Despite not liking when people lurch into hyperbole, I will make this broad statement: Andrew McCabe’s arrogant performance on "60 Minutes" last Sunday enabled by a dormant interviewer, Scott Pelley, brought to America the fact that employees of the federal government acted at minimum irresponsibly and possibly illegally because of their own interests. It also brought our press to a low not reached in my lifetime. If you were not horrified, then you did not watch or you are a blind ideologue when it comes to Trump.
There were so many astonishing moments in this interview it is impossible to cover them in one column. Let’s hit some highlights that will define the gross malfeasance of Andrew McCabe.
First, McCabe describes the fact that Trump had a different view of the reaction within the FBI of the Comey firing. McCabe counters Trump’s statement by stating “people were shocked; they were very sad.” He writes in his book that people were gathered in groups and crying. If this is so, then we need a real house cleaning at the FBI because anybody being shocked James Comey was fired should not being dealing with our national intelligence or investigating crimes. They are just too ill-informed.
The shocking thing for anyone with half a brain is that Comey still had his job. He was almost four months beyond his sell-by date. Truly shocking would have been if Hillary Clinton didn’t fire this guy on her first day. I contend the single biggest mistake of the Trump presidency was not firing Comey on his first day. He could have justified it on Comey’s election meddling; it was his reaching out to the Clinton people to heal the nation and move forward. The only surprising thing here was that Comey had made it to May 2017, thus not previously being tossed out on his keister.
McCabe warns us that in his first meeting with Trump, he looked at him as the new president but he may have been in that office because of help from our most formidable adversary -- Russia. Two points here. First, Comey had informed Trump three times he was not personally under investigation. Yet in McCabe’s first meeting with Trump, he determined Trump was potentially under Russian influence. Second, the acting director of the FBI foolishly believed Russia was our No. 1 adversary. This is a country that has one-tenth the economy of China – a country which has been stealing our trade secrets, challenging our military and attacking our technical infrastructure for years. What a fool if he truly believed Russia to be a greater concern than China.
Then we go to the big enchilada. McCabe discusses his meeting with Rod Rosenstein from the Justice Department and the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to take Trump out of office. The fact that these two men would be discussing the 25th Amendment with so little knowledge of what the language states are criteria for removing a president from office stupefies any knowledgeable person. McCabe says he did not have much to contribute when Rosenstein brought it up. What he should have contributed was reporting this to his superiors in the White House as a potential coup d’état. By not doing so McCabe became a co-conspirator. Here Pelley does not ask one question of McCabe as to his higher responsibility since Rosenstein was neither a cabinet officer nor was Trump incapacitated. Pelley and McCabe just skate over this proposed act of treason.
The only redemption on this is that Senator Lindsay Graham, chair of the Judiciary Committee, should and will subpoena everyone who was in the room to determine if this story is true and then recommend criminal charges if it is so.
The final act of irresponsible journalism and arrogance on McCabe’s part was when they brought his wife into the interview. McCabe’s wife ran for the state Senate in Virginia. The fact that McCabe could not see this as problematic that his wife was running for a partisan political office while he was in a key position at the FBI is flummoxing. The appearance of a conflict of interest is the same as a conflict of interest. She forfeited the right to run for a partisan office when he assumed such an important position. Sorry, this just is and it is quite clear.
Then Pelley states Dr. Jill McCabe dabbled in politics in 2015. Running for a state Senate seat is not “dabbling”; it is jumping into the water feet first. Her campaign directly received $660,000, well over half of all her campaign funds, from Terry McAuliffe, then governor of her state. He is referred to as an “ally” of the Clintons. He is more than an ally. He raised $275 million for their political campaigns. He guaranteed the mortgage on their house in Chappaqua, NY.
Yet the McCabes denigrated Trump for tying her campaign to the Clintons. Pelley cites the fact the ties between all this was brought out in an article in the WSJ. Pelley cites the article correctly stating that “the article noted accurately that McCabe’s (Andrew’s) role in the Clinton investigation began months after her loss, but candidate Donald Trump seemed to conflate the two.”
Are you kidding me? A reporter on 60 Minutes, the former anchor of CBS Evening News (the seat once held by Walter Cronkite) did not dig in on the fact that McCabe’s wife was bought by the Clinton machine and then her husband did not recuse himself when asked to head the investigation into her emails. We know where that investigation went – right into the toilet. It took McCabe nine months to recuse himself after overseeing the investigation because of the blatant conflict of interest. Did Pelley ask McCabe why he did not immediately recuse himself and waited ninth months? Of course not.
Someone needs to inform Pelley and his producers that omitting follow-up questions is not journalism. It is affirmation.
This entire episode leaves one to vacillate between being concerned of the dangerousness of what was being done and the stupidity of the people who were supposedly running our highest level law enforcement agencies. This leaves one to wonder how our national press has reached the nadir of this magnitude.
The only question left to answer is whether McCabe and Pelley went out shopping together for suits after recording this dangerous dreck.