June 08, 2017 12:42 PM EDT
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WATCH | Circa’s Sara Carter discusses intelligence reporting and former FBI Director James Comey’s Thursday testimony.
Some of the biggest losers during Thursday’s historic testimony by former FBI Director James Comey were news media reports that hyped the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings in advance.
Comey said some news reports suggesting a bogus email caused him to go public last July to announce the results of the Hillary Clinton email case were flat out “nonsense” and that senators knew the true account from their classified briefings.
“There’s been some public accounts of it which are nonsense but I understand the committee has been briefed on the classified facts,” he testified.
And Comey directly took on The New York Times, telling Sen. James Risch (R-ID) that its story in April that the government had classified evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians was false.
WATCH | Former FBI Director James Comey likens the media to “seagulls at the beach.”
“You talked with us shortly after Feb. 14, when the New York Times wrote an article that suggested that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians. Do you remember reading that article when it first came out?” the senator asked.
“I do, it was about allegedly extensive electronic surveillance in their communications,” he said.
A few minutes later, Risch asked again: “Okay. So again, so the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true.
“Is that a fair statement?” he asked.
“In the main, it was not true,” he said. “And again, all of you know this. Maybe the American people don’t. The challenge — and I’m not picking on reporters about writing stories about classified information — is the people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on, and those of us who actually know what’s going on aren’t talking about it. We don’t call the press to say, hey, you got that thing wrong about the sensitive topic. You just have to leave it there.”
And to top it off, Comey’s own opening statement flatly contradicted stories by CNN and ABC News that Comey never assured the president he was under investigation.
In fact, Comey said he DID tell the president three times he was not under investigation.
“We did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. … During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President-elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance,” he testified.
So far, only CNN has corrected its story.
Comey also acknowledged that he used the media for his own purposes, leaking a story about the existence of his notes of conversations with President Trump specifically hoping it would lead to the appointment of a special prosecutor.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also slammed the media for not reporting the news that President Trump was not under investigation.
WATCH | Comey testifies he asked a friend to share the contents of his memo.
“The only thing never leaked is the fact the president was never personally under investigation,” Rubio complained.
In fact, Rubio was wrong.
Circa reported it on May 11. You can read it here.