Just three days after he published an op-ed in The New York Times explaining his decision to leave the FBI over the “relentless attacks on the bureau”, New Day co-host Alisyn Camerota announced that Former FBI Special Agent Josh Campbell has accepted a position as CNN’s new law enforcement analyst.
The New York Times published the op-ed on Friday, following the release of the classified memo that “accuses the F.B.I. and the Justice Department of abusing their surveillance powers to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser.” Campbell argued that he had to resign because he felt that “remaining quiet while the bureau is tarnished for political gain is impossible.”
While his piece does not directly mention President Trump by name, it criticizes “scorched-earth attacks from politicians with partisan goals” and accuses politicians of “weaponizing their disagreement with a particular investigation in a bid to undermine the credibility of the entire institution.” The op-ed actually quotes Former FBI Director James Comey, whom people on both sides of the aisle have few kind things to say about.
To many political observers, CNN’s decision hardly seems like a coincidence, especially after reading the op-ed. It did not take long for Donald Trump Jr. to weigh in on CNN’s desire to hire Campbell on Twitter, saying “You would think their stable is full in the hate on Trump department. Ahh, who am I kidding? It’s CNN of course there’s more room.” Camerota brought up the tweet while interviewing Campbell Monday morning, arguing that he was “denigrating” Campbell’s decision.
Camerota asked Campbell for a response, probably hoping that he would use the opportunity to attack the President’s son. For his part, Campbell did not take the bait, indicating his desire to stay out of “the politics of it” and also mentioning that “you have to respect that the President is a Commander-in-Chief.” Do not expect the folks in the liberal media and the #Resist movement to start respecting the fact that Donald Trump is the Commander-in-Chief anytime soon.
Here is a transcript of the February 5 exchange:
7:52 AM ET
ALISYN CAMEROTA: An FBI Agent leaving his job because of the “relentless” political attacks on the bureau from the President and Congressional Republicans. He wrote about it in a New York Times op-ed piece over the weekend and that former FBI Special Agent Josh Campbell joins us now. He is also CNN’s new law enforcement analyst. Welcome, Josh.
7:59 AM ET
CAMEROTA: Well, that day is not today because Don Jr. tweeted about you leaving your job. He tweeted this, “You would think their stable is full in the hate on Trump department. Ahh, who am I kidding? It’s CNN of course there’s more room.” He’s, you know, obviously denigrating your choice to leave the FBI and then to come here as an analyst? What’s your response?
JOSH CAMPBELL: Well first, let me say that I’m not going to begrudge a son for protecting his father. I can only imagine what that situation is like and I’ll also say that whether you’re a citizen or whether you’re in government, you have to respect that the President is a Commander-in-Chief. We have to respect that office. Full stop. So I don’t want to get into the politics of it. I’ll just say that from a practitioner standpoint throughout the organization, FBI agents and professional staff, as I mentioned, we just want the temperature to come down. If we need to have an important national discussion on certain actions that took place in the FBI, it’s something that we’ll certainly welcome and we can do. We just want the temperature to come down so we can have an effective dialogue.