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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Some Republicans are feverishly attempting to defend Donald Trump’s shocking comments that he would accept political dirt on his opponents from foreign powers by saying, “Hillary Clinton did the same thing.”
The only problem is that just isn’t true, according to the official who headed the FBI in the interim after Trump fired Director James Comey.
Certain top Republicans, including Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, are pointing a finger at Clinton because her 2016 presidential campaign hired the firm FusionGPS to conduct opposition research against Trump. The firm ultimately hired British operative Christopher Steele to compile a dossier of dirt on Trump.
That is disingenuous and a false equivalency, said Andrew McCabe, who served as deputy director of the FBI for nearly two years, including a stint of a few months as acting director in 2017.
“There’s no equivalence between the two examples. To openly invite foreign intelligence officers representatives from a hostile foreign government to steal information, to acquire opposition research in anyway, any illegal way they might do that is one thing. For a campaign to hire a law firm, an American law firm that then turns around and hires an American research company that then contracts out with a foreign individual, that is not illegal,” said McCabe, who worked his way up the FBI over about 20 years before becoming a favorite political target of Trump’s before being fired for alleged wrongdoing which McCabe said were politically motivated allegations.
“Campaigns are allowed to hire individuals, foreign individuals and to pay those individuals for the services that they provide and I would add too, Chris, that the example of the Clinton campaign it is that very foreign individual that stepped forward and provided the information he had collected to the FBI because he was so troubled by what he was seeing,” McCabe added in an on-air interview with CNN host Chris Cuomo. “It’s odd that a foreign individual involved in the campaign process was familiar enough with the threat and with the concerns that that information posed that he stepped forward and provide it to the FBI and not something obviously that the president and his staff would be willing to do.”