Andrew McCabe’s Bizarre CNN Interview

McCabeMany in the media have struggled mightily to ignore the highly disturbing evidence that has been released in the Flynn case and to paint the decision to dismiss the case as a raw political act by Attorney General Bill Barr.  CNN this morning even called former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who proceeded to make statements about the record that were utterly absurd and untrue. Not only was McCabe not challenged on the statements, it was never mentioned that he was fired after being found by career investigators to have lied to them (the very charge against Flynn). Despite the fact that his false statements were related to this very case, it was not deemed relevant to raise by CNN with CNN’s senior analyst. McCabe however displayed the very bias and maliciousness documented by career investigators before he was fired. The interview reminds one of the recently released text of FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok to Lisa Page, the Special Counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, remarking that “our utter incompetence actually helps us.”

CNN host John Berman interviewed McCabe.  CNN has long used McCabe to give analysis on a host of Trump-related stories despite being fired by Trump, ridiculed for his prior bias, and referred (by career officials) for possible criminal charges.

This interview, however, was even more remarkable.  The documents released in the Flynn case referred to McCabe and his alleged misconduct.  He was not asked about any of the specific allegations against him.  Instead, he gave a revisionist history that quickly crossed into fantasy.

McCabe told Berman that, in December 2016, they were considering the closure of the investigation involving Flynn but that it was a “close question.” We have previously discussed this history.  On January 4, 2017, the FBI’s Washington Field Office issued a “Closing Communication” indicating that the bureau was terminating “CROSSFIRE RAZOR” — the newly disclosed codename for the investigation of Flynn.  CROSSFIRE RAZOR was formed to determine whether Flynn “was directed and controlled by” or “coordinated activities with the Russian Federation in a manner which is a threat to the national security” of the United States or a violation of federal foreign agent laws.  The FBI investigated Flynn and various databases and determined that “no derogatory information was identified in FBI holdings.” Due to this conclusion, the Washington Field Office concluded that Flynn “was no longer a viable candidate as part of the larger CROSSFIRE HURRICANE umbrella case.”

After Strzok intervened to stop the closure of the investigation, he texted FBI lawyer Lisa Page “Razor still open. :@ but serendipitously good, I guess. You want those chips and Oreos?” Page replied “Phew. But yeah that’s amazing that he is still open. Good, I guess.” Strzok replied “Yeah, our utter incompetence actually helps us. 20% of the time, I’m guessing :)”

So McCabe was left unchallenged in saying that at that time there was a close question as to whether to close Crossfire Razor when his investigators found nothing.  Nothing.  That made it a close question for McCabe whether to continue to investigate the incoming Trump National Security Adviser.

What McCabe stated next was truly incredible.  He told Berman that he then learned that Flynn has arranged “surreptitious meetings” with the Russians.  He explained that this was akin to investigating someone for drug dealing and then learning about his meeting with drug dealers. The problem is that there was no evidence of a crime of any kind against Flynn.  Moreover, this was not a “surreptitious” meeting. There was no reason for McCabe to know about the communications of the incoming National Security Adviser with foreign officials.  It was not “surreptitious.” Flynn reportedly told the transition team about the call and that the Russians wanted to talk after the newly imposed sanctions against them.  It is not “surreptitious” just because McCabe did not know about it and he did not reach out to the Transition Team.

It was perfectly legal (and unsurprising) that the Russians spoke to the incoming National Security Adviser after the imposition of sanctions.  Trump had stated publicly that he wanted to reframe the relations with the Russians and indicated that the review would include the sanctions.  The conversation was both lawful and consistent with the position of the incoming Administration.

He also stated that he still fears that Flynn was a national security threat.  Why? Because he spoke with the Russians about their opposition to the new sanctions?

The most surprising element of the interview however was not McCabe reinventing history but the complete absence of probing questions about these contradictions or the allegations against him personally in this case.  For example, while McCabe was saying that he would continue to stand up for career Justice officials, there was no question about his reportedly cutting off another high-ranking official who raised concerns about this aggressive pursuit of Flynn.  McCabe and James Comey were discussing the use of the Logan Act, a flagrantly unconstitutional law, to create a crime upon which to prosecute Flynn.  The law has never been used to convict a single person because it is viewed as a direct violation of the First Amendment. Was that raised? Of course not.

