‘There Was A Lot Of Smoke, Right?’: Tapper Quickly Pivots To Blame Trump Despite Durham’s Findings

[Screenshot CNN The Lead With Jake Tapper]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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CNN Host Jake Tapper quickly pivoted to try and blame former President Donald Trump for alleged misdeeds in the wake of the Durham Report finding the FBI acted improperly.

Special counsel John Durham found the FBI used “uncorroborated intelligence” when it launched its investigation into Trump ahead of the 2016 election. The report also found agents failed to maintain “strict fidelity to the law” throughout their investigation.

Tapper initially called the report “devastating” for the FBI, saying it partially exonerated Trump. But he was quick to try to pin blame on the former president in a follow up segment.

“The conclusions, Sara, are pretty strong. Durham says the FBI should not have launched a full scale investigation into Trump and Russia. He seems to suggest there was a lot of unprofessional behavior at DOJ and the FBI and that people had a predisposition to investigate Trump and to believe the worst and they had different standards,” Tapper said before making the pivot.

“It is also true that there was a lot of smoke, right? There was that meeting between the Trump campaign, Kushner, Don Jr. and others, that whole thing about, if it’s what you say it is, I love it, especially later in the summer. There is Manafort giving polling information to Konstantin Kilimnik. There is stuff as the Senate intelligence committee communications director points out that would raise alarms.” (RELATED: FBI Admits Durham Report Is Right)

“Yeah, there’s also how sort of publicly cozy Donald Trump was when he talked about Putin, when he talked about Russia that sort of raised red flags for people throughout the campaign,” Sara Murray said.

“I think what you saw here is there were some legitimate concerns among investigators, both at the Justice Department as well as Hill investigators, including Republicans on Capitol Hill who wanted to look into this. But as you point out, you know, this was done in some ways you can say, it was a sloppy fashion, you can say it was a nefarious fashion, when you look at people that may have had pre-conceptions or political bias in how they pursued this.”

The FBI made a tacit admission shortly after the report was released, acknowledging the errors made in 2016 and conceding Durham’s findings are accurate.

“The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time. Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,” the statement reads.