NBC Shares Dem Fears FBI’s Kavanaugh Inquiry ‘Did Not Go Far Enough’

As the White House prepared to send the completed FBI background investigation into allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Senate on Thursday, NBC’s Today show went to work trying to preemptively discredit the findings. The coverage of the Bureau’s finished inquiry focused almost entirely on Democrats complaining that it “did not go far enough.”

“The White House overnight announcing that FBI agents had completed their work and that the FBI had sent the findings to the Hill....All of it as Democrats and lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford, who was not interviewed by the FBI, complained the investigation simply did not go far enough,” proclaimed correspondent Peter Alexander as he began his report at the top of the show.

 

 

He only briefly acknowledged “that the White House concluded those interviews did not corroborate sexual misconduct allegations again Brett Kavanaugh.”

Brushing that finding aside, Alexander proceeded to hype Democrats criticizing the process: “The top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein, blasting the White House for not instructing the FBI to interview Kavanaugh himself, and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, raising, quote, ‘Serious concerns that this is not a credible investigation.’”

He also touted Ford’s partisan Democratic attorneys using the same talking points:

Ford’s legal team also questioning the thoroughness of any FBI investigation that didn’t interview her or witnesses she says corroborate her testimony, releasing a statement overnight that reads in part, “We are profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not interested in seeking the truth.”

Following the taped portion of the segment, co-host Hoda Kotb fretted to Alexander: “Alright, so Peter, the FBI, you said, interviewed just ten people for this investigation. Why?”

The reporter reiterated:

They reached out to ten, they only interviewed nine....And current and former FBI officials tell NBC News dozens of other people had come forward saying they had information on Kavanaugh, but the sources say agents had not been permitted to talk to many of them. Among the people, again, the FBI did not interview here, Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford.

Minutes later, NBC News National Security Analyst Shawn Henry, a former senior FBI official during the Obama administration, expressed his dissatisfaction with the investigation:

If, in fact, it was about determining whether this sexual allegation, the assault, occurred or not, the first thing you want do is interview the witness, or at least at some point in the course of this investigation, you want to interview the victim, Dr. Blasey Ford, because you cannot rely solely on the testimony that’s provided in front of the Senate....If this was an investigation to determine the broader question, which is the suitability of Judge Kavanaugh to sit on the federal bench, that also appear have fallen short in that there were many credible witnesses who’ve come forward who’ve talked about some of the discrepancies in his testimony versus what they know....

But if you have people who come forward who were credible, who discount and contradict testimony of somebody who is sitting in front of the Senate for an appointment to the Supreme Court, you’ve got to determine the veracity and the credibility of that candidate. I don’t know that that’s been done in this particular case with the limited number of witnesses who’ve been interviewed.

Doubt was cast on Henry’s own investigatory abilities in 2017, when questionable theories about the fate of pilot Amelia Earhart in a documentary he produced for the History Channel were quickly debunked.

NBC’s effort to undermine the FBI inquiry echoed similar hostile coverage on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Here is a full transcript of Alexander’s October 4 report:

7:02 AM ET

HODA KOTB: We are gonna get right to those overnight developments in the battle over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The FBI’s investigation now complete, and senators who will decide Kavanaugh’s fate will get their first look at what they found this morning. We have complete coverage, starting at the White House with NBC National Correspondent Peter Alexander. Hey, Peter, good morning.

PETER ALEXANDER: Hey, Hoda, good morning to you. This morning, that FBI background investigation is in the hands of the Senate. The White House overnight announcing that FBI agents had completed their work and that the FBI had sent the findings to the Hill. A source briefed on the findings this morning tells me the FBI contacted a total of ten people and interviewed nine of them and that the White House concluded those interviews did not corroborate sexual misconduct allegations again Brett Kavanaugh. All of it as Democrats and lawyer for Christine Blasey Ford, who was not interviewed by the FBI, complained the investigation simply did not go far enough.

This morning, members of the Senate expected to get their first look at the FBI’s completed background investigation into Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI [R-AK]: Everyone has asked, what’s gonna say? How am I gonna react? I have no idea, in truth and fairness. I have no idea.

ALEXANDER: Late Wednesday, top Republican Mitch McConnell starting the clock on Kavanaugh’s confirmation vote before even receiving the FBI’s findings.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL [R-KY]: There’ll be plenty of time for members to review and be briefed on the supplemental material.

ALEXANDER: The top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein, blasting the White House for not instructing the FBI to interview Kavanaugh himself, and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, raising, quote, “Serious concerns that this is not a credible investigation.” Kavanaugh has vehemently denied all allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Ford’s legal team also questioning the thoroughness of any FBI investigation that didn’t interview her or witnesses she says corroborate her testimony, releasing a statement overnight that reads in part, “We are profoundly disappointed that after the tremendous sacrifice she made in coming forward, those directing the FBI investigation were not interested in seeking the truth.”

President Trump still facing fierce criticism for mimicking Ford’s account of her alleged assault.

DONALD TRUMP [TUESDAY]: How did you get home? “I don’t remember.” How’d you get there? “I don’t remember.” Where is the place? “I don’t remember.” How many years ago was it?” “I don’t know, I don’t know.”

ALEXANDER: Those comments potentially complicating Kavanaugh’s confirmation, outraging three crucial Republican swing votes.

MURKOWSKI: I thought they were absolutely wholly inappropriate.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS [R-ME]: The President’s comments were just plain wrong.

SEN. JEFF FLAKE [R-AZ]: It’s just not right. It’s just not right. I wish he hadn’t done it. I just say it’s kind of appalling.

ALEXANDER: White House officials combating criticism that he was mocking Ford’s account.

KELLYANNE CONWAY: She’s been treated like a Faberge by all of us, beginning with me and the President. He’s pointing out factual inconsistencies.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: It seemed to me that he was stating facts that Dr. Ford herself laid out in her testimony.

KOTB: Alright, so Peter, the FBI, you said, interviewed just ten people for this investigation. Why?

ALEXANDER: Yeah, Hoda, that’s right. They reached out to ten, they only interviewed nine. And over the last week, you remember, there have been complaints from Democrats and some Republicans. And that point, President Trump gave the FBI the green light to interview some people beyond what was an initial list of just four potential witnesses. But at that point, the FBI interviewed just five others.

And current and former FBI officials tell NBC News dozens of other people had come forward saying they had information on Kavanaugh, but the sources say agents had not been permitted to talk to many of them. Among the people, again, the FBI did not interview here, Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford. Hoda?

KOTB: Alright, Peter. Thank you.

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