Following the release of text messages exchanged between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, CNN attempted to dismiss media reports that called into question former President Barack Obama’s involvement in the Hillary Clinton email probe.
But as noted by Grabien News, it’s really CNN’s reporting that doesn’t quite add up.
It all started last week when Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and other Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee released a new batch of messages that were exchanged between Page and Strzok, who were having an affair.
The messages were accompanied by a report called, “The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI’s Investigation of it.”
In a message dated Sept. 2, 2016 — just two months before Election Day — Page wrote to Strzok about getting then-FBI Director James Comey ready to brief Obama. Page’s reasoning was that “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”
Fox News reviewed the message and noted that according to the new Senate report, “this text raises questions about Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation.”
It didn’t take long for CNN to take a stab at debunking this bombshell report.
“People familiar with the matter strongly dispute the assertion that the text message referenced the Clinton email probe,” the outlet wrote. “The text message, they say, was actually referencing Obama’s desire to be kept abreast on the FBI’s investigation into Russian election meddling.
CNN correctly pointed out that the text message in question was sent several months after the FBI closed the Clinton email investigation. Moreover, it came just three days before Sept. 5, when Obama met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss election meddling.
However, texts between Strzok and Page show that on Sept. 7, Strzok was scheduled to meet with Comey to prepare the FBI director to brief Obama, meaning that Obama would not have met with Comey until days after he spoke with Putin.
“Checkout my 9:30 mtg on the 7th,” Strzok wrote.
“I can tell you why you’re having that meeting. It’s not what you think,” Page responded, before Strzok said that the meeting’s purpose was to provide Comey with talking points for his own upcoming meeting.
At that point, Page agreed, writing, “Yes, bc potus wants to know everything we are doing.”
According to Grabien, this seems to throw a wrench in CNN’s reporting.
“Why would the meeting wherein the FBI is supposed to prepare its talking points for an Obama/Putin meeting — when that Obama/Putin meeting happened two days before?” the outlet asked.
What’s more, though the FBI had at that point already announced it would not recommend that charges be filed against Clinton, the former secretary of state’s email controversy was still a controversial topic, even within the bureau.
On the night of Sept. 7, Fox correspondent Catherine Herridge reported that “Comey was trying to quell ‘internal dissent’ over the FBI’s decision to exonerate Clinton,” according to Grabien.
Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam Schiff went on CNN that night and criticized then-Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz after the Republican called for the Clinton email case to be reopened.
“Point being: Even as the FBI wasn’t actively investigating Clinton at this point in time, the topic was still very much occupying the news, and the FBI’s, focus,” Grabien argued.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.