Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin claimed Tuesday that President Donald Trump was “trying to pacify law enforcement” when he lashed out at FBI Director Christopher Wray.
McMullin appeared on “Hardball” with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and argued that Trump was simply behaving in the same manner as “any corrupt president or any corrupt leader we’ve seen around the world.”
Matthews began the segment by sharing a clip of Wray’s response to the FISA report that was made public Monday, noting that the president did not appear to be happy with his willingness to accept the inspector general’s conclusions.
“Well, President Trump, as you might think, didn’t like those directors comments by the head of the FBI, tweeting, ‘I don’t know what report the current director of FBI Christopher Wray was reading but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude he’ll never be able to fix the FBI which is badly broken despite having the greatest men and women working there,’” Matthews read the president’s tweet aloud. (RELATED: ‘He Will Never Be Able To Fix The FBI’: Trump Calls Out Bureau Director Chris Wray Over FISA Report)
I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2019
Matthews then turned to McMullin, who had previously worked for the CIA, adding, “You’ve been in one of those big agencies and I just want to know who the hell is Trump talking about? He’s attacking and trashing the new FBI director he appointed because the new FBI director can read. And the report by the inspector general is clear as a bell and says there were some mistakes but there wasn’t any politics involved in the decision to approve those FISA decisions to investigate the Trump campaign. No politics, no bigotry, no favoritism.”
“Well, absolutely,” McMullin agreed. “But President Trump, like any corrupt president or any corrupt leader we see it around the world, he’s trying to pacify law enforcement officials and to subdue them to prevent them from pursuing him any further, pursuing his wrongdoing any further.”
“It’s something that always happens with corrupt leaders,” McMullin continued. “So you see that’s what his effort is here to suggest that Christopher Wray is currently the FBI director, which he is but sort of suggesting he may not be there for much longer. And look, I think what we have to worry about here is I hope director Wray will be resilient and the rest of FBI leadership will be as well.”
McMullin concluded that the broader implication would be how Trump’s response to the impeachment and the inspector general’s report might impact the FBI’s willingness — or lack thereof — to investigate this president or any other president in the future. “And it should be deeply concerning to us,” he said.