Russia is back in the news, all of a sudden. We want to apologize to our friends over at CNN -- We took a break. There was a moment when we weren't talking about Russia every day.

But for now, we're going to readdress the question of Russia collusion. Now, keep in mind that the premise of the now-discredited, two-year long Russia investigation was that it was entirely plausible, indeed, it was likely, that Donald Trump, a former casino owner who spent 14 seasons starring in an NBC reality show, was, in fact, despite all outward appearances to the contrary, a secret Russian agent, someone who was working against American interests to serve Vladimir Putin in Moscow. That was the claim.


Many of the non-geniuses in our media establishment clearly believed was true. Like endlessly barking dogs, they repeated that allegation every single day for more than two years because that's what they do best.

But the much more interesting and, in fact, important question has always been this: what did senior law enforcement officials think of the story? Did they really believe it was possible that Donald Trump was working for Russia? And if so, what evidence did they have? And if they had no evidence, why did they open the investigation and why do they continue it -- for years?

Every American, regardless of party, has an interest in knowing the answer to those questions. And so, for more than a year, the inspector general's office of the Department of Justice has worked to find the answer.

On Monday, the report finally became public. And yet, even before it did, some of the mouth breathers on television were happy to guess its conclusion. They proclaimed the FBI completely innocent of all wrongdoing! Because in 2019, being a progressive means taking the side of bureaucrats with guns, no matter what the evidence is.

Nicolle Wallace, MSNBC anchor: The headline will be, whether you are a Trump supporter or a Trump skeptic, that the FBI is exonerated today from the oft-repeated smear that there was some sort of conspiracy to harm Donald Trump's campaign. It's a big deal. It's good news, no matter where you stand on the political spectrum in 2019.


Now, keep in mind that when Nicolle Wallace uttered those words, "The FBI is exonerated today," she hadn't even read the IG report. This is what happens when you put former flacks, a former spokeswoman, on television and call them journalists. Their job titles might change, but they keep lying.

In fact, the actual report was something of a disaster for the FBI.  That was obvious to anyone who actually read it, even people who work at MSNBC.

Pete Williams, NBC News Justice Department correspondent: What it says is that the FBI basically repeatedly screwed up at every level, failing to pay enough attention to potential problems with Steele, failing to tell the Justice Department. ... The inspector general report says the FISA application was, in many ways, inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported. It says, for example, that the FBI failed to look at some of -- problems in Steele's past work, that that was never sufficiently addressed.

"The FBI failed to look at some of the problems in Steele's past work."  Well, there's the understatement of the week. In fact, Steele's so-called dossier was absurd. And that was obvious from day one. No legitimate news outlet would run it.

It was so clearly false that even the reckless Washington Post kept a distance. It was left to BuzzFeed to print it -- a cat blog. And yet, the Obama administration used the same document -- the one that no one would print because it was so obviously false -- they used that as a pretext to spy on the Trump campaign.

Carter Page's life was destroyed. Worst of all -- and this is what we learned Monday -- the FBI knew exactly what was happening, and they kept doing it.

The dossier claimed that Trump aide Carter Page had been promised a 19 percent stake in a Russian energy company -- a bribe worth $10 billion.  And, keep in mind, when you're lying, the more specific the lie is, the more likely it is to be believed. So, the lie in the dossier was he was offered 19 percent -- not 18, not 20 -19 percent interest in this energy company if he could persuade Donald Trump to lift sanctions against Moscow. Now, the claim was wrong; it was made up, it was false, it was a lie.

Page actually was a former naval officer, an Annapolis grad and had done nothing wrong. And yet the FBI targeted him anyway. Prominent figures on the left accused him of betraying his country.

Carter Page's life was destroyed. Worst of all -- and this is what we learned Monday -- the FBI knew exactly what was happening, and they kept doing it.

The FISA warrant against Page -- the one that allowed the Obama administration to spy on him -- had to be renewed multiple times.  And, according to the IG report, the FBI repeatedly lied and excluded exculpatory information in order to keep that FISA warrant alive, even after FBI officials obtained information showing the dossier was almost certainly unreliable -- again, something that was obvious to everyone who read it. They continued to treat Page as a criminal and Steele as a trusted source.

