CNN anchor Jake Tapper admitted Monday that John Durham's report investigating the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe is "devastating" for the FBI.
But he still managed to find a way to blame Donald Trump.
What did Tapper say?
At the opening of his show on Monday afternoon, Tapper made a sobering declaration about the report.
"It might have not produced everything of what some Republicans hoped for; it is, regardless, devastating to the FBI, and to a degree it does exonerate Donald Trump," Tapper admitted.
CNN reporter Evan Perez then expanded on the "devastating" details contained within Durham's report, the result of an investigation that lasted four years.
Perez explained that Durham found that confirmation bias led the FBI to investigate allegations of Trump-Russia collusion despite exculpatory evidence that would otherwise have led the bureau to drop the investigation. The FBI, according to Durham, did not follow investigative norms to vet evidence and ignored evidence that did not support the Trump-Russia collusion narrative.
But how did Tapper blame Trump?
Despite Durham's conclusions, Tapper later suggested Trump was to blame for the FBI aggressively pursuing a case Durham says was tainted by bias because "there was a lot of smoke."
"So, the conclusions ... Durham says the FBI should not have launched a full-scale investigation into Trump and Russia. He seems to suggest there was a lot of unprofessional behavior at DOJ and the FBI and people had a 'predisposition' — that's his word — to investigate Trump and to believe the worst and they had different standards," Tapper explained.
"It's also true that there was a lot of smoke, right?" he continued.
"I mean, there was that meeting between the Trump campaign, Kushner, Don Jr. and others, that whole thing about, 'if it's what you say it is, I love it, especially later in the summer.' There is, you know, [Paul] Manafort giving polling information to Konstantin Kilimnik. There is stuff, as the Senate Intelligence Committee communications director points out, that would raise alarms," he said.
CNN reporter Sara Murray agreed with Tapper, suggesting the FBI's sin was investigating suspicions in "sloppy fashion."
"Yeah. There's also how sort of publicly cozy Donald Trump was when he talked about [Vladimir] Putin, when he talked about Russia, that sort of raised red flags for people throughout the campaign," she said.
"I think what you saw here is there were some legitimate concerns among investigators, both at the Justice Department as well as Hill investigators, including Republicans on Capitol Hill, who wanted to look into this," Murray continued. "As you point out, this was done in some ways, you know, you can say it was a sloppy fashion."
Special counsel John Durham's report on Trump-Russia probe releasedwww.youtube.com
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