ABC Still Refusing to Cover Missing FBI Texts, Nets Silent on Bureau’s ‘Secret Society’

The revelations concerning missing FBI text messages continued to snowball on Tuesday as news trickled out that, via the remaining 50,000 texts, the FBI was home to a so-called “secret society” that began meeting after President Trump was elected. And despite how the revelations have been reported by other major news outlets, the three major network news outlets have been reluctant to cover them. ABC still has yet to report on the missing text messages while NBC was finally dragged to it and CBS started to downplay it.

After all three networks initially ignored the reports on Monday, CBS was the first to break the silence on Tuesday’s CBS This Morning with just over three minutes of coverage. But later that evening, their coverage of the missing text messages dramatically shrunk to just 36 seconds and almost seemed to paint it as something the White House was claiming happened.

The White House claims the investigation is biased,” declared White House Correspondent Major Garrett during CBS Evening News. “At a White House meeting Monday, attended by Sessions, White House counsel Don McGahn and F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray, the main topic was five months of missing text message between high-level F.B.I. employees, some of which have been released publicly and do demonstrate a pattern of political bias against Mr. Trump.

Just as with CBS, who hid the missing messages in a larger Russia investigation story, NBC Nightly News followed suit with a scant 27 seconds for the story. “As the investigation gets closer to the President, Mr. Trump is escalating his battle with the very department that's investigating him,” chided White House Correspondent Kristen Welker. “This morning, slamming the FBI, after revelations they're missing five months worth of text messages between FBI agent who was removed from the special counsel probe for writing disparaging messages about then-candidate Trump.”

 

Fox News Channel’s Special Report has been on top of the story from the very beginning and led their Tuesday evening coverage with it. Chief Investigative Correspondent Catherine Herridge pointed out that the cryptic messages between anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress FBI lawyer Lisa Page mentioned the “secret society.”

“Another Republican who read the texts, said the FBI officials talk about a, quote, ‘secret society’ within days of President Trump's victory,” Herridge noted. “’I have a sense of unfinished business. Unleashed it with MYE—‘ or Mid-Year Exam, the FBI’s codename for the Clinton e-mail case, ‘Now I need to fix it and finish it,’” she read from a text message.

The existence of the FBI’s secret society was confirmed by Republican Senator Ron Johnson (Wisc.) who, in an interview with host Bret Baier a short time later, spoke of an “informant” that exposed it to his Senate Homeland Security Committee:

What this is all about is further evidence of corruption, more than bias. But corruption of the highest levels of the FBI. And that secret society, we have an informant talking about a group that was holding secret meetings off-site. There is so much smoke here, there is so much suspicion.

Instead of dedicating serious time to the missing FBI text messages or taking the “secret society” seriously, all three of the networks were fawning over the Oscar nominations. And meanwhile, in Spanish-language television land, neither Univision nor Telemundo even mentioned the scandal at the FBI in their national network newscasts.

Relevant portions of the transcripts were below:

 

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CBS Evening News
January 23, 2018
6:34:38 PM Eastern

(…)

MAJOR GARRETT: The White House claims the investigation is biased. At a White House meeting Monday, attended by Sessions, White House counsel Don McGahn and F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray, the main topic was 5 months of missing text message between high-level F.B.I. employees, some of which have been released publicly and do demonstrate a pattern of political bias against Mr. Trump. In a statement about the F.B.I., a White House spokesman said the President, "Believes politically motivated senior leaders, including former Director Comey and others he empowered, have tainted the agency's reputation for unbiased pursuit of justice." At the white house meeting, Wray also protested the pressure sessions was applying to fire F.B.I. Director cake over the

(…)

...

NBC Nightly News
January 23, 2018
7:05:18 PM Eastern

(…)

KRISTEN WELKER: As the investigation gets closer to the President, Mr. Trump is escalating his battle with the very department that's investigating him. This morning, slamming the FBI, after revelations they're missing five months worth of text messages between FBI agent who was removed from the special counsel probe for writing disparaging messages about then-candidate Trump. To an FBI attorney who also worked on the Mueller team. The President calling it “one of the biggest stories in a long time.”

(…)

...

Fox News Channel
Special Report
January 23, 2018
6:01:35 PM Eastern

(…)

CATHERINE HERRIDGE: On the same day a Justice Department official confirmed the attorney general’s special counsel interview, new text messages suggest senior investigators were skeptical the Russia probe would uncover any wrongdoing.

[Cuts to video]

Two days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller took over the Russia probe in May, newly released text messages between Peter Strzok and re-assigned lawyer Lisa Page suggest they discuss the merits of joining Mueller's team. Strzok writes "You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I would be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concerned there is no big "There" there."

(…)

HERRIDGE: Another Republican who read the texts, said the FBI officials talk about a, quote, “secret society” within days of President Trump's victory.

JOHN RATCLIFFE (R-Tx): There was a society of at least two people, to include Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, that had a desire to keep Donald Trump from becoming president and then an expressed intent to work against him after he was elected president.

HERRIDGE: In the cryptic texts, Strzok writes, "I have a sense of unfinished business. Unleashed it with MYE—“ or Mid-year exam, the FBI’s codename for the Clinton e-mail case, "Now I need to fix it and finish it." The FBI blames the technical problem in a five-month gap in the texts and would not comment on whether the bureau had taken physical custody of their phones to recover the messages.

(…)

6:11:23 PM Eastern

RON JOHNSON: What this is all about is further evidence of corruption, more than bias. But corruption of the highest levels of the FBI. And that secret society, we have an informant talking about a group that was holding secret meetings off-site. There is so much smoke here, there is so much suspicion.

BRET BAIER: Let’s stop there. A secret society? Secret meetings off-site of the Justice Department?

JOHNSON: Correct.

BAIER: And you have an informant saying that?

JOHNSON: Yes.

BAIER: Anything more about that?

JOHNSON: We have to dig into it. This is not a distraction. Again, this is biased, potentially corruption, at the highest levels of the FBI that is no investigating---


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NBDaily Government Agencies FBI Bias by Omission Political Scandals Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Cable Television Fox News Channel Special Report Video Bret Baier Catherine Herridge Kristen Welker Major Garrett Donald Trump Ron Johnson Peter Strzok