comScore Ex-Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne's Wild Fox Business Interview

Overstock CEO Breaks Down in Tears, Berates Panelist in Wild Fox Business Interview: ‘You’re a Fool!’

Patrick Byrne stepped down from online retailer earlier Thursday after making an explosive claim: that he had a sexual relationship with Russian spy Maria Butina, at the encouragement of the FBI.

Hours after his resignation, he appeared on Fox Business for a wild interview in which he grew increasingly emotional, at times bursting into tears, which culminated with him lashing out at a panelist and calling him a fool.

Byrne, who appeared clad in a Grateful Dead-themed MAGA hat, started off the interview by hailing the current state of Overstock and dismissing the suggestion that he was forced out of the company.

“This is me ejecting,” Byrne said. “I have to because I’ve been warned that if I come forward to America, that the apparatus of Washington is going to grind me into a dust.”

Byrne claimed that he had helped the FBI on a case before, and then again in 2015-16, he “took some orders that seemed a little fishy.”

“I figured out the name of who sent me the orders and this has been confirmed to me,” Byrne continued. “The name of the man who sent me the orders was a guy named Peter Strzok. Got it? Capiche? So this is going to be quite a whirlwind.”

Strzok is the FBI agent at the center of “Deep State” conspiracy theories advanced by supporters of President Donald Trump.

“That’s huge news, Peter,” Fox Business anchor David Asman reacted.

Byrne went on to claim knowledge of a “big coverup.” “There was political espionage conducted against” Trump, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz he claimed. “This isn’t a theory of mine, this isn’t a political position. I was in the room when it happened. I was part of it. I thought I was doing law enforcement. Sorry.”

Byrne was later moved to tears when he spoke about gun violence.

“But the issue is, I realized that these orders I got came from Peter Strzok, and as I put together things, I know much more than I should know and it’s right to keep silent,” Byrne continued. “This country’s gone nuts. And especially for the last year when I realized what I know, every time I see one of these things, somebody drives 600 miles to gun down 20 strangers in a mall, I guess I feel a bit responsible.”

“So I have to come forward,” Byrne said, before again accusing the federal government of investigating Clinton, Trump, Rubio and Cruz.

He went on to claim he was “offered a billion-dollar bribe to keep quiet,” and discussed his relationship with Warren Buffett, again breaking down in tears.

Then, after receiving a question from Fox Business regular Jonathan Hoenig on his legal troubles, Byrne erupted: “You’re a journalist! You’re supposed to defend the First Amendment!”

“How does it feel to see the stock rally when you step down?” Hoenig asked Byrne of Overstock.

“What’s your question? It seems silly to me,” Byrne replied, after going on a tangent. “I was a tool in a game of political espionage,” Byrne added.

“Who the hell was that!?” he then erupted. “Who was asking that question? What’s the name of that fool? You’re a fool!”

“That was Jonathan Hoenig,” Asman offered.

After the outburst, Asman eventually brought the trainwreck interview to a close: “Patrick Byrne, an incredible man in the history of business in the United States.”

Shortly after his Fox Business hit, Byrne made it over to Fox News, where he gave another wild interview to Martha MacCallum.

“I can tell you — Peter Strzok, if you want to see a former director crap his pants, stick a television camera on Peter Strzok, or let’s just say James Comey, and say the name Patrick Byrne. You will see a former director crap his pants,” Byrne told MacCallum.

Watch the video in two parts above, via Fox Business.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: [email protected] Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin