Kevin McCarthy attacked a CNN journalist on Capitol Hill, Monday. She was defending her network against accusations of hypocrisy regarding the leak of classified documents.
The exchange began with a question about whether McCarthy was “prepared to defend” Donald Trump. As the Speaker began to answer the question, he brought up the example of Andrew McCabe, who is currently employed by CNN. The reporter responded by interrupting and claiming that was a “different set of facts,” and then the fireworks started.
McCarthy just LIT UP this CNN reporter about them hiring McCabe and Clapper after they leaked classified information and interfered in 2020 pic.twitter.com/JyZg171M0z
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 12, 2023
REPORTER: This is a completely different situation, a totally different set of circumstances. Right? Former president accused of deceiving law enforcement and a conspiracy to obstruct justice. This is a completely different set of facts. Are you willing to defend him in his role as a former president? What other actions, in terms of funding, will the House House Judiciary Committee take?
MCCARTHY: I’m answering your question. You’re welcome to ask me anything, but I have the right to answer it. You cannot put my words in your mouth. Your network can still hire Andrew McCabe, who was fired by the FBI because he leaked classified documents. Have you removed him from your network? You continue to have him on your network to judge President Trump. Clapper is also hired by you.
REPORTER: After what you have seen in the past couple of days, is there any attempt to defund the FBI or the Department of Justice?
MCCARTHY: Your network hired Clapper who literally lied to the American public. One of 51 individuals who had briefings, and used them politically to convince the American public that the laptop had information about the Biden Administration. Are you ready to remove those individuals from your network? My concern as a politician is that if you weaponize the government and then weaponize networks, this is wrong.
It’s controversial to say, but I think McCarthy is a good guy. He’s managed to bring together a caucus that was rabid and disjointed, with priorities that were wildly divergent. I think he has done the best he can with the situation. It’s also a plus that he is good at dealing with the media. This is a refreshing change from Mitch McConnell whose timid and passive attitude was painful to watch.
McCarthy’s criticism of McCabe and CNN is correct. The reporter is trying to divert attention by claiming that Trump was accused of “misleading the law enforcement”, but McCabe’s accusation is exactly that. Legally, he was accused of “lack candor,” which simply means he lied to FBI Agents. McCabe was also found guilty of leaking classified information by the inspector general, who provided documented evidence.
He was never charged. I recall that as a moment of trusting the federal government crossing a Rubicon. The general consensus at the time was that McCabe’s case would be prosecuted. This was a clear-cut case. It was a case that was closed and sealed. It was obvious at that time that the federal government would always protect itself, even if that meant ignoring criminality.
McCarthy’s position is straightforward and his point is simple.
You handle the media in this way. You refuse to accept their premise and don’t let them narrow the discussion. Let’s discuss this topic if CNN wants to. McCarthy’s example shows that it will not go well for CNN.