During a CNN interview on Wednesday evening, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) admitted that he’s discussed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign with the White House.
Asked by anchor John Berman if he’s “had conversations with the White House about the Mueller investigation,” Jordan initially tried to talk over Berman and ignore the question. But under sustained grilling, Jordan eventually admitted that he has in fact discussed the investigation with Trump administration officials.
“Well of co– I talk with the White House about all kinds of things,” Jordan said. “We’ve had talks with the White House about tax policy, we have talks about welfare policy, we had talks about Obamacare — of course we’ve had talks with the White House.”
In recent weeks, Jordan has played a leading role in the ongoing, seemingly concerted effort to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — an effort aided by prominent Fox News personalities who are personally close to Trump, along with House Republicans like Jordan.
But Jordan’s theory of the case goes beyond Mueller’s investigation — his conspiracy, which he’s often given the opportunity to articulate without being challenged on Fox News, is that the FBI was actually colluding with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in an effort to bring down Donald Trump before the election.
There’s a major and obvious hole in Jordan’s theory, however — if the FBI was colluding with Clinton during the election, then why did FBI Director James Comey go out of his way to publicize the Clinton email investigation just days before the election? Prominent pollsters such as Nate Silver have concluded that the negative publicity Comey’s move generated for Clinton may have cost her the presidency.
During the CNN interview on Wednesday, Jordan was asked that very question. He replied that viewers have to “remember the context when Mr. Comey does that — everybody thought Clinton was going to win.”
As the interview wrapped up, Berman confronted Jordan with another big hole in his conspiracy theory, mentioning the fact that the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign began in the summer of 2016 but didn’t become public knowledge until after the election.
“You think James Comey — it went all the way to the top of the FBI — to keep Donald Trump from being president,” Berman said. “If that’s true, why then did he come out, again, and open up the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, and never even tell us before the election about the investigation into alleged Trump collusion? If he was trying to keep Donald Trump from getting elected, don’t you think he might tell voters that?”
All Jordan could say in response was “we’ll find out.”
If Jordan is taking cues from the White House with regard to the Russia investigation, he wouldn’t be the first congressional Republican used by the White House in an effort to exonerate Trump. In February, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) were both enlisted by the White House to call members of the media and help tamp down media reports about the Trump’s campaign contacts with Russia.
Burr and Nunes “made calls to news organizations… in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives,” the Washington Post reported. In an interview with the Post, Burr acknowledged communicating with news organizations “to dispute articles by the New York Times and CNN that alleged ‘repeated’ or ‘constant’ contact between Trump campaign members and Russian intelligence operatives.”
A secret trip Nunes later made to the White House for a briefing on Russia-related intelligence he used in an attempt to gin up a scandal surrounding the Obama administration’s surveillance practices ultimately forced him to temporarily step aside from his committee’s Russia investigation.