New White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany ripped left-wing ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl on Friday during her first press conference as press secretary.
“Kayleigh … when the president fired Michael Flynn, he said he was doing so because he had lied to the vice president and he had lied to the FBI,” Karl said. “So given all that you’ve just said, isn’t it still true, doesn’t the president still believe that Michael Flynn lied to Vice President Pence and lied to the FBI?”
Karl’s question comes after bombshell documents were unsealed this week that reportedly showed that FBI agents had discussed whether they were going to use their interview with Flynn to “get him to lie” so they could “prosecute him or get him fired.”
“Well, first let me address that. Vice President Pence is on the record about this,” McEnany responded. “He said he’s inclined to believe that Flynn did not intentionally mislead him, and I guess I would turn the question on you and just ask, does it trouble you that the FBI said, ‘We got to get Flynn to lie?’ Doesn’t that trouble you as a journalist? And not only that, as an American citizen?”
Pence said this week regarding the Flynn situation that he was “inclined, more than ever, to believe that what he communicated to me during the transition leading to our inauguration — that was unintentional and not that he was not attempting to misrepresent facts.”
“Well, it’s certainly something worth reporting. It’s not my job to say whether or not it’s troubling, but the bottom line is the President said point blank that Flynn lied to the FBI and to the vice president, and I’m just asking a very direct question,” Karl responded. “Does he still believe that Michael Flynn lied to the FBI and lied to the vice president?”
“And again, I’d point you to the vice president’s statement that he’s inclined to believe that Flynn did not intentionally mislead him, and I’m asking back that all of you in your coverage endeavor to report what is a very scary story when the FBI is saying, ‘Let us get someone to lie,’” McEnany responded. “I’ve seen very scant coverage of that. It’s a story worth reporting and a story that I hope the American people, if you haven’t heard it yet, are getting to hear for the very first time.”
Video — @PressSec McEnany with a shrewd, smart move by turning the Flynn question around on ABC's Jonathan Karl: "Does it trouble you that the FBI said we've got to get Flynn to lie? Does that trouble you as journalist and not only that, but as an American citizen?" pic.twitter.com/lsMeSZfDiy
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) May 1, 2020
On Wednesday, documents were unsealed that showed that the FBI had discussed using their interview with Flynn to “get him to lie” and “get him fired.”
Unsealed handwritten notes from the day of the January 24, 2017, interview show that an unidentified person with the FBI wrote: “What is our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?”
Fox News reported:
The handwritten notes — belonging to former FBI general counsel James A. Baker, Fox News is told — indicated that agents planned to get Flynn “to admit to breaking the Logan Act” and catch him in a lie. The Logan Act is an obscure statute that has never been used in a criminal prosecution; enacted in 1799, it was intended to prevent individuals from falsely claiming to represent the United States abroad.
The bombshell documents strongly suggested the agents weren’t focused on investigating his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, but instead were trying to get him removed. President Obama had personally warned the Trump administration against hiring Flynn, and made clear he was “not a fan.” Obama fired Flynn as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.
On Thursday, more documents were unsealed from January 4, 2017, that showed that the FBI was preparing the close the investigation into Flynn because they didn’t have anything on him at which point former FBI agent Peter Stzrok, who was later fired from the FBI over biased anti-Trump text messages, intervened to keep the case open.
Fox News Editor Gregg Re reported:
Yet, on that same day — Jan. 4, 2017 — Strzok instructed the FBI case manager handling CROSSFIRE RAZOR [the FBI’s code name for Flynn] to keep the investigation open. “Hey don’t close RAZOR,” Strzok texted an unidentified individual.
Strzok informed the FBI case manager that the FBI’s 7th floor was involved, referring to FBI leadership — and that they still “need to decide what to do with him [with respect to] the [REDACTED].”
It’s currently unknown why Strzok directed the FBI case manager to keep the Flynn investigation open. However, the timing of emails between Strzok and ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page seem to suggest that they used the Logan Act to keep CROSSFIRE RAZOR alive; Strzok forwarded a 14-page research paper on the Logan Act the same day.
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