Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday then-FBI Director James Comey went “rogue” when probing then-incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn in January 2017 – but anyone who relies on the evening newscasts of NBC, CBS or ABC may have missed it.
ABC’s “World News Tonight,” NBC’s “Nightly News” and “CBS Evening News” all skipped the story, according to the Media Research Center.
MRC news analyst Nicholas Fondacaro, who monitors broadcast news coverage, called it “another example of the broadcast networks covering up the degree of corruption in the Russia investigation,” as Yates told the committee she was upset upon learning Comey interviewed Flynn without her authorization.
“Instead of reporting on Yates’s shocking testimony, all three networks boasted how former Vice President Joe Biden decided to give his convention speech from the safety of his basement in Delaware,” Fondacaro wrote.
Viewers missed an interesting exchange when committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., asked Yates about the circumstances surrounding the interview, particularly the actions of Comey.
"I was upset that Director Comey didn't coordinate that with us and acted unilaterally," Yates said.
"Did Comey go rogue?" Graham asked.
"You could use that term, yes," Yates agreed.
Yates said she also took issue with Comey for not telling her that Flynn's communications with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were being investigated and that she first learned about this from President Barack Obama during an Oval Office meeting. Yates said she was "irritated" with Comey for not telling her about this earlier.
Fondacaro noted that ABC, NBC and CBS also “blacked out how Comey conceded the FBI had deceived the FISA courts with their warrant applications” during a 2019 interview with “FOX News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace.
Another frequent topic of conversation at the hearing was the FBI's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The Justice Department Inspector General's office concluded that there were several omissions and inaccuracies in the FBI's warrant applications, including relying on the unverified dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele as opposition research for Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Yates denied knowing that the FISA warrant applications had problems when she signed off on them. She also denied knowing that her own deputy, Bruce Ohr, had facilitated meetings between Steele and the FBI.
Meanwhile, political pundit and communications strategist Drew Holden took followers on a “trip down memory lane” with a lengthy Twitter thread of “bad Carter Page takes" in light of what Yates had testified.
“Believing the stuff represented in the thread below led journalists into the worst professional fiasco of our time,” Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume wrote.