CNN calls out GOP congressman pushing conservative media's Seth Rich conspiracy theories
John Berman: "What are you referring to here because I hope it's not this information that Fox News just refused to be reporting"
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From the May 24 edition of CNN Newsroom with John Berman and Poppy Harlow:
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REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R-TX): Again, the constant questioning, [former CIA Director John Brennan] was unable to point to any specific evidence, and I think that's what we're going to continue to see there, and my fear is our constant focusing on the Russians is deflecting away for some other things that we need to be investigating in. There's still some question as to whether the intrusion of the DNC server was an insider job or whether or not it was the Russians.
JOHN BERMAN (CO-HOST): What evidence -- I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, sorry. The insider job, what are you referring to here because I hope it's not this information that Fox News just refused to be reporting.
FARENTHOLD: Well again, there's stuff circulating on the internet. My question is why haven't the federal officials --
BERMAN: What? What's circulating on the internet? What's circulating on the internet that you think is worthy of a congressional investigation because the D.C. Police are investigating this, and so far they haven't said there's any there there.
FARENTHOLD: Yet the D.C. Police nor no federal investigator has ever had a look at the DNC computer. We're relying only on the report of somebody that the DNC contracted to examine their computer rather than having federal officials. To me, we need to let the feds look at it.
POPPY HARLOW (CO-HOST): Congressman, do you think it's responsible to bring up, as a representative of the American people, to bring up things in your words that are swirling on the internet and give it justification as if there's a there there when we know nothing on that yet?
FARENTHOLD: I think the same is true with what the media is doing with Trump. We're basing allegations on anonymous sources.
HARLOW: OK so do you mean quoting a former CIA director who said, quote, "I saw evidence worthy of investigation by the bureau to determine whether there was cooperation or collusion that was taking place?" You think those are equivalent?
FARENTHOLD: I'm going back to the [former FBI Director James] Comey memo. I'm going back to the Comey memo, which is based entirely on anonymous sources. So my overall point is this needs to be fully investigated, --
FARENTHOLD: -- let the professionals investigate it, let's not try it in the media, which is serving from a distraction for what needs to be done in this country. That's fixing health care, that's getting people back to work, that's fixing taxes, that's securing the border. Instead, we're hearing a constant barrage of anti-Trump -- I'm going to call it propaganda.
BERMAN: Well, OK. Again, if the propaganda is coming from the former CIA director, if that's your opinion, you're entitled to it. If the FBI Director James Comey says he wrote the memos, well, if he says it out loud from his mouth, will that be propaganda?
FARENTHOLD: Again, I want to hear what Comey has to say. I want to hear the facts. I want to hear the information about it.
HARLOW: But to John's question, if the former FBI Director James Comey says, "Yes, indeed, I wrote those memos," as we have reported from multiple reliable sources, will that still be propaganda in your mind, congressman?
FARENTHOLD: No it won't, but we need to hear the facts and circumstances associated with that memo. And I'll tell you, if he's such a big memo writer, there's some memos from the previous administration in the campaign that I would like to see as well.