On Monday, the network morning shows collectively wrung their hands over the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, with NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America completely ignoring the fact that Bureau’s own Office of Professional Responsibility recommended the dismissal. CBS This Morning included that information in its coverage, but still blasted the decision as “vindictive.”
“McCabe, who was let go a little more than 24 hours before he was eligible to receive his pension, says he’s being singled out for supporting former FBI Director James Comey after he was fired,” White House Correspondent Kristen Welker declared on the Today show. “McCabe, a frequent target of President Trump, called his firing an effort by the administration and the President himself to ruin his reputation,” the reporter later added.
The closest Welker came to actually explaining the reason for McCabe’s firing was this: “...former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired late Friday, stemming from his decision to let FBI insiders talk to a reporter about the Clinton Foundation investigation.”
Despite the morning show reporting the details over the weekend, on Monday, Welker decided not to explain to viewers that both the Justice Department Inspector General and the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility found that McCabe mislead internal investigators and recommended that he be fired.
Instead, the correspondent spent her time promoting Barack Obama’s former CIA Director John Brennan unleashing a tirade against President Trump in response to McCabe’s firing:
Former CIA Director John Brennan lashing out at the President, tweeting, “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America. America will triumph over you.”
Welker forgot to mention that NBC recently hired Brennan as a national security and intelligence analyst.
In a follow-up report at the top of 8 a.m. ET hour, co-host Hoda Kotb proclaimed: “McCabe says he was targeted because of what he called the administration’s war on the FBI and the Mueller probe.”
On ABC’s Good Morning America, correspondent Cecilia Vega announced: “While the President called McCabe’s ouster ‘A great day for democracy,’ McCabe says he was let go as, quote, ‘part of the administration’s ongoing war with the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation.’”
Unlike Welker, Vega at least briefly noted the Justice Department Inspector General’s report about McCabe: “McCabe denies any wrongdoing. But, an inspector general report concluded he authorized a conversation between FBI officials and a journalist about a Clinton Foundation probe, and then, he misled investigators about it.”
However, no mention was of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility agreeing with the finding.
Like Welker, Vega touted Brennan’s Twitter rant against Trump:
And, Robin, in perhaps the most extraordinary response to all of this weekend’s events, former CIA Director John Brennan’s public takedown of President Trump. Take a look at this tweet, quote, “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.” That from the former CIA Director.
CBS This Morning was the only network broadcast Monday morning to provide the full context of McCabe’s firing. National Security Analyst Fran Townsend laid out the case against the FBI official: “...the most serious offense that you can accuse, in terms of conduct for an FBI official, in terms of their character, is a lack of candor....A lack of candor is a fireable offense if the underlying conduct supports it.”
Co-host John Dickerson followed up: “And the underlying conduct here was adjudicated not by President Trump, but by officials inside the FBI, the disciplinary officials inside the FBI. So those are career people, right?”
There were two sets of career people, right? So first it’s the Department of Justice Inspector General Mike Horowitz, who was an Obama appointee. Who also did the investigation into Fast and Furious, which was an embarrassment to the Attorney General Eric Holder at the time. Very independent-minded, has an independent reporting line to Congress. So he does an investigation, finds a lack of candor. It then goes to the FBI career officials in the Office of Professional Responsibility, who agree with their findings that there was a lack of candor and agree with the recommendation of firing.
Even Dickerson’s liberal co-host Gayle King pointed out: “The Trump administration has been accused, I heard over the weekend, of being vindictive and mean-spirited. But when you look at it, the bottom line, it came from the FBI itself.”
However, she quickly turned the discussion to fret over McCabe’s pension: “I think many were surprised by the harshness of it and the timing, especially the loss of his pension. Could anything be done about that?” Townsend lamented: “You know, Gayle, I find the – we don’t believe in collective punishment, right? And so the people who are gonna pay the price here are McCabe’s wife and children, and that seems horribly unfair....it seems sort of tragic and unfair...”
King replied: “On the surface, though, it does look vindictive. Should we not take it that way?” Townsend agreed: “...it feels vindictive just because of the timing of it and the way it was handled.”
On Sunday’s GMA and Today show, This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd both actively spread misinformation about McCabe’s termination.
When a government official is fired for cause, one would expect the media to properly inform viewers of what the person did wrong. Unless of course that official is a hero to the liberal press, then the facts get swept under the rug.