CLIPS OF AG BILL BARR'S INTERVIEW WITH MARTHA MCCALLUM
Re: scope of Bull Durham’s investigation:
“[Durham] is NOT just looking at the FBI, he is looking at other agencies. And also private departments and private actors. And so, it’s a much broader investigation. Also, he is NOT just looking at the FISA aspect of it. He is looking at ALL of the conduct both before and after the election.” ~ Bill Barr
“I think that one of the problems of what happened was that they pulled the investigation up to the executive floors and it was run and bird-dogged by a very small group of very high level officials. And the idea that this was seven layers below him [Comey] is simply NOT true.” ~ Bill Barr
NOTES FROM 12-18-19 SHOW:
Martha MacCallum interview with Wm Barr - Part I Notes
* BB: premature for me to comment on impeachment at this point, won't comment on the call
* re Ukraine: Giuliani just got back; good idea for him to investigate? Barr: will rely on his own dept's investigations, but doesn't see G as stepping on his turf
* Re Yovanovich: was there a conspiracy? B hasn't look at all into this; doesn't know whether Durham has gotten into them, doesn't want to speculate
* Interesting in seeing evidence G has got? Yes
* Doesn't want to speculate about what Durham may get into
* Re Comey on Wallace show: C said it was sloppiness that caused the problem; Barr: [doesn't nec. buy it but will defer comment]
* IG Horowitz report: could be gross incompetence but also be improper motive, he wasn't in a position to make that call–why Durham is looking into this
* IG Report: shows serious misconduct; doesn't like tack being taken by Comey that those who want to get to bottom of misconduct are attacking FBI–no he thinks it's appropriate. "Leaders have to own their decisions."
* [MM plays clip from CW show:] C calls Barr's stmt 'irresponsible': B doesn't say much except that there are episodes that "simply cannot be squared with innocent mistakes."
* Do you believe C was separated by 7 layers from investigation? "No."
* Was POTUS the subject of Crossfire Hurricane? "Effectively the President was being investigated."
* What happened after the election was "very questionable." We need to focus on that.
* Do we need to reform FISA system? "No"….nothing that "radical." Both C Wray and BB take the issues seriously, are working on it.
* Wm Webster's comments on Barr's stmts: WW was tough when he had to get to the bottom of things–"that's what we're trying to do." Op-ed piece makes reference to some things BB says he didn't say. Didn't charge FBI was political bias– [more like top of the FBI]
* Durham–how quickly is it proceeding? BB gives a vague answer: "no timelines" but will be "for quite a few months."
* Martha: There are criminal elements to Durham investigation–BB confirms. Won't say who's under investigation.
Durham's is much broader than IG's. Not just looking at FISA, but "all the conduct."
Includes other agencies (not just FBI)? Yes–they are cooperating. MSM let Mueller do his work–should hold with Durham.
* MM is interested in how Trump Russia probe began. Asks, W/regard to PaPaD or C Page–who were "reached out to" prior to official start of investigation–do you think it was intell individuals danging info on HRB, in order to get an "in" into Trump campaign? BB: hasn't concluded anything about what happened before July, but Durham is looking into pre-July period, to determine whether collusion narrative got started prior to that. 2 questions on predication: was the comment by PaPaD the real predication or was it the result of a desire to take a look at the Trump campaign?
* Re: conversation in the bar by PaPaD re HRC's emails coming out; MM thinks it was a thin thread. BB agrees–it was during a period of rampant speculation by the media on Russian hacking into her emails.
* by the time POTUS entered office, it was becoming clear that there was no basis for these allegations re Page, PapaD: "the whole thing had collapsed."
* if BB had been in charge of FBI, how would you have handled it? 3 reactions from Lynch, Yates, Obama: shouldn't we give new POTUS a defensive briefing? That would be the natural impulse….if you're interested in protecting the election, you give a defensive briefing.
*Why do you think he didn't do that? [long pause] "We'll see."
*If nothing is found by Durham, "will you let it lie"? BB: didn't know John Durham personally only by reputation–legendary for fairness & doggedness. D had a "sterling" reputation. "That's the kind of person he wanted running this."
* Clip with Comey talking about "real sloppiness" by FBI.
To engage in the relentless pursuit of an objective or goal, often involving the accomplishment of tasks through other, less expedient people. This includes obsessive follow-up, nagging, and harrassment of individuals holding up the accomplishment of the goal.