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Tag: ABC

Lengel: Comey Gets Kudos For Speaking Out, But Still No Free Pass For Doing Wrong Thing in Some Instances

Former FBI Director James Comey on A?BC’s 20/20.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI Director James Comey delivered some damaging blows to the Donald Trump presidency during his Sunday night interview on ABC, calling Trump unfit for office and suggesting Trump obstructed justice when he asked that the Michael Flynn probe be dropped.

It was a welcome interview, and a candid one, that was needed under the circumstances with a president who has so little respect for boundaries, the truth and the rule of law.

But I still don’t buy Comey’s defense for saying far too much when he issued a statement in 2016 that there would be no charges in the Hillary Clinton case. Ditto for his explanation for sending the letter to Congress that he was re-opening the Clinton investigation. I don’t buy it.

Comey was a popular director beloved by many inside the FBI. He was a modern-day G-man, articulate and smart. But he did have an ego, as many in official Washington have,  and sometimes he was a little too concerned about his boy scout image above all else.

First off, let’s get to the statement he made about the Clinton investigation in 2016. In Sunday’s interview he says:

“My view was– and this is a longstanding practice of the Department of Justice, that in rare cases, you should offer transparency so the American people can take a look at what you did and know that it was done in an honest, competent, independent way.”

There were certainly people inside the FBI, particularly in New York, who assumed the agency had enough to criminally charge Clinton. So, yes it’s understandable that Comey wanted to be transparent, defend himself and explain why he wasn’t charging. But right is right. Any federal prosecutor or agent knows you can’t announce that you’re not charging someone, then go on and trash them as if you just had.

It’s improper.

Then there’s the letter to Congress days before the election. The Justice Department policy is not to influence an election when at all possible.

Comey is asked by George Stephanopoulos: “If you knew that letter would elect Donald Trump, you’d still send it?”

Comey responds: “I would. I would. In fact, that was a question asked by one of my best people– a deputy general counsel in the FBI who is a very thoughtful and quiet person, who didn’t speak a lot. And that– that morning we were making that decision, she asked, ‘Should you consider that what you’re about do to may help elect Donald Trump president?’

“And I paused, and then I said, ‘Thank you for asking that question. That’s a great question. But the answer is not for a moment because down that path lies the death of the FBI as an independent force in American life. If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we’re done. We’re no longer that group in America that is apart from the partisans, and that can be trusted. We’re just another player in the– in the tribal battle.”

Comey indicates his honor and the FBI’s honor was on the line and he had to tell Congress that there was a new development in the Clinton probe.

That being said, so too, on the line, was the integrity of the election.

He decided his image was more important than the election.

Plus, truth be told,  he had a cover. The Justice Department told him not to send the letter, and technically, the Justice Department is his boss.

If he had gotten grief from members of Congress about not notifying them of the new development before the election, he could have said he wanted to but the Justice Department told him not to.

All that being said,  Comey gets kudos for helping bring more transparency to a troubled presidency.

Comey: Trump Morally Unfit to Be Prez; Russians Could Have Something on Trump

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Director James Comey, in a much-awaited interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Sunday evening, said President Donald Trump is morally unfit to be president, and accused Trump of urging him to drop the investigation into National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Comey also said Trump might be compromised by the Russians.

“I think it’s possible. I don’t know,” Comey said of the Russians. “These are more words I never thought I’d utter about a president of the United States, but it’s possible.”

To read the transcript of the interview click here. 

Belows are snippets of the interview: Video 1: Comey Talks about Trump being unfit to be president. Video 2: He says he thinks the Russians may have something on Trump. Video 3:  He talks about Trump demanding loyalty. Video 4: Comey says firing Mueller would be an attack on the rule of law.



Christmas Party May Have Triggered San Bernardino Terror Attack: ABC News

New ABC Drama ‘Quantico’ to Feature Group of FBI Recruits

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ABC will premier a new drama, “Quantico,” on Sept. 27 about a group of FBI recruits training at Quantico Base.

The network released the first eight minutes of the show, starring Priyanka Chopra.

One of the recruits is accused of masterminding a terrorist attack in New York.

The show premiers at 10 p.m.

Ex-FBI Chief Spokesman John Miller Has Returned to TV

John Miller/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In case you didn’t notice, John Miller, who headed the FBI’s public affairs office, and then moved on in 2009 to become assistant deputy director of intelligence analysis for the Office of Director of National Intelligence, has returned to TV.

