Friday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and host Tucker Carlson debated the merits of the House Intelligence Committee memo released earlier in the day about alleged political bias within the FBI and the Department of Justice during the 2016 presidential election.
Some Democrats have suggested the memo’s release could endanger national security, to which Carlson claimed was false. However, Swalwell suggested otherwise and went as far to say Carlson was jeopardizing national security.
Partial transcript as follows:
CARLSON: So Congressman, many Democrats including leaders, including Pelosi and Schiff to name two, said the release would jeopardize American national security. That turned out to be a lie, provably, because there was nothing in this that was classified. There was no obvious reason it was classified in the first place. So, why would they tell us that when they knew it wasn’t true?
SWALWELL: Good evening, Tucker. You should be concerned about this, too. It does reveal sources. You should read the memo.
CARLSON: I did.
SWALWELL: Just because you knew the sources beforehand because they were reported on doesn’t mean we acknowledge them in ongoing investigation.
CARLSON: Please be precise about how it jeopardizes our national security because a lot of us are concerned about doing that and I would never want to play any role in doing that. And that’s why it’s such a serious charge.
SWALWELL: You are playing a role in doing that right now.
CARLSON: Tell me how.
SWALWELL: Because we don’t acknowledge sources in ongoing investigations.
CARLSON: What source are you talking about and how does that imperil our country?
SWALWELL: Well, the memo goes to Papadopoulos and Page and others that you only knew about because they were reported on, not because —
CARLSON: I knew because Papadopoulos was indicted and the memo came out today. So, just explain to me how — you just accused me of endangering American national security and I think it’s fair for you to be very precise in explaining how I’m doing that. So please do.
SWALWELL: The larger danger —
CARLSON: No, not the larger danger. Slow down. I’m not going to let you go on that. You just —
SWALWELL: I already went on that.
CARLSON: You got two choices either apologize and take it back or can you explain it. I think it’s fair to explain what you meant when you said I was — how does that jeopardize our country’s security?
SWALWELL: Because we don’t reveal the sources in ongoing investigation. Tucker, right now —
SWALWELL: In every police station in America the police are interviewing a suspect. And you are suggesting that we should give the suspect the evidence before we ask them the question.
CARLSON: Who is the suspect? What the hell are you talking about?
SWALWELL: They gave the White House evidence in the Russian investigation. The White House are subject of the Russia.
CARLSON: I’m talking about me as an American citizen show got a chance to read this much talked about memo today. And I listened to people tell me now explicitly tell me I’m hurting this country by reading it? And I want to know how I’m doing that.
SWALWELL: You are also hurting the country by not acknowledging the rule of law has been run over. They are using the police. Attacking the police because they are under investigation.
CARLSON: I’m sorry, one death penalty offense at a time here. OK, one serious crime at a time.
SWALWELL: I still like you Tucker, but I think you are wrong on this one.
CARLSON: You’re not answering this question.
SWALWELL: You don’t like the answer. That’s the problem.
CARLSON: We know from this that Carter Page four times was described by the Department of Justice, by the FBI, as an agent of a foreign power, Russia. Four times. So the question —
SWALWELL: And in 2013 as well.
CARLSON: He was not accused of that in 2013.
SWALWELL: He acknowledged to our committee.
SWALWELL: I’m reveal something you should have read his testimony to our committee he acknowledged he was person A in the indictment in 2013 where he was suspected of being a Russian foreign agent.
CARLSON: But I don’t think was accused of it.
SWALWELL: He was suspected it.
CARLSON: OK, fine. Do you think since the DOJ accused him of that, before a FISA court, do you believe it? Is a foreign agent? Simple question. What do you think?
SWALWELL: He was under suspicion. It’s an ongoing investigation that’s not closed. That’s the problem, Tucker. It’s still open. You want us to comment on it. It’s open. It’s still an open investigation.
CARLSON: You are entitled to an opinion under the Constitution. If you are going to impugn the man relentlessly have — accusing him of betraying his country, of committing treason. I think it’s fair to ask you an honest question, man-to-man, straightforward, no innuendo — do you think is he betraying his country?
SWALWELL: I think you are not allowing the FBI to answer that question with what you and others are doing to undermine their work.
CARLSON: You have got to be kidding. All I want is for my questions to be answered. I sit here an open, willing, repository for all information, including your memo, including the documents that supported this memo, including this testimony.
SWALWELL: So you support our memo coming out? I want to be clear.
CARLSON: Of course I do.
SWALWELL: You support our memo coming out?
CARLSON: Absolutely I do. I support all information that gets to the truth.
SWALWELL: Invite me back. I will be in Washington.
CARLSON: What I don’t support is making reckless allegations about other Americans that you cannot support as when you said I was harming our country’s national security and when you suggested Carter Page was betraying this nation.
SWALWELL: You are peddling a narrative that undermines the rule of law.
CARLSON: I’m not peddling a narrative. I’m asking a question. You just said on my air, on my show you are imperiling our national security. I said, “Oh, really congressman, how am I doing that?” Am I going to be arrested for that? Because I don’t know. It seems like something a man could be arrested for.
SWALWELL: Yeah. These are important times in our history.
CARLSON: I’ve noticed.
SWALWELL: Either you are supporting those undermining the independence of the department of justice and the rule of law, or you are standing firm in saying this is wrong. Tucker, I wish you were on my side because I think you know better.
CARLSON: I’m not sure what the hell you are talking about. I only wish —
SWALWELL: I think you don’t like what I’m talking about.
CARLSON: I definitely don’t like what you are talking about, but more profoundly I don’t understand it and when you accuse someone.
SWALWELL: Read our memo when it is released next week.
CARLSON: Game it out for me. Tell me one thing that I have said that you think makes all Americans, including my children less safe?
SWALWELL: You continue to support the idea that we should give suspects in criminal cases the evidence against them before we ask them any question. You also believe
CARLSON: I do think we should give the benefit of the doubt that the Constitution requires me to do. Call me a liberal. When have I said that we should give evidence to — I’m not even sure what that means. By the way, I think people charged in the criminal case have a right to the evidence against them, don’t they? Are you aware of that?
SWALWELL: Tucker, not when they are being questioned. Not when they are under suspicion. Do you think it’s a problem a problem that the White House —
CARLSON: What information have I —
SWALWELL: — Russia investigation. Do you think it’s a problem that they were sent evidence in the Russian investigation when they are subjects of the investigation?
CARLSON: Who is “they?”
SWALWELL: You don’t see a conflict there? Donald Trump and Don McGahn —
CARLSON: In the case of today’s memo, what specifically have I espoused that empowers threats to our country?
SWALWELL: You are peddling the narrative that the Trump administration is putting out, which also is the Putin narrative because they are retweeting this with their Russian bots —
CARLSON: So I’m working for Putin, too. I wondering, do you perceive the total collapse —
SWALWELL: — Wikileaks and Putin. You should take a step back and wonder whose bidding are you really doing?
CARLSON: I don’t even know what to say. I don’t want to explode on TV, so I am just going to end this segment now. Let the record reflect he accused me of working for a hostile foreign government.
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