Martha MacCallum interview with Wm Barr - Part I notes

* BB: premature for me to comment on impeachment at this point, won't comment on the call

* re Ukraine: Giuliani just got back; good idea for him to investigate? Barr: will rely on his own dept's investigations, but doesn't see G as stepping on his turf

* Re Yovanovich: was there a conspiracy? B hasn't look at all into this; doesn't know whether Durham has gotten into them, doesn't want to speculate

* Interesting in seeing evidence G has got? Yes

* Doesn't want to speculate about what Durham may get into

* Re Comey on Wallace show: C said it was sloppiness that caused the problem; Barr: [doesn't nec. buy it but will defer comment]

* IG Horowitz report: could be gross incompetence but also be improper motive, he wasn't in a position to make that call--why Durham is looking into this

* IG Report: shows serious misconduct; doesn't like tack being taken by Comey that those who want to get to bottom of misconduct are attacking FBI--no he thinks it's appropriate. "Leaders have to own their decisions."

* [MM plays clip from CW show:] C calls Barr's stmt 'irresponsible': B doesn't say much except that there are episodes that "simply cannot be squared with innocent mistakes."

* Do you believe C was separated by 7 layers from investigation? "No."

* Was POTUS the subject of Crossfire Hurricane? "Effectively the President was being investigated."

* What happened after the election was "very questionable." We need to focus on that.

* Do we need to reform FISA system? "No"....nothing that "radical." Both C Wray and BB take the issues seriously, are working on it.

* Wm Webster's comments on Barr's stmts: WW was tough when he had to get to the bottom of things--"that's what we're trying to do." Op-ed piece makes reference to some things BB says he didn't say. Didn't charge FBI was political bias-- [more like top of the FBI]

* Durham--how quickly is it proceeding? BB gives a vague answer: "no timelines" but will be "for quite a few months."

* Martha: There are criminal elements to Durham investigation--BB confirms. Won't say who's under investigation.

* Durham's is much broader than IG's. Not just looking at FISA, but "all the conduct."

* Includes other agencies (not just FBI)? Yes--they are cooperating. MSM let Mueller do his work--should hold with Durham.

Moar from Martha MacCallum interview with Wm Barr Part I - Notes


* MM is interested in how Trump Russia probe began. Asks, W/regard to PaPaD or C Page--who were "reached out to" prior to official start of investigation--do you think it was intell individuals danging info on HRB, in order to get an "in" into Trump campaign? BB: hasn't concluded anything about what happened before July, but Durham is looking into pre-July period, to determine whether collusion narrative got started prior to that. 2 questions on predication: was the comment by PaPaD the real predication or was it the result of a desire to take a look at the Trump campaign?

* Re conversation in the bar by PaPaD re HRC's emails coming out; MM thinks it was a thin thread. BB agrees--it was during a period of rampant speculation by the media on Russian hacking into her emails.

* by the time POTUS entered office, it was becoming clear that there was no basis for these allegations re Page, PapaD: "the whole thing had collapsed."

* if BB had been in charge of FBI, how would you have handled it? 3 reactions from Lynch, Yates, Obama: shouldn't we give new POTUS a defensive briefing? That would be the natural impulse....if you're interested in protecting the election, you give a defensive briefing.

Why do you think he didn't do that? [long pause] "We'll see."

If nothing is found by Durham, "will you let it lie"? BB: didn't know John Durham personally only by reputation--legendary for fairness & doggedness. D had a "sterling" reputation. "That's the kind of person he wanted running this."

* Clip with Comey talking about "real sloppiness" by FBI.