‘A phony drama’: Anderson Cooper tries to throw a wet blanket on FISA memo mania

Anderson Cooper isn’t a fan of #ReleasetheMemo.

The CNN anchor opened his Thursday-night program with a critique of President Trump and House Republicans over the impending release of a memo allegedly detailing abuse by the FBI and Department of Justice against the Trump campaign.

“We begin tonight with the drama over the Nunes memo,” Cooper said. “It is in many ways a phony drama. Phony, because the release of the memo is by all accounts a foregone conclusion. It is, and always has been.”

The CNN host questioned the validity of the document, which reportedly reveals how the FBI used Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to spy on Trump associates:

“We should point out the document in question is not some bipartisan finding of fact from the House Intelligence Committee. It appears it essentially be something of a press release, possibly just emailed out, perhaps under the let-ahead of the House Intelligence Committee membership, chaired, of course, by Congressman Devin Nunes, based on underlying intelligence he himself has not even read.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). (AP Photo/Susan Walsh).

The four-page memo is an excerpt from an approximately 50-page document that claims the FBI potentially relied on politically-motivated sources, including the salacious Steele dossier, to obtain a FISA warrant for investigating the Trump campaign.

Officials at the FBI and Department of Justice have opposed the memo’s release. House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) showed the memo to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday.

Cooper noted the concerns and excoriated the president for his willingness to release the memo publicly.

FBI Director Christopher Wray. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images).

“So despite grave concerns from the director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, as well as from officials at the Department of Justice, the memo is in all likelihood going to be released. How do we know this? Beyond the reporting by us and other news outlets, we know it because the president himself said he wants it out. He’s been calling for it. Caught on an open mic on Tuesday night [after the State of the Union], he said the odds of it being released are ‘100 percent.'”

For the CNN anchor, the memo is an attempt to discredit the FBI.

“Every indication we have from the president, from his son, Don, Jr., who’s been tweeting up a storm lately, and others, is that this is about attacking the FBI and Justice Department,” he argued. “So any drama about will he or won’t he is self-evidently phony.”

(Win McNamee/Pool via AP).

After his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Trump assured a congressman he would approve the memo’s release.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have both called for Nunes to be removed from his chairmanship over the memo.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) defended the Intelligence Committee’s decision to release the document.

House Speaker Paul Ryan. (Photo by Al Drago/Getty Images).

“Congress doing its job in conducting legitimate oversight over a very unique law, FISA, and if mistakes were made and if individuals did something wrong then it is our job as the legislative branch of government to conduct oversight over the executive branch if abuses were made,” Ryan said.

“What this is not is an indictment on our institutions of our justice system. This memo is not an indictment of the FBI, of the Department of Justice.”

Early Friday, President Trump took aim at top FBI and Justice Department officials.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/959389424806191104

Later, it was released to the public as promised.

If Democrats were so opposed to the memo’s release, it must be good. Be sure to check it out here. 

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