In this story, McCabe is not a new analyst. He is news.  Instead of pressing him on these conflicts and allegations, he was allowed to rage against Trump, Barr, and Flynn.  It is a new twist on echo journalism.  McCabe the CNN analyst was echoing his own false account and calling it news analysis.

285 thoughts on “Andrew McCabe’s Bizarre CNN Interview”

  1. It is amazing to see the intense degree of felation that the majority of commenters on this site to tRump.

    Especially the moderators. There is no free discussion in the comments section on this blog. Any reasonable left of center argument is quickly deleted. The narrative is patently false when the discussion is handicapped.

    Shame on all of you.

    1. Seems a bit odd a liberal complaining about censorship of left leaning views on this site but crickets on conservative censorship on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google and all the other sites. Probably unreasonable to expect consistency.

    2. Like your namesake you have a tenuous grasp on reality and write really bad prose. The real Abbie graciously left us by his own decrepit hand in 1989. Maybe you can do the same.

    3. “Shame on all of you”?!
      You sanctimonious twit, you have no narrative. See that big light barreling down on you? That’s the Bill Barr Express about turn your pathetic world upside down.
      It’s been a long time coming, but justice is finally on the horizon.

      1. The truth and the facts are “barreling down” but the prosecution, that’s a “work in progress.” The most prodigious scandal in American political history may yet be dwarfed by a colossal, egregious, corrupt, nay, criminal failure to prosecute, as gross dereliction and negligence on the part of the Department of Justice – which will become the Department of Injustice if it balks.

      1. Sorry for you childhood maybe you and your father can seek counseling.

    4. Have you ever, even once, written to Facebook or Twitter and said “shame on you” for removing the posts of (for instance) doctors who have a dissenting view of hydroxychloroquine, or lockdowns? Of course you haven’t. You aren’t interested in fairness, you are interested in who gets to be on top. You want YOUR own view to be on top… everywhere.

      Shame on you.

    5. “Felation”, Huh, Abbie? Seems you are projecting. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, lol. Hey, if you are so liberal, Abbie (not Abe?) why do you couch that expression in a pejorative way? Self hater, maybe? I won’t cast shame on you as you do onto others in your post. To each his own. Go play some where else.

    6. If what you are saying is true, why hasn’t your comment been deleted?

  2. This blog has become predictable, especially the comments. The comments dull.

    Unlike Winston Churchill, who although predictable was never, ever dull…


    1. David – Interesting article about the nearest black hole. I read it in full. Thanks for the space post.

      1. WW33 — You are welcome. Trying to provide some anti-dull…


    2. DBB:

      Polite, mature people, when they don’t like the ambiance of the party, just make an excuse and leave quietly not offending the host. I suppose that isn’t your style.

  3. “Andrew McCabe’s Bizarre CNN Interview”

    – Professor Turley

    The only thing bizarre will be the failure of Attorney General William Barr and the Justice Department to vigorously prosecute all of the co-conspirators in the Obama Coup D’etat in America to the fullest extent of the law.

    The most prodigious scandal in American political history will be dwarfed by the magnitude and import of any measure of reluctance or foundering of the prosecution of the coup participants. accessories and accomplices.

    “High Treason And Crimes Against The State”

    17,000 people were executed by guillotine during the French Revolution. On January 21, 1793, King Louis XVI was condemned to death for high treason and crimes against the state and sent to the guillotine; his wife Marie-Antoinette suffered the same fate nine months later.

  4. At 6:43 on this thread I posted a video which had been edited to slander VP Pence. It was false and I apologize for posting it. Someone – apparently not KImmel – edited it to make Pence look like he was delivering empty boxes, In fact, he was told there were empty boxes in the van and he joked “Can I carry them in?” and then closed the van door. Someone spliced the video so it looked like he then delivered those boxes.

    1. Everybody makes mistakes. Revising opinions based upon changes in the evidence is all anyone can ask.

      1. You may want to ask yourself why you were so quick to forward a clip to belittle VP Pence, who has always been the epitome of propriety!

    2. Such editing is quite common in Mainstream Media. NBC edited the Freddie Gray video in the following way. They showed him being dragged to a police van with his legs hanging down loosely. They removed the last 3 seconds of the video in which, just prior to entering the van, he stood up, on his own. They then opined that the (edited) video “showed he may have had his spine injured prior to entering the van.” They do this relentlessly. DO NOT TRUST any video you see on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, or Public Television until you check it out thoroughly.

