Baier Apologizes For Misleading Report: "It Wasn't Just Inartful, It Was A Mistake" To Say Clinton Would Likely Be Indicted
Baier: "There Are Still No Digital Fingerprints Of A Breach" Which You Need "To Make A Complete Determination. We Should Have Made That Distinction."
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From the November 4 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:
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JON SCOTT (CO-HOST): New developments in an ongoing FBI investigation. Joining us now Bret Baier anchor of Special Report. Bret?
BRET BAIER: Jon, all of us working on this story at Fox have now circled back with our sources, more than six of them now with specific knowledge of the Clinton investigations. They confirm that there is an active investigation into the Clinton Foundation that has been going on for more than a year. It is continuing. For those investigators working it is a priority but we have also reported there is a split not only between the FBI and the Department of Justice on this, but within the FBI. On the hacking of Clinton's private, unsecured server, while multiple sources believe and are operating under the working assumption that the server has been hacked, and some had specific quotes to that belief, there are, to this day no digital fingerprints of such breaches. Here is what FBI Director Comey said about it back in July.
FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY: With respect to potential computer intrusion by hostile actors we did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton's personal email domain in its various configurations since 2009 was hacked successfully. But given the nature of the system, and of the actors potentially involved, we assess we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence. We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account.
BAIER: I was quoting from one source about his certainty that the server had been hacked by five foreign intelligence agencies. And while others believe that is probable because of the confirmed hacking of email accounts Secretary Clinton communicated with, as of today there are still no digital fingerprints of a breach no matter what the working assumption is within the bureau. All the time, but especially in heated election on topic this explosive every word matters, no matter how well-sourced. Which brings me to this. I explained a couple of times yesterday the phrasing of one of my answers to Brit Hume on Wednesday night, saying it was inartful, the way I answered the last question about whether the investigations would continue after the election. And I answered that, yes, our sources said it would. They would continue to likely to an indictment. Well, that just wasn't inartful, it was a mistake, and for that I'm sorry. I should have said, they will continue to build their case. Indictment obviously is a very loaded word, Jon, especially in this atmosphere and no one knows if there would or would not be an indictment no matter how strong investigators feel their evidence is. It is obviously a prosecutor who has to agree to take the case and make that case to a grand jury. We stand by the sourcing, on the ongoing active Clinton Foundation investigation and are working to get sources with knowledge of the details on the record, and on camera. Hopefully today. Jon?
SCOTT: But clearly there are some within the FBI who believe that the email system was hacked by foreign operators. It's just not something that the FBI is putting out there as being a certainty?
BAIER: Exactly. They're sticking with what Comey said back in July. But to be clear, you know, when you're quoting someone, you have to be clear that there is this cut and dry determination that you have to have the digital cyber fingerprints to make a complete determination. We should have made that distinction.