The FBI used flimsy excuses to spy on an American citizen and monitor a rival presidential campaign. It repeatedly engaged in abusive behavior to ensure that that spying continued illegitimately. ... The facts alone ought to scare you.

Meanwhile, on television, the usual morons, half-wits, and partisans continued to accuse Carter Page of crimes he'd never committed.

Carol Lee, NBC News reporter: There was a very clear belief that Carter Page was conspiring with Russia -- in ways that were nefarious.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.: There was overwhelming evidence to have probable cause to do surveillance on Carter Page. It would have been a dereliction of duty for our FBI not to have sought a surveillance warrant.

Barbara McQuade, legal analyst for NBC and MSNBC and former U.S. attorney: As you say, it makes a compelling case that there is probable cause to believe that Carter Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power.

Imagine if that was you. Imagine if some idiot former U.S. attorney, Barbara McQuade, was on television day after day, in effect, accusing you of treason. And then congressmen and TV reporters all nodded in agreement, "Oh, yeah, that sounds right."

The FBI knew you didn't do it but instead of lifting the burden of suspicion from your shoulders, instead, it lied in order to hide your innocence. That was Carter Page's life for years.

It's hard to believe it could happen in this country, but it did happen. Let's hope Carter Page spends the rest of his life suing every one of these people into bankruptcy.

And that list should include malicious liars like former CIA head and CNN contributor John Brennan. Watch Brennan, with a straight face, say something that we now know was absolutely false:

Trey Gowdy, former U.S. congressman representing South Carolina: Do you know who commissioned the Steele dossier?

John Brennan: I don't.

Gowdy: Did the CIA rely on it?

Brennan: No.

Gowdy: Why not?

Brennan: Because we didn't. It wasn't part of the corpus of intelligence information that we had. It was not, in any way, used as a basis for the intel's committee's assessment that was done.

Yeah. "It wasn't in any way"?  Well, of course, it was the basis of that assessment. And Carter Page wasn't the only innocent American caught up in this witch hunt.  And witch hunt is not an overstatement.  According to the reports, the FBI repeatedly employed confidential informants and undercover agents to collect intelligence on members of the Trump campaign.

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Meanwhile, the bureau itself used a so-called defensive briefing to monitor what the campaign was doing. Now, defensive briefings are designed for the good of the country. The bureau shares intelligence with leading presidential candidates or presidents-elect so that, at some point, they'll have a grounding on what's going on in the world when they take control.

In this case, however, the FBI used that briefing to spy on Trump staff and to build criminal cases against them. Can you imagine?

The IG report claims that none of these abuses were politically motivated. Now, that's a subjective judgment; it's hard to know. But it's also hard to swallow that claim. Only a partisan could believe something as absurd as the Steele dossier.

But let's say the IG report is right and none of these abuses were politically motivated. OK, fine. We'll grant you that. Does that reassure you?

The facts remain: The FBI used flimsy excuses to spy on an American citizen and monitor a rival presidential campaign. It repeatedly engaged in abusive behavior to ensure that that spying continued illegitimately.

So, it almost doesn't matter what the motive for all of that was. The facts alone ought to scare you.

This afternoon, former FBI Director Jim Comey released an op-ed responding to the report, which he'd likely seen before the rest of us, of course. Think about that for a minute.

At this point, given what we know, Comey ought to be groveling for forgiveness from the rest of us. He ought to be relocating to Paraguay in shame, actually.

But of course, he's not. Comey isn't embarrassed at all. In fact, he's more self-righteous than ever. Jim Comey's a good person. Unfortunately, you're not.

When he gets to have -- he'll intercede on your behalf but, you know, there's only so much he can do.

The FISA surveillance was approved by a federal judge, Comey tells us. He omits the fact that the FBI lied to the judge. "The FBI didn't insert spies into Trump's campaign," Comey claims. No, they just used spies to monitor the campaign staff.

Right, OK and so on. Like you'll never know the difference.


Jim Comey doesn't think you have Google, apparently. Or more likely, doesn't care if you have Google. He doesn't care what you know. Because they could issue a hundred IG reports, every one of them exposing Jim Comey as the sinister fraud he so clearly is. He knows that none of it matters because he knows he will never be punished.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Dec. 9, 2019.