The New York Post recently reported that Miller showed up on “CBS This Morning”.

“I thought the stars were aligned — the two wars were winding down, bin Laden was killed,” Miller told the Post. He was named a CBS News senior correspondent in October.

“I always knew I was coming back to journalism,” he tells The Post. “It was just a question of when and where.”

From 1995 to 2002, Miller was an ABC news correspondent and in 2002, he was promoted to co-anchor of “20/20.”

 

Ex-ABC Reporter Says He Never Disclosed Name of Confidential Source to FBI; Calls Allegations “Outrageous and Untrue”

Chris Isham/cbs photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Washington bureau chief for CBS News says reports that he gave up a confidential informant to the FBI in the 1990s while he worked at ABC simply aren’t true, according to the Huffington Post.

A story by the Center for Public Integrity said declassified memo suggested that the then-ABC reporter disclosed the name of a confidential source to the FBI in the wake of the Oklahoma bombing.

But the reporter, Christopher Isham, whose name was not in the memo, but who was identified by the website Gawker, issued a statement, according to the Huffington Post, saying the allegations were ” “outrageous and untrue” and that he would have talked to the FBI to verify info or warn of a potential terrorist attack.

“This is consistent with the policies at every news organization,” Isham said, according to the Huffington Post. “But at no time did I compromise a confidential source with the FBI or anyone else.”

The news reports said the source in question was Vincent Cannistrarto, a former CIA official who was working for ABC News at the time as a paid consultant, Huffington Post reported.  Cannistrato passed on a tip that ended up being untrue: that the Iraqi Special Services were linked to the Oklahoma bombing.

“Mr. Cannistraro was not a confidential source, but rather a colleague–a paid consultant to ABC News who had already spoken to the FBI about information he had received,” Isham said, according to the Huffington Post.

The New York Times reported that Cannistraro, “said in an interview that Mr. Isham had done something discourteous, perhaps, but not improper.”

“I was working for ABC as a consultant,” he said. “I was not a confidential source.”

The Times reported that said he would have preferred if Isham told him about passing on the tip.

“I was not told that Chris was also going to talk to them. And he certainly didn’t tell me,” Cannistraro said, according to the Times.

Secret Service’s Computers Only Fully Operational 60 Percent of Time

computer-photoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Here’s one secret the Secret Service would rather keep secret.

ABC’s Jason Ryan reports that “a classified review of the United States Secret Service’s computer technology found that the agency’s computers were fully operational only 60 percent of the time because of outdated systems and a reliance on a computer mainframe that dates to the 1980s, according to Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.”

“We have here a premiere law enforcement organization in our country which is responsible for the security of the president and the vice president and other officials of our government, and they have to have better IT than they have,” Lieberman, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee told ABC News.

To read more click here.

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ABC’s ‘Homeland Security USA’ Show a Bomb

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — I just finished watching the first episode of ABC’s “Homeland Security USA” and I can honestly say the best thing about it was the Domino’s Pizza commercial about its new baked submarine sandwiches.
Simply put: ABC deserves a D.
The show falls flat.  Sure there’s some drugs seized and some illegal immigrants busted. But there’s just not that much to it.
At one point, cameras roll and  border agents at the San Ysidro checkpoint at the California -Mexico border draw guns on a car. They think they may have an armed and dangerous man. A woman gets out the car, kneels on the ground, puts her hands behind her head. Her husband eventually gets out of the car. She tells the officers they always mistake her husband for someone else. Guess what. She’s right. They’re wrong. Ooops.
Then there’s “Nora” the belly dancer from Switzerland who gets interrogated at LAX airport. She’s come to America to belly dance at local restaurants. But she doesn’t have working papers. Officers interrogate her.  What are your intentions? Do you realize you don’t have working papers? And oh yes: Would you like a cheeseburger or would you prefer a cup of noodles?
The show is between 8 and 9 p.m. every Tuesday. So are some much better shows: “House” and “The Daily Show” and “The Stephen Colbert Show”. And oh yes, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser”, which I hate to say, at least at this point, may be a more befitting name for this ABC show.
And now about those baked submarine sandwiches….
Read  Review by Tom Shales of the Washington Post