Some CNN staffers are questioning the wisdom of adding Andrew McCabe to the network and see his presence as a problem for its “journalistic credibility.”
The former deputy and acting director of the FBI was hired as a CNN contributor last month, setting off a wave of backlash from conservative critics and even doubts from his new colleagues about his character, given the fact that he was fired from the FBI for lying.
(Video: Fox News)
Looming charges against McCabe now seem to have put CNN’s top brass in the hot seat as his appeal to avoid criminal charges was rejected by the Department of Justice. While McCabe has alleged in a lawsuit against the FBI and DOJ that his firing in March by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions was politically motivated, a U.S. attorney on Thursday recommended moving forward with charges against him which stem from findings by the internal DOJ watchdog.
CNN staff who were initially shocked by the network’s decision to hire McCabe are now reportedly just angry and even confused as an indictment could be forthcoming, according to Fox News.
“It erodes our journalistic credibility to have so many highly anti-Trump, former Obama DOJ/security officials without a semblance of balance,” a CNN on-air personality told Fox News, noting other examples like McCabe such as Samantha Vinograd, Jim Sciutto, Asha Rangappa, Juliette Kayyem, and James Clapper.
“It’s hard to see the justification for hiring him initially since it was publicly documented he’s, best case, a liar,” the on-air personality said. “How will CNN handle it if he’s also soon indicted?”
Liberal staffers at CNN have considered McCabe “somewhat of a freedom fighter” who was “unfairly targeted” by President Trump and his administration, another current CNN personality told Fox News on Thursday.
CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin came to McCabe’s defense on the air Thursday following the latest decision by the Justice Department. Calling McCabe a “colleague and friend,” Toobin praised the former FBI official’s “impeccable” record.
“Andy McCabe is a CNN contributor. He’s a colleague and a friend to many of us who work here,” Toobin said. “This is an extremely unusual prosecution. Andy McCabe had the right to speak to reporters. That is beyond dispute. As deputy director of the FBI, he had the right to speak to reporters. He also has an impeccable record as one of the most honored and successful FBI agents of his generation.”
But anonymous CNN staffers speaking with Fox News had “no sympathies” for their new colleague.
“He made some colossal mistakes and the fact that he f—ing lied under oath, I have no sympathies for him,” the unnamed on-air personality said. “How will [CNN] have him weigh in on anything related to integrity?”
The network has not been referring to McCabe as a “law enforcement analyst,” but rather only a “correspondent,” the source explained.
But the CNN staffer also noted to Fox News that the network, which has avoided putting the new hire in a position where he could be “undressed” by on-air by pundits with opposing views, will likely “stand by McCabe until they can’t.”
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