Monday on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly reacted to the House Intelligence Committee hearing early in the day regarding President Donald Trump and his possible ties to Russia that featured testimony from FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers.
O’Reilly went through the numerous allegations leveled at Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign but downplayed the possibility that anything might come out of those charges. He went on to say that leaks within various federal government agencies must be dealt with.
Transcript as follows (courtesy of BillOReilly.com):
The House Intelligence Committee spent a few hours talking with FBI Chief James Comey and NSA boss Admiral Mike Rogers.
It was clear from the beginning that there was a political agenda, as there always is.
Republican Congress people wanted to know about the leakers – people within government giving classified information to reporters.
That was their top concern.
On the Democratic side, it was the Obama tap – the allegation that President Trump Tweeted out.
At this point, after today’s testimony, there is absolutely no evidence President Obama tapped the Trump Tower.
But today, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said there will be more tap information forthcoming, especially about General Flynn.
The fair thing here is to be fair, avoid speculation, but skepticism on the issue is warranted.
In addition to the tap business, Democrats zeroed in on two former members of the Trump Campaign, hoping to link them to the Russians.
First was a man named Roger Stone, who worked for Mr. Trump for two months in 2015.
He was a consultant.
The second was Paul Manafort, who worked for the Trump campaign for approximately five months but did have a powerful position as campaign chairman.
Democrats insinuated that both men were involved in some kind of corrupt scheme, but the admiral and Mr. Comey would not take the bait, saying that the investigation is ongoing and they cannot comment.
Both men deny any wrongdoing.
Talking Points will be surprised if anything comes of this Russian deal.
However, that controversy is what drove President Trump to accuse President Obama.
Mr. Trump is so infuriated that the media has obsessed on the alleged Russia connection that he lashed out, trying to create a firestorm over the Obama administration’s surveillance history.
Problem is, there is no evidence that anything happened at the Trump Tower.
There is evidence that the Obama Administration surveilled journalists and even the German Chancellor. But that does not go to President Trump’s point.
The accusation that President Obama was actively involved in harming the Trump Campaign has now harmed the president himself.
He needs the American people to focus on the economy, the new healthcare proposal and border security … not alleged conspiracies.
In the future, the president would be wise to embrace only facts in his pronouncements.
The issue of leaks is of vital importance, and both Comey and Rogers acknowledged that today.
It was instructive to see that no Democrat on the House committee really zeroed in on the leakers.
Talking Points expects, expects the FBI to find not only who leaked stuff about General Flynn and the Russian ambassador, but also who violated the White House protocol by putting out the president’s conversations with the prime minister of Australia and the president of Mexico.
If the FBI cannot do that – cannot arrest the leakers – this country is in major trouble.
Summing up, Republicans want to get away from the tap thing. Democrats continue to peddle the Russia/Trump campaign situation.
And that’s the memo.
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor