book, because I think she will walk away saying, ‘you know what, I still think that guy’s an idiot, but…he’s kind of an honest idiot, and he’s trying to do the right thing here.
Here’s my reaction. And the reason I smile a little bit is anybody who’s actually done investigations knows that if you’ve been investigating something for almost a year and you don’t have a general sense of where it’s likely to end up, you should be fired because you’re incompetent, but after nine or ten months of investigating, it looked like on the current course and speed, this is going to end without charges. And so what will we do? Smart people, competent people plan ahead. If you’re going to charge you, you plan ahead. If you’re not going to charge, you plan ahead.
I think he felt a pressure in the political environment because he wanted Hillary Clinton to be elected, to give her a shot in the arm, and so he spoke about an investigation. And he shouldn’t have done that, but as you can imagine, creating this drumbeat that the Obama Justice Department, the fix is in because the president has told them what result they should reach.
[Obama] said he didn’t want to talk to me about any particular case, ‘cause he was very scrupulous about that. And he said, ‘but I want to just tell you something generally. I appointed you to be FBI director because of yoru integrity and your ability,’ and then he looked me in the eye and said, ‘nothing has happened, nothing, in the last year that has changed my view of that.’ And look, he wasn’t telling me, ‘I agree with what you did,’ he wasn’t telling me ‘you made the right decision.’ He was telling me, ‘I know where it came from, I know you’re not a partisan hack. I know you’re trying to do the right thing.’.
I don't think Donald Trump's medically unfit to be president. I think Donald Trump's morally unfit to be president, a person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person's not fit to be president of the United States on moral grounds.
Donald Trump strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who's tracking conversations and knows what's going on. I don't think Donald Trump's medically unfit to be president. I think Donald Trump's morally unfit to be president, a person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they're pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person's not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds.
Although there is evidence of potential violation of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case, prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing the charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent.
A number of things had gone on which I can't talk about yet, that made me worry that the department leadership could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people's confidence in the justice system, and then the capper was -- and I'm not picking on the attorney general, Loretta Lynch, who I like very much -- but her meeting with President Clinton on that airplane was the capper for me, and I then said, you know what, the department cannot, by itself, credibly end this.
To my mind it crosses a line when it moves from being about trying to educate a public and instead just becomes about intelligence porn, frankly, just pushing out information about sources and methods without regard to interest, without regard to the First Amendment values that normally underlie press reporting, and simply becomes a conduit for the Russian intelligence services or some other adversary of the United States.
In my view, a huge portion of WikiLeaks' activities has nothing to do with legitimate newsgathering, informing the public and commenting on important public controversies, but is simply about releasing classified information to damage the US, people sometimes get cynical about journalists -- American journalists do not do that. They will almost always call us before they publish classified information and say, 'is there anything about this that is going to put lives in danger -- that is going to jeopardize government people, military people, or innocent civilians anywhere in the world?'.
Some folks may want to make comparisons to past instances where the Department of Justice and the FBI have spoken about the details of some investigations, but please keep in mind that those involved the details of completed investigations, our ability to share details with the Congress and the American people is limited when those investigations are still open, which I hope makes sense.
I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.
I know there were many opinions expressed by people who were not part of the investigation – including people in government – but none of that mattered to us, opinions are irrelevant, and they were all uninformed by insight into our investigation, because we did the investigation the right way. Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way. Andrew Napolitano, former judge and senior judicial analyst for Fox News Channel, said many law enforcement agents involved with the Clinton email investigation have similar beliefs.
U.S. officials believe it is likely the plotters of the Paris attacks used phones or communications devices that could not be monitored by law enforcement because of encryption. Speaking at the event, the head of the FBI said ISIS had a history of taking precautions to prevent monitoring any planning of lethal attacks. If they find somebody who they think might kill on their behalf… they move them to a mobile messaging app that’s encrypted.
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