February 19, 2019

New Day's John Berman introduced breaking news from the Today show this morning.

"Andrew McCabe with a new revelation from his tell-all book. McCabe says he informed top leaders in Congress, the gang of 8, he ordered the FBI to launch a counter-intelligence probe on President Trump in May of 2017. Listen to this," Berman said.

McCABE: The purpose of the briefing was to let our congressional leadership know exactly what we had been doing. Opening a case of this nature --not something an FBI director, an acting FBI director would do by yourself. This was a recommendation from my team. I reviewed it with our lawyers, discussed it --

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Did you tell Congress?

McCABE: I told Congress what we had done.

GUTHRIE: Did anyone object?

McCABE: That's the important part here, Savannah. No one objected. not on legal grounds, constitutional grounds or based on the facts.

Berman introduced Sen. Angus King, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence committee, and asked him what the briefing meant.

"I think it's an important question and I think an important point that Andrew McCabe did brief the Gang of 8, leaders on both sides of the intelligence committee and members of the House and Senate. Obviously they can respond and say a briefing took place, or no, it didn't or I objected or, no, I didn't," King said.

"That's an important part of the story. The FBI had reason to believe there was something to investigate. They didn't reach conclusions. But that's their job is to protect the country from threats, particularly counterespionage threats. The fact that Congress was briefed is an important part of the story. It indicates they weren't trying to do something sub rosa, behind anybody's back or a secret coup. I'm sure you'll have interviews with Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, or Richard Burr, the various people who according to Andrew McCabe were in the briefing."

"You used the word coup, which is a word some of the president's allies are using. The president used the word treason for the actions of Andrew McCabe opening up the counter-intelligence investigation. Is that how you see it?" Berman asked.

"No, sir, and that's a misuse of the term. The president is confusing himself with the United States of America. It was French kings who said, 'I am the state.' In our system, that's not true. When you join an administration, you take an oath to uphold the Constitution. You don't take an oath to support any particular president or majority leader or anything else. So no, that's an inappropriate use of that term. Andrew McCabe apparently -- and I don't know all the facts. I only know what I have heard in the last few days. The team, the people on the FBI felt there was a threat to national security. They had an obligation to investigate it and they notified Congress that it was ongoing," King said.

"The fact that they thought there was a threat to national security, we lose sight of how remarkable that is," Berman said.

"It is. I think they felt at the time it was extraordinary. As he said in the little clip that nothing like this has ever happened. They were looking at the firing of Jim Comey, what the president said afterwards."

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