This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," April 26, 2018. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
BRET BAIER, ANCHOR: It was pushed back by traffic but we got it in, former FBI Director James Comey in an interview here on "Special Report." Let's bring in our panel: Catherine Herridge, Fox News chief intelligence correspondent; Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist; Mara Liasson, national political correspondent for National Public Radio, and Joe diGenova, former U.S. attorney.
Catherine, first to you, you have covered this for a long time. What stuck out with you?
CATHERINE HERRIDGE, FOX NEWS: The amazing exchange to me is when you had Director Comey confirm that he shared those memos documenting conversations with the president with three other people. So the Columbia professor, that's what he testified to, also what he described as his personal attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and then this other attorney. What's key here is that he told you, Bret, that those memos were returned to the FBI after they found classified information. He can call it whatever he wants. That is a classified spill of information. Doesn't matter whether they have clearances. They didn't have the ability to secure that information.
JOE DIGENOVA, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: I was amazed. I thought it was breath-taking duplicity. America's dirty cop continues to amaze me with the destruction of the institution that he used to lead. And what Catherine has just said is stunning. It's not his decision. He's supposed to know what's classified. He has the authority to classify under the law. And, yet, he maintains that he did not give away classified information. He leaked classified information to the "New York Times." That's a crime.
MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: I think that the difficulty that Comey is having is that he is now in a completely different role. And he can't be in two roles at the same time. The completely impartial law man who believes in serving the presidency and the institutions, and now a partisan actor. And that's, I think, where there is a lot of conflict.
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: I thought his most interesting answer is when you asked him if he would still be at the FBI if he hadn't been fired. And he said he would be and it was because he believed his job was to protect the FBI. I think that's a very telling statement that suggests that there is something other than justice that was his high concern.
And when you were asking him about why he didn't reveal information to the president about who funded the dossier, he seemed to be shockingly uninformed about who funded the dossier. He did not -- he, in fact, attempted to deny.
BAIER: I want to play the soundbite. I want to play the soundbite, because I was prepared to go down a different road and then he said he didn't know.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BAIER: When did you learn that the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign had funded Christopher Steele's work?
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: Yes, I still don't know that for a fact. I knew it was funded first by Republicans.
BAIER: But that's not true.
COMEY: I'm sorry?
BAIER: That's not true, that the dossier that Christopher Steele worked on was funded by Republicans.
COMEY: My understanding the activity was begun, that Steele was hired to look into was first funded by Republicans and then picked up -- important thing was picked up by Democrats opposed to Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HERRIDGE: One of the basics of journalism and any investigation is understanding the credibility of the source, and the fact that he didn't have his arms around what the source was from the dossier was really kind of confusing to me. And then, just as a final point, when you asked him about that being the basis.
BAIER: For the FISA.
HERRIDGE: For the FISA, he says that it was just a small piece.
BAIER: That's not what we're learning.
HERRIDGE: That's in direct conflict with what Republicans have said, which it was sort of the top line item.
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