Playing Dumb: Comey Claimed Ignorance of a Hillary-Weiner Connection on NBC, NPR

June 15th, 2018 11:10 AM

Mike Brest at the Daily Caller reported former FBI director James Comey told the Justice Department's Inspector General he couldn't figure out why Hillary Clinton's emails would end up on Anthony Weiner's computer. “I don’t know that I knew that [Weiner] was married to Huma Abedin at the time.” As dumb as this sounds, this is not a new spin for Comey. He also uncorked this I'm-seriously-uninformed line on the April 29 Meet the Press: 

CHUCK TODD: I want to ask about the Clinton e-mail investigation. Starting in October, you say in your book that Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told you something about Anthony Weiner and his laptop and something involved the Clinton -- in early October. And then there's sort of a gap. You sort of don't explain why nothing [happens] -- and then you sort of fast forward to October 27th.

What happened in the intervening time there? Why wasn't -- why didn't your antenna go off sooner, going, "whoa, Anthony Weiner? What? We better get on top of this."

JAMES COMEY: Yeah, I remember somebody, and I think it was the deputy director, Andrew McCabe, saying something to me early in October, I think? And I didn't index on it, because how on Earth could there be a connection between Anthony Weiner and Hillary Clinton's e-mails? And so, I don`t remember even noting it in my head as a follow-up.

And the next thing I remember is the team coming back to me -- actually Andy e-mailed me at 5: 30 in the morning on October 27th, saying, the team needs to meet with you. And met with them that morning and got the full briefing. I don`t know exactly what happened in between. I assumed, and it wasn`t conscious, but I think I must have assumed the team was following up to figure if there was a connection between Weiner and Clinton.

Todd moved to the next question, showing no amazement at this answer. Comey also did this on April 17 on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Note the same "How on Earth" verbiage: 

TERRY GROSS: Let's get back to my interview with James Comey. His new memoir, A Higher Loyalty, was published today. I want to ask you about the Hillary Clinton emails that were found on Anthony Weiner's computer...And 11 days before the election, you notified Congress that those emails were discovered and now you had to investigate what was said in them. Andrew McCabe, who was then the FBI's deputy director, had been told about these emails by the New York office about three weeks before your announcement. When did you find out? Did McCabe tell you as soon as he knew?

JAMES COMEY: Somebody told me. And I think it was Andrew McCabe, but I'm not certain of that. But someone at the FBI told me I think in the first week of October that there may be some connection between Anthony Weiner's laptop that was seized in a criminal case in New York and the Midyear investigation, which was the code name that the FBI had for the Clinton email investigation.

I don't remember that conversation clearly. And that makes sense to me because how on Earth could there be a connection between Anthony Weiner's laptop and the Clinton investigation? And so I don't remember it clearly. I remember clearly that Andrew McCabe emailed me at 5:30 in the morning on October 27 telling me that the Midyear team needed to meet with me. And later that morning, the team told me that they had found hundreds of thousands of Hillary Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop, didn't know how they got there.

On Thursday night's Tucker Carlson Tonight, author Mark Steyn offered a comedic rant on how implausibly incompetent Comey sounded: