Thursday night’s Special Report panel got pretty heated between National Review‘s Jonah Goldberg and The Federalist‘s Mollie Hemingway when discussing President Donald Trump‘s Twitter admission that he does not know of any tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.
Goldberg kicked off the conversation by saying he never cared about the initial tweet, which he referred to as a “bluff,” but what struck him was Trump’s subtle insinuation that members of “the deep state” are bugging the Oval Office.
“That’s a pretty provocative charge to make,” Goldberg added, “I thought that was the more offensive part of it.”
Hemingway fired back.
“That’s ridiculous!” she said. She added, “You’ve had nothing but months of leaks from intelligence agencies about people affiliated with the Trump campaign or otherwise. It’s not insane at all to think there might be surveillance since.”
Goldberg cut her off mid-sentence.
“What allegations are there that Trump has been surreptitiously recorded without his approval?”
Hemingway referred back to the initial tweet and said that “Comey had already been leaking” his memos.
“That tweet got James Comey to admit that he did three times tell Trump that he wasn’t under investigation,” she continued. “It got him to admit that he did say ‘Michael Flynn was a good guy’… It got him to also admit that he pledged his ‘honest loyalty’ to Donald Trump, which is contrary to what he said to The New York Times the day before that hearing.”
“It also got him a special prosecutor,” Goldberg snarked.
John Roberts, who was filling in for host Bret Baier, tried to insert himself back into the conversation, but Hemingway cut him off to continue her exchange with Goldberg.
“I think it’s naive to think that that would not have happened otherwise. James Comey was clearly making the case, laying the groundwork,” she said.
“That’s possible… but my point still stands,” Goldberg replied. “There’s no evidence whatsoever that anyone was bugging or wiretapping the Oval Office or the President of the United States without his awareness.”
Hemingway said, “There’s a lot of leaking of-”
And Goldberg interrupted once again.
“Leaking is not bugging!” he said.
Roberts successfully broke the tension by joking, “A.B. [Stoddard] is watching a tennis match here.”
“Donald Trump behaves recklessly,” Stoddard finally chimed in. “Obviously there were no tapes, but he had to do a save face in the end. So he said ‘I don’t know. Maybe I’m being taped against my will by the evil Secret Service or the deep state’… but again that’s irresponsible.”
Roberts wrapped up the conversation.
“In true Trump fashion, he has ignited a whole new controversy,” he concluded.
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.
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