  5. “…On December 29, 2016, however, the Obama administration did at last announce punitive sanctions on Russia.

    The imminence of these sanctions triggered a flurry of communications between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. The Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, reached out to Flynn on December 28. Flynn was vacationing in the Dominican Republic, but on December 29, he spoke multiple times with Kislyak.

    On December 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would not respond to the sanctions. That same day, Trump tweeted his thanks: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!” Another round of calls followed between Flynn and Kislyak.

    What exactly happened here? At first, Trump’s team denied that anything untoward had occurred. On January 15, 2017, Vice President–elect Mike Pence appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation to assure the country that Flynn and Kislyak had not discussed the Obama sanctions. “He had sent a text to the Russian ambassador to express not only Christmas wishes but sympathy for the loss of life in the airplane crash that took place,” Pence said, referring to a December 25, 2016, accident that had killed 92 people. “It was strictly coincidental that they had a conversation. They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”

    Pence’s statement was not true. Flynn lied to the FBI about the calls. Back in 2017, Pence insisted that Flynn had lied to him too.

    Flynn’s lies mattered not because of some technicality about the Logan Act, the ancient and much-disregarded law forbidding private diplomacy. Flynn’s lies mattered because they may have concealed a deal between Trump and Russia over sanctions….

    ….On the day that the Flynn case was dropped, Trump spoke by telephone to Putin. He told reporters that he and Putin had agreed that the investigation of Russian interference was a“hoax”—and that he and Putin had undertaken to work together more closely from here on. “I wouldn’t be surprised,” Trump said to the reporters, “if you see a lot of things happen over the next number of weeks.” The way is now open for Russia and Putin to act again to help reelect Trump, as they acted to elect him in the first place.

    In 2019, Trump attempted to extort the government of Ukraine to fabricate dirt against his likely Democratic opponent, Joe Biden. Republicans not only failed to remove the president from office, but many defended his actions as right and proper. Senate Republicans have refused to vote to harden U.S. elections against Russian manipulation, even after Mueller’s testimony that the Russian espionage tactics of 2016 were already being repeated in 2019.

    Many of those same Republicans are now acclaiming the decision to drop charges against Flynn as vindication. But vindication is precisely what this is not. Flynn’s release by Barr does not prove that Flynn was innocent of wrongdoing. Being released by Barr does not convert Flynn’s lies into truth. Flynn’s release by Barr only strengthens the suspicion that back in December 2016, Flynn acted with Trump’s approval. Flynn’s release by Barr only strengthens the suspicion that Flynn and Kislyak were furthering a corrupt arrangement between Trump and Putin. Flynn’s release by Barr only strengthens the suspicion that the corrupt arrangement continues to this day.

    Flynn beat the rap. But the rap itself resounds louder than ever.”

    David Frum in The Atlantic

    1. The article completely neglects to mention that the content of Flynn’s communication with kislyak is and always was known to the FBI. Kislyak’s phone is monitored. It’s how they knew about the calls at all. Flynn told the agents interviewing him as much, confirming he knew they knew what he had said in the call.

      If you want confirmation read the Mueller report, and the Flynn statement of offense. He asked the Russians to not escalate the sanctions and limit themselves to reciprocal response.

      Much has been made that the Russians didn’t initially respond to the new sanctions, but there is no way to draw a line from Flynn’s calls to this initial outcome from the content of those calls. Trump had publicly stated his goal of better relations with Russia during the campaign (something every administration for 20 years has claimed, see Obama sending Hillary over with the “reset button” in his first term). So perhaps this was a Non response meant to preserve that opportunity. Or perhaps, more likely in my opinion, Putin knew not responding would get into The Obama administration’s head, enjoying one last head game against them which cost himself essentially nothing.


      The Flynn-Kislyak call was recorded by U.S. intelligence agencies. The judge in Flynn’s case ordered that the call be released. The Department of Justice successfully resisted the order by arguing that the recording was irrelevant to Flynn’s conviction and sentencing.

      And so Congress and the public remain unaware of what exactly was said to dissuade the Russians from retaliating in December 2016, and what—if anything—the Russians asked for in return. Congress and the public remain ignorant about whether Flynn acted on his own or was directed by President-elect Trump. Congress and the public remain uncertain whether Pence had himself been deceived when he delivered a false reassurance on CBS in January 2017—or whether he was part of the deceit.
      According to this, Barr doesn’t want the public to hear that tape of the Flynn-Kyslyk call. I wonder why.

