Wednesday on CNN’s “Newsroom,” Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) said he was open to the possibility that the “intrusion” into the Democratic National Committee’s servers that resulted in thousands of emails being released through Wikileaks last year prior to the start of the Democratic National Convention.
CNN’s Poppy Harlow and John Berman immediately objected to Farenthold raising that possibility. However, Farenthold went on to point out despite such a possibility being based a story crediting anonymous sources, it was not any different from what the rest of the media were doing with stories about potential ties between President Donald Trump and Russia.
Partial transcript as follows:
HARLOW: So Congressman, let me — all right, you say we’re taking the worst part, and that’s your opinion. You are welcome to it. We watched the entire hearing, as it sounds like you did, as well. Let me read you a quote from former CIA chief John Brennan.
By the time I left office on January 20, I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting persons involved in the campaign or not to work on their behalf, again, either wittingly or unwittingly. He went on to say, I saw interaction that raised questions in my mind as to what was the true nature of it.
That is more than just the worst part of it. That is what he said over and over again.
FARENTHOLD: Again, the constant questioning, he was unable to point to any specific evidence, and I think that’s what we’re going to continue to see there. And my fear is our constant focusing on the Russians is deflecting away from some other things that we need to be investigating in. There’s still some question as to whether the intrusion of the DNC server was an insider job or whether or not it was the Russians.
BERMAN: What evidence — I’m sorry, I’m sorry. The insider job, what are you referring to here? Because I hope it’s not this information that Fox News just refused to be reporting.
FARENTHOLD: Well again, there’s stuff circulating on the internet. My question is —
BERMAN: What? What’s circulating on the internet? What’s circulating on the internet that you think is worthy of a congressional investigation? Because the D.C. Police are investigating this, and so far they haven’t said there’s any there there.
FARENTHOLD: Yet the D.C. Police nor no federal investigator has ever had a look at the DNC computer. We’re relying only on the report of somebody that the DNC contracted to examine their computer rather than having federal officials. To me, we need to let the feds look at it.
HARLOW: Congressman, do you think it’s responsible to bring up, as a representative of the American people, to bring up things, in your words, that are swirling on the internet? And give it justification as if there’s a there there when we know nothing on that yet?
FARENTHOLD: I think the same is true with what the media is doing with Trump. We’re basing allegations on anonymous sources.
HARLOW: OK, so do you mean quoting the CIA director who said, quote, I saw evidence worthy of investigation by the bureau to determine whether there was cooperation or collusion that was taking place?
FARENTHOLD: I’m going back to the Comey memo. I’m going back to the Comey memo, which is based entirely on anonymous sources. So my overall point is this needs to be fully investigated. Let the professionals investigate it. Let’s not try it from the media, which is serving as a distraction for what needs to be done in this country. That’s fixing healthcare, that’s getting people back to work, that’s fixing taxes, that’s securing the border. Instead, we’re hearing a constant barrage of anti-Trump, I’m going to call it propaganda.
BERMAN: Well, OK. Again, if the propaganda is coming from the former CIA director, if that’s your opinion, you’re entitled to it. If the FBI director James Comey says he wrote the memos, if he says it out loud from his mouth, will that be propaganda?
FARENTHOLD: Again, I want to hear what Comey has to say. I want to hear the facts. I want to hear the information about it.
HARLOW: But to John’s question, if the former FBI director James Comey says yes, indeed, I wrote those memos, as we have reported from multiple reliable sources, will that still be propaganda in your mind, Congressman?
FARENTHOLD: No it won’t, but we need to hear the facts and circumstances associated with that memo. And I’ll tell you, if he’s such a big memo writer, there are some memos from the previous administration in the campaign that I’d like to see, as well.
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