I am going to write more about this. This is just a placeholder.
REP. TREY GOWDY, R—S.C., CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: I think there are two things important to understand. Number one, the source of President Trump’s frustration. Brennan say he should be in the dustbin of history. Comey said impeachment is too good of a remedy. Clapper doesn’t like him, Loretta Lynch, said call it a matter, not an investigation.
Schiff said he had evidence of collusion before we even began the investigation, and 60 Democrats have voted to impeach him before Bob Mueller has come up with a single solitary finding. That’s what’s got him frustrated.
What should have him hearten is the fact that Chris Wray, Rod Rosenstein, and all the senior folks at DOJ now were all Trump appointees. So, here is what’s fair to ask, what did the FBI do? When did they do it? What was the factual predicate upon which they took whatever actions they took and against whom were they directed?
But remember, Martha, it was President Trump, himself who said, number one, “I didn’t collude with the Russia but if anyone connected with my campaign did, I want the FBI to find that out.” It looks to me like the FBI was doing what President Trump said I want you to do, find it out. He is not the target. So, when Schiff and others don’t make that clear, they’re doing the disservice to our fellow citizens. He is not the target.
MACCALLUM: But this raises the question that the president raised in this — in this one of those tweets, there were a lot of them. In which we talked about quite a bit here last week, is if that were the case, why didn’t they give him a little briefing?
So, here is what we found out. You know, we do have somebody who asked some questions of George Papadopoulos. We do have somebody who’s asked questions of Carter Page. Here’s what you need to know.
GOWDY: I think, defensive briefings are done a lot. And why the Comey FBI didn’t do it? I don’t know, but Chris Wray and Rod Rosenstein have at least made it clear to us, Donald Trump was never the target of the investigation. He is not the current target of the investigation. Now, keep in mind that can all change depending on what a witness says.
But as of now, I think Chris Wray and Rod Rosenstein are stunned whenever people think Trump is the target of their investigation. I’ll leave it up to them how to brief the president, or how to brief his lawyers.
MACCALLUM: Was that point of view that you’re talking about right now, was that strengthened when you went into this briefing last week?
GOWDY: Yes, I am — I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got. And that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.
MACCALLUM: All right. So, given the things that were over here on your right hand, all the frustrations, do you think it’s problematic the way the president has — is tweeting about this all the time? Because he feels like he needs to get — he needs to vent. He’s got to get his message out there. Is it legally problematic in your mind what he is doing?
GOWDY: I think any time you create prior statements, you give Mueller or other folks a chance to question you on them and ask what was your factual basis, why did you say that? The president should have access to the best legal minds in the country. And I think he should take advantage of those. And he has got some really good communicators that are on his staff and at his — at his call. If I were his lawyer, and I never will be, I would tell him to rely on his lawyers and his comes folks.
MACCALLUM: All right, here is one of them, Rudy Giuliani, speaking with Bill Hemmer over the holiday weekend. Watch this.
BILL HEMMER, FOX NEWS CO-ANCHOR: What’s wrong with the government trying to figure out what Russia was up to?
RUDY GIULIANI, ATTORNEY TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Nothing wrong with the government doing that. Everything wrong with the government spying on a candidate of the opposition party, that’s a Watergate, a spy gate. I mean, and without any warning to him. And now, to compound that, to make it into a criminal investigation bill? That’s why this is a rigged investigation.
GOWDY: There are two things wrong with what the former U.S. attorney said. Number one, no one knows whether this is a criminal investigation. Mueller was told to do a counterintelligence investigation into what Russia did. And number two, President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it.
And it sounds to me like that is exactly what the FBI did, I think when the president finds out what happened, he is going to be not just fine, he’s going to be glad that we have an FBI that took seriously what they heard. He was never the target, Russia is the target.
MACCALLUM: So, it sounds to me as if you would advise him that there’s no problem with him sitting down with Robert Muller.
GOWDY: Oh, absolutely no. I have always said, I think you want to sit down with Bob Mueller. You’ve told us publicly there was no collusion, you’ve told us publicly there was no obstruction. Say in private what you’ve said publicly, limit the scope to exactly what the — what the Mueller memo is, but if he were my client and I’d say if you’ve done nothing wrong, then you need to sit down and tell Mueller what you know.
MACCALLUM: you know, we had — there was one judge who said that the scope was all over the place. Do you feel comfortable with the scope of this investigation, and do you feel like your committee has been shared with to the extent that, that exists, that the scope exists?
GOWDY: I’m not sure what the scope of the Mueller probe is. But I know this, Rosenstein is the one who created the memo.
GOWDY: It’s not Bob Mueller’s fault.
MACCALLUM: Have you ever seen that memo?
GOWDY: I have — I have. I’ve seen the memo that you’ve seen also. The other memo some of my colleagues want to see is a more narrow admission.
MACCALLUM: I want to basically say, investigate Russia and all — anything related to it.
GOWDY: And as a frontal way line at the end, and of course, if there’s any criminality look at that to me. We run towards the criminality, but I would think everyone would want to know what Russia did. So, I mean, with whom if anyone is the second part? The first question is what did Russia do?
MACCALLUM: All right, we’ll see. Trey, thank you very much.