CBS Ignores FBI Getting Grilled on Capitol Hill Over IG Report

Despite an avalanche of coverage of the Trump administration’s immigration policy, both ABC and NBC found time to offer full reports on FBI Director Christopher Wray facing a tough grilling on Capitol Hill on Monday over the Justice Department’s “scathing inspector general’s report.” However, CBS was far too engrossed visiting illegal immigrant detention centers along the U.S. southern border to offer a single second to the story.  

“The FBI working overtime to do damage control and contain the fallout from that scathing inspector general’s report, the FBI director facing a grilling on Capitol Hill,” NBC co-host Savannah Guthrie announced on Tuesday’s Today show. Moments later, White House Correspondent Kristen Welker added: “The FBI director and the Justice Department’s inspector general were in the hot seat Monday, facing tough questions about that 500-page report which blasted former FBI Director James Comey and senior FBI officials.”

 

 

The reporter noted Inspector General Michael Horowitz “acknowledging the conduct of one agent who was discovered to have exchanged anti-Trump text messages with a colleague could have cast a shadow over the inquiry.” A clip ran of the government watchdog telling senators: “We found the implication that senior FBI employees would be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects to be deeply troubling and antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Justice Department.”

Wrapping up the segment, Welker explained that “more fallout is still possible” as the inspector general next plans to examine how memos from fired FBI Director James Comey were handled and “who exactly leaked all of that information to the press.”

Despite all of those obvious headlines, on Monday evening, ABC’s World News Tonight focused its story about the hearing entirely on discrediting the President. “President Trump claims a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general has cleared him of any wrongdoing....But today, the inspector general contradicting the president, saying his report was focused on the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation, not Russia,” declared Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas.

The reporter then emphasized how Horowitz “also rejects the President’s claim that the report undermines the special counsel probe.”

At no point was the inspector general’s condemnation of anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page mentioned.

On Friday, ABC’s Good Morning America similarly skipped that aspect of the story.

At least ABC bothered to cover Monday’s hearing, unlike CBS. Monday’s CBS Evening News and Tuesday’s CBS This Morning both ignored the testimony.

Here is a full transcript of the June 19 report on NBC’s Today show:

7:15 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Lots more to get to this morning, including the FBI working overtime to do damage control and contain the fallout from that scathing inspector general’s report, the FBI director facing a grilling on Capitol Hill. NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker with the details on that this morning. Kristen, good morning.

KRISTEN WELKER: Hi, Savannah, good morning to you. The FBI director and the Justice Department’s inspector general were in the hot seat Monday, facing tough questions about that 500-page report which blasted former FBI Director James Comey and senior FBI officials. The inspector general making it very clear his work isn’t finished yet.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: FBI Won’t Repeat Errors; Director Wray Responds to IG Report]

In the wake of that scathing report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, FBI Director Christopher Wray says, moving forward, the Bureau will not repeat the mistakes made during the Clinton email investigation in 2016.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY: The OIG’s report makes clear that we have significant work to do, and as I said, we’re going to learn from the report and be better as a result.

WELKER: Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, Wray and Inspector General Michael Horowitz reiterated the report’s conclusion that there was no political bias inside the FBI to tilt the election to Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Still, Wray harshly criticized his predecessor, fired FBI Director James Comey, for breaking protocol during the investigation.

WRAY: I cannot imagine a situation in which I would unilaterally assume for myself, as the FBI director, a charging decision, and then announce it in a news conference.  

WELKER: Horowitz acknowledging the conduct of one agent who was discovered to have exchanged anti-Trump text messages with a colleague could have cast a shadow over the inquiry.

MICHAEL HOROWITZ: We found the implication that senior FBI employees would be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects to be deeply troubling and antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Justice Department.

WELKER: Despite President Trump’s claim the report exonerates him in the Russia investigation...

DONALD TRUMP: There was collusion, there was no obstruction. The IG report yesterday went a long way to show that.

WELKER: The inspector general says his report did not address that.

HOROWITZ: We did not look into collusion questions.

WELKER: As the president continues to rail against the special counsel’s investigation as a witch hunt, the FBI director repeatedly expressing his confidence in Robert Mueller, as he has in the past.

WRAY: I believe that Special Counsel Mueller is conducting an important investigation. I do not believe that Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt.

WELKER: So the question now, where does this all go from here? Well, the inspector general is reviewing how those Comey memos were handled, so more fallout is still possible. And the inspector general says there’s still another search underway for who exactly leaked all of that information to the press. Horowitz heads back to Capitol Hill today for yet another hearing. Savannah and Hoda?

GUTHRIE: Kristen Welker at the White House. Thanks, Kristen.

Here is a full transcript of the June 18 report on ABC’s World News Tonight:

6:40 PM ET

DAVID MUIR: Next this evening, to the FBI and the Justice Department. The inspector general taking tough questions after that scathing report on James Comey and what they called his questionable moves going public involving Hillary Clinton, not once, but twice, but then recommending no charges. She and many of her supporters believe it cost her the election.

But today, the FBI director and the inspector general answering questions on Capitol Hill after the president said the report proves that the FBI was out to get him and to keep him from becoming president. He said the report now exonerates him on the Russia probe. So, what did they say about that? Here’s ABC’s Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas tonight.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: FBI Under Fire; Inspector General Defends Report; Wray Grilled]

PIERRE THOMAS: President Trump claims a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general has cleared him of any wrongdoing.

DONALD TRUMP: I think that the report yesterday, maybe more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me. There was no collusion, there was no obstruction. And if you read the report, you’ll see that.

THOMAS: But today, the inspector general contradicting the president, saying his report was focused on the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation, not Russia.

MICHAEL HOROWITZ [INSPECTOR GENERAL]: We did not look into collusion questions.

THOMAS: He also rejects the President’s claim that the report undermines the special counsel probe.

TRUMP: I think that the Mueller investigation has been totally discredited.

SEN. DICK DURBIN [D-MINORITY WHIP]: Did you address the credibility of the investigation of Robert Mueller?

HOROWITZ: We did not address the credibility of the special counsel’s investigation here.

THOMAS: The president has called the Russia investigation a witch hunt. Today, his hand-picked FBI director again making clear he does not agree.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY [FBI DIRECTOR]: And as I said before, I do not believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt.

THOMAS: Wray also agreed with the inspector general that political bias did not effect the outcome of the Clinton investigation. But tonight, Republicans aren't buying it.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM [R-SC]: These people hated Trump and this investigation was anything but by the book.

NB Daily FBI ABC World News Tonight CBS NBC Today Video Savannah Guthrie Kristen Welker Pierre Thomas Peter Strzok

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