On Tuesday, President Donald Trump slammed a salacious, uncorroborated dossier of allegations that was compiled during the election at the behest of the Democratic National Committee and allegedly by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to go after the Trump campaign. On Twitter, Trump described it as a "Crooked Hillary pile of garbage." He tweeted that the dossier is “bogus.” He wrote that the “FBI cannot (after all this time” verify claims in dossier of Russia/Trump collusion. FBI tainted.”
While Trump did not specify on which segment or show on the Fox News Channel that elicited his tweet, the comment followed an interview on Fox with former Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who is now a correspondent on Fox. When show host Todd Piro asked Chaffetz, “Why would you brief members of the FBI before verifying the existence of collusion and really taint the entire FBI in the process?" the former congressman responded at length, saying that "the dossier, we have long known, is bogus."
Chaffetz said that the dossier was funded with "nefarious ties," and added that it was “perhaps even with the Clinton campaign."
"The question is, how was it funded?" Chaffetz said. "That question was not answered yet. Second question is did they use it to go to a court and get that court then to allow them to spy on Americans? If that happens, have you gone, well, way, way beyond anything of reason and somebody should be prosecuted for that."
Questions remain as to how the dossier was funded. Fusion GPS -- an opposition research firm linked to the Democrats -- hired a former British spy, as well as the wife of an FBI agent, to conduct research that was included in the salacious dossier. Questions also remain as to whether or not the dossier was used by the Obama administration when it petitioned a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court for a warrant to wiretap members of Trump’s political organization during the presidential campaign.
"Remember, before the Senate — before the House Judiciary Committee, Congressmen Jim Jordan, Ron DeSantis, other people were asking, how was this funded?" said Chaffetz. "You had people at the senior most level at the Department of Justice saying well, we know but we're not going to tell you." According to Chaffetz, that was a "flashing red light that it was funded through more nefarious ties, perhaps with the [Hillary] Clinton campaign."
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who served for a time as Acting FBI Director, is facing new criticisms from Trump for his role in the FBI's probe. McCabe testified before the House Intelligence Committee last week in a secret hearing. There are rumors that he will resign from the agency in the spring.
In a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday, Jay Sekulow -- Trump's private attorney -- predicted in an interview that special counsel Robert Mueller will end very soon his inquiry into alleged collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government. “I know we, collectively, the lawyers, are looking forward to an expeditious wrapping up of this matter,” Sekulow said. Another one of Trump's lawyers, Ty Cobb, predicted in August that the investigation would be over by Thanksgiving.
AG Sessions: Resign
Earlier this month, Chaffetz called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign. Chaffetz told Jeanine Pirro on Fox News, "Some people suggested there be a second special counsel. How’s that first one working out? I wouldn’t do a second one. I really do believe that it’s time for Attorney General Sessions to go. I don’t think he’s up for the job. Every time I see him he looks like he’s some prisoner. And the only reason we have a special counsel is because we have an Attorney General who can’t do his job."
In October, media reports revealed that Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid for the research that became the infamous dossier on Trump after the original Republican donor ceased funding it.
Purging the FBI
Also on Tuesday, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) called for a "purge" of the FBI in order to eliminate what he called "deep state" officials working there. In an interview on MSNBC, Rooney said that he is very concerned that the FBI and the Department of Justice “whether you want to call it deep state or what, are off the rails." Rooney said that he feels that the FBI and DOJ “don't respect the Constitution and won't put the ends before the means." As an example of how the agencies may have lost the confidence of the American people, Rooney cited FBI agent Peter Strzok, who has been accused engaging in partisan behavior during the investigation of her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team that is examining alleged Russian interference in last year’s presidential election.
When Rooney was asked whether he was merely seeking to discredit the Department of Justice, Rooney answered, "I don't want to discredit them. I would like to see the directors of those agencies purge it. And say look, we've got a lot of great agents, a lot of great lawyers here, those are the people that I want the American people to see and know the good works being done, not these people who are kind of the deep state."
WOW, @foxandfrlends “Dossier is bogus. Clinton Campaign, DNC funded Dossier. FBI CANNOT (after all of this time) VERIFY CLAIMS IN DOSSIER OF RUSSIA/TRUMP COLLUSION. FBI TAINTED.” And they used this Crooked Hillary pile of garbage as the basis for going after the Trump Campaign!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 26, 2017