Shep Smith explodes in rant over FISA abuse memo: It’s a ‘weapon of mass distraction’

All of a sudden, Democrats seem to be more supportive of law enforcement, now that the White House and the FBI are in conflict over the credibility of investigators spearheading probes into the Trump administration.

Shep Smith ripped into Republican lawmakers who are urging that Congress “release the memo” that some legislators claim show the Obama administration abused the FISA Act to engage in improper surveillance of the Trump campaign.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEOLgy6QxLw&feature=youtu.be

“Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee now say they have a memo of their own, which they say challenges the Republican memo that criticizes the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Smith said. “The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, the Republican Devin Nunes of California, prepared that GOP document, wrote it.”

“It reportedly accused some federal officials of political bias in their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign,” Smith continued. The memo contains classified informations. Democrats say it’s misleading and meant to make investigators look bad so people are less likely to believe their findings. Tear down the institutions of government and the news organizations which report so neither will be believed in the event of negative findings on the president or his administration. Some Republicans say that memo is so damning that it could shut down the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.”

“But not all Republicans agree,” Smith added. “Today for instance, the Republican congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said his colleague should cease and desist from some of this rhetoric.”

The network rolled a clip of Dent speaking on the matter:

“We were mortified when many on the far left were launches these attacks against police. Now here we are as a party, you know, trying to brand ourselves as somehow suggesting the men and women of the FBI are not as professional as they ought to be. We need to get behind law enforcement, show some respect here and move away from these conspiracy theories.”

“Conspiracy theories,” Smith said, emphatically. “Other Republicans are calling for the memo to be made public and that Americans should see it and judge for themselves. The Trump Justice Department warning lawmakers say that would be extraordinarily reckless unless the department reviews the document first.”

Fox rolled another clip, a statement from Dept. of Justice spokesperson Isgur Flores:

“The information in the memo is classified. So that’s classified for a Republican. It has national security implications and if there’s Ed of wrong doing, we want to see it while it’s classified.”

“The number 2 Senate Republican says it’s up to the house whether to release the memo. He says people should take it seriously.”

This coming from Senator John Cornyn:

“When the public begins to question the integrity of the department and the FBI and include in the absence of other information somehow that politics has taken over other than the law, that’s a serious matter and we need to get that cleared up through one means or another.”

“John Cornyn,” Smith said. The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff of California says if Republicans do release their memo, Democrats will also call for their memo to go public.”

“Remember, this began with Devin Nunes,” Smith said, “the same Devin Nunes that last year made White House surveillance claims, staged a rush to the White House to purportedly share surveillance information with the administration, but actually took information from the administration and staged a report of it.”

“At its core, it was P.R. and it was bogus,” Smith said indignantly. “Devin Nunes wrote the memo currently in question. He will not share it with investigators. The Trump Justice Department wants to see it. He won’t let them.”

“The same Trump department says it should not be made public as it would damage the nation,” he went on. “It’s classified. It could reveal sources and methods. The Republican Trump appointee, the assistant attorney general, Stephen Boyd, says releasing the memo would be extremely reckless. Richard Burr, the Republican of North Carolina, chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, has requested a look before any possible declassification. Look denied.”

“Many who have seen the memo say it’s misleading, distracting and lacking context,” Smith asserts. “The memo itself is in the conservative discussion mix while the special counsel investigating Russian interference in our democracy is apparently about to interview the President of the United States while seeking to determine whether he’s colluded with the Russians or obstructed justice.

“A memo can be a weapon of partisan mass distraction, especially at a pivotal moment in American history when it behooves the man in charge for his supporters to believe that institutions can’t be trusted, investigators are corrupt and the news media are liars. Context matters.”

It does matter. That’s why it’s important to point out that top Democrat Senator Mark Warner released a statement blasting the House intel memo as “sloppy, careless, and… I think has no grounding in fact.”

This was before Warner had even seen the memo (what one might call ‘grounding one’s opinion in facts’), a salient point that was shared by Fox News alum Brit Hume.

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Kyle Becker

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