There is no underground "secret society" within the FBI. But the GOP still won't apologize for making the reckless claim.
Days after congressional Republicans got busted for pushing a phony smear campaign against the FBI, claiming a rogue, anti-Trump "secret society" exists within the bureau, the White House still hasn't apologized for supporting the ugly episode.
The charade was "BS," CNN anchor Chris Cuomo scolded White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah Monday morning. "You're putting something out there because it suits you. But it's inaccurate."
Obsessed with trying to protect Donald Trump from possible looming legal jeopardy as special counsel Robert Mueller continues his Russia and obstruction of justice investigations, defensive Republicans and their allies in the GOP media are committed to trying dismantle trust in the FBI and the Department of Justice.
Last week, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson not claimed he could confirm the existence of a secret society within the FBI dedicated to bring down Trump, but also insisted there was an informant to corroborate the story.
Johnson and the GOP's get-the-FBI faction based the whole claim on a single text sent between two FBI employees last year. It was a text that turned out to be a joke between friends: " Are you going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society." i.e., Lets form a secret society, haha.
Johnson soon sheepishly conceded as much, but not before becoming a national punchline. Speaking on the floor of U.S. Senate Thursday, Chuck Schumer (D-NY) belittled Johnson for making delusional and paranoid claims about the FBI.
On Monday, Cuomo pressed Shah about the latest pathetic attempt to undermine the Mueller investigation.
"You didn't check them once, Raj, because I checked everything you said about this and there was nothing," said Cuomo, referring to the White House's response to the GOP's "secret society" charade. "They said there was a secret agency on the basis of those texts. They said there was a conspiracy afoot because of the missing texts. You never said it was BS. And none of you came out when it was exposed as BS to say they shouldn't have said that. How's that OK, Raj?"
The GOP is clearly, and desperately, trying to dismantle trust in the FBI so that if and when the Trump White House faces formal allegations of wrongdoing, the public relations defense will revolve around the claim of how untrustworthy federal law enforcement is.
And that partisan offensive is being led by the White House. Last week, when a reporter asked whether Trump trusts the FBI, he answered, "Well, what am I going to say? I am very disturbed, as is the general, as is everybody else that is intelligent."