John Podesta and the Clinton Camp “seem to be blaming” the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, “for being transparent with Congress,” according to Jake Tapper of CNN on a Sunday morning show he hosts.
Tapper began recounting the facts of the matter for Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chairman Podesta, while viewers possibly wondered why no one was loudly blaming Clinton, her aide and/or the husband who was being investigated for sexting a teenager on a device which contained 650,000 emails, some of which carry metadata from “state.gov and HRC emails,” per the U.K.’s Daily Mail.
“Suddenly, Comey finds that his sworn statement from September that the FBI had completed its review was no longer true. They had more materials. Now, Clinton didn’t follow protocols when she started her e-mail server. Huma Abedin did not turn over that computer. Weiner was doing what he was doing.”
Then Tapper hit Podesta on the matter.
“And you and the Clinton campaign seem to be blaming Comey for being transparent with Congress. What was he supposed to do?”
And Podesta’s answer blamed Comey for not taking “further steps.” He also mentioned that the November general election was “11 days out” and the FBI direction’s decision “seemed to break with precedent” and also seemed “inappropriate at this stage.”
“So, to throw this in the middle of the campaign 11 days out just seemed to break with precedent and be inappropriate at this stage. If they’re not significant, they’re not significant. So, he might have taken the first step of actually having looked at them before he did this in the middle of a presidential campaign so close to the voting.”
Host Tapper reacted to this statement which did seem to be blaming the FBI director. Podesta interrupted him. Here is the exchange from the transcript over at CNN.
TAPPER: “But it’s not that they haven’t read any of them. Obviously, the FBI agents who stumbled upon them read some of them, and determined them to be pertinent and realized that they didn’t have…”
PODESTA: “Do you know that, Jake? Do you know that?”
TAPPER: “That’s according to the report.”
PODESTA: “We don’t know anything.”
TAPPER: “It’s according to — I’m telling you, according to the reporting of Evan Perez, our Justice Department correspondent. It’s not as though they didn’t know anything in the e-mails. They stumbled upon them, found that they seemed to be pertinent to the Clinton e-mail server investigation.”
After this exchange, Tapper asked about the hacking of Podesta’s emails.
“Has anyone in the government provided you with the status report, John, on the investigation into your hacked and stolen e-mails?”
“No,” replied Podesta. “I talked to the FBI at the beginning of this. And all — my attorney has been in touch with them. It’s part of the investigation of the Russian hacks. And — but the scope of it, who knew what when, the fact that the Trump campaign seems to have been in contact with Julian Assange and the Wiki — and — from WikiLeaks quite early, at least as early as August, I don’t know what their investigation is finding.”
Finally, Tapper asked his guest “whether or not Hillary Clinton has actually learned from this experience when it comes to people in her circle who enable bad decisions by the Clintons.”
“And I am not necessarily including you in that group. But people inside her circle such as you and Neera Tanden and Robby Mook, people who are more of, I would say, kind of a new guard, even if you have a longstanding relationship with the Clintons, were stunned when word of the private e-mail server was first reported by The New York Times in March of 2015, according to those stolen e-mails published by WikiLeaks.”
Tapper then brought up an email Podesta wrote on March 3, 2015 to Clinton campaign staff Robby Mook and Neera Tanden.
“[Q]uote — ‘Did you have any idea of the depth of this story?’ Neera Tanden, a Clinton ally who is now co-chairing your transition, wrote: ‘Why didn’t they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy.’ You responded, ‘Unbelievable.’ Neera Tanden wrote: ‘I guess I know the answer. They wanted to get away with it.'”
“Well, look, it’s easy with 20/20 hindsight. I think, if someone had taken the steps and looked at it, if — one would have definitely made a different decision. But it happened. I think it was — at the beginning, it was just done for convenience. But, at the end of the day, it was a major problem, I think.”
But he had more to say about it, too, and Podesta managed not to continue blaming the FBI director while actually spinning a positive thought about the candidate he represents.
“As I told you, I think she’s learned from it. I have worked with her closely in this campaign. She takes hard advice. She respects people who will get up in her face. And I think that the reason I have kind of survived through the whole campaign is because that’s the kind of person I am.”
[Featured Image by Charles Dharapak, File/AP Images]