Media

Revolving Door: It Took CNN Less Than 48 Hours To Hire Comey’s Assistant

The former FBI agent who announced his retirement from the federal agency in a New York Times column Friday after claiming the “relentless attacks on the bureau” made it “impossible” to continue working there, promptly received a CNN job as a law enforcement analyst in less than 48 hours.

Josh Campbell, who, until a few hours ago, billed himself on his Twitter account as an “assistant” to former FBI Director James Comey (he has since deleted this fact from his bio), debuted on CNN Monday. The author section of his NYT column also notes that he served as “special assistant to the bureau’s director.”

It remains unclear why Campbell has decided to remove this information from his account, but Comey did share his Times column on Twitter Friday and said Campbell’s “voice is an important addition to the national conversation.” The hat tip signals a relationship between the two men and possible knowledge of Campbell’s new role as a cable news pundit.

The quick transition from FBI agent to on-air contributor raises questions about Campbell’s relationship with the network. The cable news network has relied on anonymous sources within the federal law enforcement agency during the Trump administration.

An article Jan. 30 about Andrew McCabe’s resignation as FBI deputy director features sources describing how staff at the FBI were “surprised” by his decision. On Feb. 2, CNN received information about a internal video address to staff from FBI Director Christopher Wray.

A CNN article reporting on Campbell’s hiring dedicates a mere sentence to his new job at the network and does not mention how CNN built a business relationship with an on-duty FBI agent. Instead, the report highlights what Campbell saw as partisan attacks that “undermine the credibility of the entire institution.”

Another CNN analyst, former FBI agent James Gagliano, raised questions about Campbell’s new gig in a column in The Hill Monday. One of the questions Gagliano asks is “who afforded a GS-13 bureau employee the privilege to have a personal piece published?”

Gagliano also notes how “unusual” it is for a previous FBI director to publicly commend an agent who just resigned.

Further, Campbell’s decision to defend the FBI and all-but-attack President Donald Trump directly on a cable news network does not seem consistent with an individual who is worried about the politicization of the nation’s institutions. And however his new gig came about, he appears quite polished.

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