Rep. Trey Gowdy found it hard to accept as plausible much of what James Comey had to say in an interview with Fox News.
The South Carolina Republican leveled criticism at the fired FBI director following his eyebrow-raising interview Thursday which left even his interviewer, Brett Baier, perplexed.
Gowdy declared that the former FBI chief’s “recollection is flawed,” as he spoke with Tucker Carlson on Fox News about the interview. The former federal prosecutor and member of the House Intelligence Committee slammed Comey for stating he didn’t know the source of the infamous dossier on President Trump – a fact that seemed to stun Baier during the interview.
“He doesn’t remember when he first heard about the Steele dossier, he doesn’t remember who told him about the Steele dossier. Is that plausible?” Carlson asked the lawmaker, who is not seeking re-election at the end of his current term.
“No, because he knew that Republicans paid for it, even though that’s inaccurate, so if he learned about it in the Fall of 2016, then it was already known that the Democrats had picked up on that work,” Gowdy replied.
“So whoever briefed him, why would you just say the Republicans started it but not also include the Democrats finished it?” he asked. “I go back and ask all those who say it wasn’t important, then why did you use it? If you didn’t need it, why did you use it and why did you lead with it?”
Carlson directed the topic to Carter Page, the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who was the subject of the surveillance warrant obtained by the FBI and Department of Justice as part of their probe.
“Lets strip away the politics and take Trump out of this so we can see clearly. At the core is the allegation that Carter Page, the hapless Carter Page, was acting as the former director said tonight, as an agent of a foreign power. Is that a plausible claim? Do you think any reasonable person looking at the available evidence, could reach a conclusion that Carter Page is a Russian agent?” the Fox News host asked.
“It would be tough. I think most people that have any experience with Carter Page, which would include the FBI because they’ve interviewed him on a number of occasions, you’d be more likely to call him a clown than a spy,” Gowdy responded.
“I don’t say that to be disparaging towards him. I spent a lot of time with him in a congressional committee room. If anyone needed his Fifth Amendment right to counsel, if anyone needed a lawyer while he was talking to Congress, it would have been Carter Page. He’s not James Bond. He’s not Jason Bourne. It’s sad actually,” Gowdy continued.
“If our top law enforcement official can say with a straight face on live television that Carter Page is a foreign spy and represents a threat to American national security, he’s lying it sounds like,” Carlson interjected.
“I don’t quarrel with the FBI wanting to run out the lead. I’m probably biased toward law enforcement,” Gowdy said. “The challenge when you’re going to spy on American citizens, it needs to be more than a lead. You need to have probable cause and make all proper representations to the court.”
Gowdy added that he did learn one other thing after watching Comey’s interview.
“I learned that Jim Comey has a definition of the word leak that no one else has. What he says is a leak as with the rest of us call a felony,” he said. “Leaking is disclosing a confidential conversation which is exactly what he did.”
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