Matt Schlapp, Philippe Reines Clash on Russia Probe: ‘We’re Giving Out Parking Tickets’ Yet No Collusion
American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp and former Clinton advisor Philippe Reines had a fiery debate over the recently-released highly-redacted FISA warrant into the surveillance of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
Reines began by slamming the White House for floating the idea of pulling the security clearances of top Obama administration officials simply because the criticizing the current president on television.
After Fox News anchor Shannon Bream mentioned that former CIA Director John Brennan now works as an analyst for MSNBC, Schlapp stressed the “cozy relationship” between the people in power and their “favorite reporters” they’d turn to for leaks.
“What we have is some of the most serious wrongdoing we have ever seen when it comes to people who had access to classified information,” Schlapp told Bream. “The idea that they used that information to try to ‘stop him,’ meaning Donald Trump, means there has to be- the American people, at least 50% of us, are crying out for some justice over what happened in the 2016 election. If you had people who misused the use of confidential information, they shouldn’t have a security clearance. They shouldn’t ever be able to serve in government. And there’s a lot of us who think they need to be standing with their hand in the air in a courtroom explaining exactly why they perpetrated this on the American people.”
Reines responded that it isn’t necessarily these former cabinet members who want to have these clearances but rather folks in the current administration who can still use them as a resource.
“There used to be a bipartisan consensus on foreign policy,” Schlapp acknowledged. “The abuse in 2016 has destroyed it. I think it’s a very bad thing for this country. I think fighting radical Islamic terror, I think fighting Iran, I think standing up against our enemies overseas in North Korea and other places, I think there should be a bipartisan consensus. The fact that they politicize the intelligence process to try to stop Trump, it has destroyed it and there needs to be some punishment for what they did.”
On the subject of the ongoing Russia investigation, Reines insisted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller isn’t just looking for potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia but Russia’s meddling in the election as well.
“As part of that, Carter Page, who does not seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer and I don’t think the Republican Party should go too far out on a limb for him, he for years has been just sort of canoodling with the wrong people,” Reines said. “This FISA warrant that the application we see totally refutes everything someone like Devin Nunes has been saying.”
“Canoodling is not illegal,” Schlapp shot back. “This is the problem with all this and the fact is after all this time, he’s not indicted. Why is that? Because they knew he was never a spy. What they were trying to do with Carter Page- that was the soft underbelly to try to find anything they could against Trump. Why did [James] Clapper go on national TV and deny there were any FISA warrants? Because after Trump won the election, they wanted to hide the fact that they were on a fishing expedition to find anything they could on Trump. Guess what. They never found anything! And that’s why we don’t have any information.”
“This is ongoing,” Reines jumped in.
“Okay, fine. We’re giving out parking tickets and speeding tickets,” Schlapp jokingly conceded. “There’s no collusion and that’s what it’s all about. And they can’t find a scintilla of evidence.”
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]