Flynn case a 'miscarriage of justice' by FBI, new White House press secretary says in debut
McEnany scolds media: 'Scant information about Michael Flynn when there was a whole lot of speculation about Russia, Russia, Russia'
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
- White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in her debut press conference Friday
- senior FBI official's handwritten notes from the earliest days of the Trump administration expressed concern that the bureau might be "playing games" with a counterintelligence interview of then-National Security Adviser Flynn
- evidence withheld for years from Michael Flynn's defense team shows the FBI found "no derogatory" Russia evidence against the former Trump National Security Adviser
Michael Flynn's case was a "miscarriage of justice" by the FBI, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in her debut press conference Friday.
"Do you not consider it a miscarriage of justice when you have the FBI writing 'We want to get someone to lie'?" McEnany asked reporters, attempt to strike an assertive tone to control the White House briefing room. "The answer is yes. And I encourage the media to cover it, because I've watched a lot of your networks. I've read a lot of your papers. I've seen a whole lot of scant information about Michael Flynn when there was a whole lot of speculation about Russia, Russia, Russia culminating in $40 million of taxpayer money being lost, and the complete and total exoneration of President Trump."
Just the News reported Wednesday that senior FBI official's handwritten notes from the earliest days of the Trump administration expressed concern that the bureau might be "playing games" with a counterintelligence interview of then-National Security Adviser Flynn to get him to lie so "we could prosecute him or get him fired."
"I am very glad that the FBI thought to keep a paper trail," McEnany said. "I'm glad they kept such good documentation of their intent to slow-walk General Flynn into a trap and to essentially create, as I mentioned, a grave miscarriage of justice. So, FBI, at least we can thank you for the great note taking."
McEnany's appearance marks the first time in more than a year that a Trump administration press secretary has held a White House briefing.
The typically daily events were suspended as they became increasingly adversarial with McEnany's predecessors Sean Spicer, then Sarah Sanders Huckabee. McEnany's most recent predecessor, Stephanie Grishsam, never held a press briefing.
Trump has now put McEnany, formerly the national press secretary for the Trump 2020 campaign, behind the podium in an apparent attempt to disseminate key administration information without the near shouting matches that frequently broke out in prior briefings.
"I'm not going to engage in a hypothetical, and that's essentially what that would be," McEnany also said Friday, when asked whether it's possible that Flynn lied to Vice President Pence while not lying to the FBI.
"Vice President Pence is on the record about this, he said he's inclined to believe that Flynn did not intentionally mislead him," McEnany said to ABC's Jonathan Karl." And I guess I would turn the question on you and just ask, does it trouble you that the FBI said 'We gotta get Flynn to lie'? Doesn't that trouble you, as a journalist, not only that, as an American citizen."
Just the News reported Thursday that evidence withheld for years from Michael Flynn's defense team shows the FBI found "no derogatory" Russia evidence against the former Trump National Security Adviser and that counterintelligence agents had recommended closing down the case with a defensive briefing before the bureau's leadership intervened in January 2017.
The recommendation to close the case came 16 days before President Trump took office with plans to have Flynn serve as his National Security Adviser, and after agents had found no incriminating evidence by sweeping counterintelligence files and talking to confidential human sources, the memos show.