      1. ‘the recording was irrelevant to Flynn’s conviction and sentencing’.

        Odd you’re intrigued by that but not the FBI’s ‘lost’ 302s or the tens of thousands of documents withheld by Flynn’s first defense team.

    3. By this time next year, McCabe, Comey, Strzok and Page are gonna be wearing orange jumpsuits.

      1. From your laptop to God’s IPad! What scares the crap out of me is that SIXTY SIX MILLION voters and illegal aliens voted in 2016 for the most incompetent, dishonest, greedy and corrupt candidate in recent history. Only some 80,000 voters in three key states saved the country from a third Obama term. If not for them, all this corruption at the DOJ and FBI would have been swept under the rug, just like all the serial scandals in Obama’s completely corrupted justice system. If those morons still haven’t learned anything and vote for the senile doofus the Democrats have chosen this time, James Comey could be the next AG, God forbid.

    4. Never mind recently declassified and formerly secret interviews with much of the Obama admin and many others testifying they weren’t aware of any Russian collusion on the part of the Trump admin despite their having said the opposite in the media at the top of their lungs.

    5. So… after Trump was elected December 29!), Obama finally got around to imposing sanctions, deliberately creating a mess that Trump would have to deal with. Class move. If you’ve waited that long, why not leave the decision to the next administration (you know, the one that America just chose), taking over within 30 days?

      Not surprisingly, the Russians wanted to talk about those sanctions. Instead of calling the administration that’s leaving in 20 days, they call the new team that’s going to be in power for the next four years. Why is that a shock?

      Flynn does his job, and talks to them.

      Why would anyone in their right mind think that there’s a crime here? Blind hatred of Trump drives people insane.

    6. Beat the rap? The “rap” was a lie from start to finish, Many people will be rightly ruined and some sent to jail for ripping away General Flynn’s civil rights as an American “Beat the rap?” – cynical and depraved

    7. It’s too bad Trump didn’t tell Medvedev to assure Vladimir that after his “election he would have more flexibility.”
      (Oops – another open mic bit of truth.)

    8. How do you feel about Obama’s open mic instruction to Mevedev to “tell Vladimir that after his election he will have more flexibility.”?

    9. This quote from Frum’s article demonstrates the length to which the Left is willing to go in order to keep their false narrative alive. Taking the quote apart false line by misleading line would require several pages, too long for this format. However, suffice it to say it is at a minimum based upon an obviously false premise that a call discussing anything at all between an incoming staff member of the transition team and anyone else in the world, is somehow wrong and sinister. It is not. It is no doubt done every time there is a transition between one administration and another and to not occur would be exceptional. This entire Frum narrative is a waste of time, like everything else the Obama flunkies and their media enablers did to abort and destroy the presidency of Donald Trump before its birth.

    10. Trump was the incoming POTUS – duly and legally elected by the people. He can shape his foreign policy as he sees fit despite the objections of the previous administration or careerists in the FBI.

    11. David Frum….. from the Atlantic? You’re quoting this hack?

    12. Is Frum arguing that the Obama administration desired Russia to retaliate for the Obama administration’s sanctions? This article is typical nonsense, painting perfectly legitimate actions by the incoming national security adviser as somehow nefarious and insinuating some illegality where there was none.

    13. Frum has nothing left now but to put together packets of outright lies to gain publication in the faltering rag known as the Atlantic monthly. They’re giving away content now — they can’t sell it.

  6. Truth is a stubborn thing, Prof. It doesn’t go away. All the lies are coming to the surface. It has only just begun. If anyone would have listened to Devin Nunes in the beginning of all this, instead of trying to ruin his life, we wouldn’t have wasted 3 years and 30+ million dollars.

    1. Nunes? You mean Lev Parnas’s buddy?

      By the way, Manafort choked up most of that $30 million. If the GOP had any spine, it wouldn’t have been wasted, but they are for the foreseeable future the Trump Party, not the Lincoln Party.


      1. You sound like a Democrat! Did you know that Crooked Hillary and the DNC tried to steal the 2016 election by buying a fake Russian dossier to besmirch the Republican candidate?

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