Fox News host Sean Hannity has been in regular contact with President Trump, encouraging him to release the Nunes memo, according to a report by the Daily Beast. On Friday afternoon, Trump followed Hannity’s advice and made the memo public.
On Friday night, Hannity gave his 4 million viewers a summary of the memos findings. Nearly every word is a lie.
“It proves that the entire basis for the Russia investigation was based on lies that were bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton”
The memo actually explicitly states the opposite. According to the memo, the FBI counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s connection was based on information the FBI received about George Papadapolous in July 2016. This had nothing to do with the Steele Dossier, which was paid for in part by Clinton. Rather, Papadapolous bragged about his connections with Russian operatives, who had promised him dirt on Hillary Clinton, to an Australian diplomat, who reported it to the FBI.
Further, the memo does not “prove” that everything in the Steele dossier is a lie. It does not even assert that without proof. The memo does not weigh in on the truth of the claims in the Steele dossier. Rather, it simply states it was included in submission to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking surveillance of Carter Page, a former adviser to the Trump campaign.
“The Mueller investigation does need to be shut down.”
The memo does not discuss the Mueller investigation at all. It does say that Rod Rosenstein, Trump’s handpicked Deputy Attorney General, who is currently overseeing Mueller’s investigation, approved one of the applications to extend surveillance of Carter Page. But it does not establish that there was anything inappropriate about that approval.
Even Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee and a vocal supporter of President Trump, made this clear.
As I have said repeatedly, I also remain 100 percent confident in Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The contents of this memo do not – in any way – discredit his investigation.
— Trey Gowdy (@TGowdySC) February 2, 2018
“The people responsible… many need to go to jail”
The memo does not allege that there was any illegal activity by any member of the FBI or Justice Department. It does not say that the surveillance warrant on Carter Page lacked probable cause.
After a lengthy fact-challenged monologue, Hannity provided another summary of the memo. It wasn’t any more accurate.
“The FBI misled and purposely deceived a federal court…”
The memo does not allege that anyone “purposely deceived a federal court.” It alleges that there were omissions in the filings, which were likely hundreds of pages long. It does not say that those omissions were purposeful nor that they misled the court in any way.
“…while using an unverified, completely phony, opposition research, bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton…”
Again, the memo notably does not discuss the underlying veracity of the Steele dossier. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member on the House Intelligence Committee, said today that only a small part of the Steele dossier was presented to the court and much of that information had already been corroborated at the time of the initial submission.
“…to spy on an opposition campaign during a presidential election…”
The surveillance of Carter Page began in October. Page’s tenure with the campaign ended in September.
“…all to help one candidate out — all to mislead the American people.”
The surveillance of Carter Page was not made public during the campaign and, therefore, did not benefit Hillary Clinton. The American people did not know anything about it on election day.
The FBI did not even disclose the existence of the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign, even while it disclosed extensive details about the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email server.