Obama: If I Did It
This week, Fox aired O.J. Simpson: If I Did It. The special contained interview footage from 2006 where Simpson describes murdering his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman. Except he describes to publisher Judith Regan the crime as a hypothetical, involving the help of a friend named “Charlie.”
If the show did well enough in the ratings perhaps Fox will make it a series. One episode sure to draw huge numbers, Barack Obama: If I Did It.
JUDITH REGAN: Before we get to the events surrounding the surveillance and undermining of the Trump campaign and administration, I want to go back to your Senate campaign. Curiously, both your primary and general election opponents had their sealed divorce records pried open. The salacious information was then used to destroy the candidacy of each man. Can you explain how that happened?
OBAMA: Hypothetically speaking. This guy I just met, Charlie, apparently went to the two judges, and used some of that old Chicago-style arm twisting to get those files. But Judith, it’s their own fault. They’re the ones who got divorced. And people have a right to know every little bit of everything on their candidates.
REGAN: But that doesn’t seem to apply to you. Like the Congressional Black Caucus burying that photo of you laughing it up with Louis Farrakhan. Or the L.A. Times burying the tape of you offering high praise of PLO terror group’s former mouthpiece Rashid Khalidi.
OBAMA: (cold killer stare)
REGAN: Your Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied under oath about the nature of the surveillance your NSA was conducting on American citizens.
OBAMA: Well, again, if I had done that, I would argue that we have to know what people were up to. I don’t want my kids being around the kind of people who deserve to be spied on. What parent would want that?!
OBAMA: That was their fault. I mean, imagine I’m trying to make this deal, and they think that helping Iran get a nuclear weapon is wrong? So Charlie and the CIA would have taken a look at some private conversations. But then it gets blown into this whole big thing, man. I mean, it’s no worse than breaking into a reporter’s computer when they’re doing stories critical of you. Who doesn’t do that? I mean, in theory?
The scene cuts back to the studio where host Soledad O’Brien is sitting with Judith, former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, and Stream managing editor Al Perrotta.
SOLEDAD: Dennis, you are crying. Why?
DENNIS: I was one of those targeted. I never thought I’d see a President use the intel community against a sitting members of Congress.
SOLEDAD: Al, what do you make of what you’ve seen so far?
AL: I think we’ve seen a pattern going back to Chicago of Barack Obama abusing the court system, using salacious information against opponents. We also see him using — with Brennan and Clapper’s eager help —America’s intelligence apparatus against his political foes.
SOLEDAD: What do you call that?
Hillary Email Investigation
The interview of Obama resumes …
REGAN: I want to touch on the Hillary Clinton email investigation. In April 2016, you told Fox News that Clinton “never would have intentionally harmed national security.” Intent is not part of the statute. Yet, a couple weeks later, the Washington Post reported that FBI agents have found “scant” evidence Hillary “intended” to mishandle classify information. James Comey would later use lack of intent as an excuse for letting Clinton avoid prosecution.
OBAMA: If you like your server, you can keep your server.
REAGAN: The very same day of the Post report, FBI lawyer Lisa Page met at the White House to discuss the Hillary investigation. A day before that, she and lover Peter Strzok were saying there would be “pressure” to end the investigation because Trump had just secured the nomination.
Given that you were Comey’s ultimate boss, and the intent idea was yours, what happened in that White House meeting? Did you put “pressure”on the FBI?
OBAMA: We’re talking hypothetical here. Charlie wanted the meeting. He came up with the intent idea while I was watching March Madness. He didn’t want the investigation clouding Hillary’s path to victory. But did he put “pressure” on the FBI? What’s pressure? I know pressure. One time, right after discussing the beheading of an American, I had to tee off with a new driver I’d never used on a par five.
REGAN: But something else curious happened. At the same time, Comey had a draft memo describing how Hillary Clinton had emailed you from her unsecured private server while traveling in a hostile country. Meaning, it was highly likely an enemy was hacking in.
OBAMA: You don’t know Hillary. Man, she was emailing me all the time with her private email. Wanting this, wanting that. Wanting to send weapons to Libya. Wanting to bomb Syria. Wanting donations to her Foundation. And people want to blame me? I tried to keep a distance from her server business, but she couldn’t help herself. (laugh) Ladies can’t help themselves around me.
REGAN: But here’s the thing. The reference to you ended up being deleted. In other words, evidence of your awareness of and involvement in her dangerous email scheme. Who pushed for that deletion?
OBAMA: Charlie. No question.
REGAN: Did you want Hillary’s case to go away in order to protect your own skin?
OBAMA: That’s what hurts me the most about this whole thing, Judith. After all my years in the public eye, all my amazing accomplishments, people would think I only think of me.
Cuts to the studio with Soledad O’Brien.
SOLEDAD: Al, what strikes you the most about that part of the interview?
AL: Aside from the media’s stunning lack of curiosity? I’d say that real possibility Obama was not only neck deep in interfering with cases connected to 2016, but was neck deep involved in those cases.
SOLEDAD: Why are you still crying, congressman?
KUCINICH: Hillary never emailed me from a hostile country on her unsecured system. And I busted my tush for her in Ohio.
That Tapping Sound
Returning to the interview …
REGAN: On March 4, 2017, President Trump tweeted that Obama “had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower.” Your spokesman’s response was that no one at the White House had ordered surveillance. You are a lawyer …
OBAMA: So’s Charlie. And a darn fine community organizer to boot.
REGAN: You know lawyer-speak as well as anyone. There would not be an order from the White House. There is an application to a FISA court from the FBI and Department of Justice, neither of which is physically located in the White House. However, they are part of the executive branch. And we now know, such surveillance did happen.
On November 17, 2016 NSA director Mike Rogers made a trip up to Trump Tower. You didn’t know about it. Clapper and Brennan didn’t know about it either. Rogers, well aware of the systematic abuse of the FISA courts, reportedly warned Trump about the surveillance. The next day, Trump suddenly moved his transition operation to his New Jersey golf club.
And word breaks that you, Clapper and Brennan wanted Rogers fired.
OBAMA: What guy wouldn’t get angry? Nobody wants to see someone under their control stepping out on them.
That Steele Dossier
REGAN: The basis for that surveillance was the salacious Steele Dossier. Andrew McCabe said that without the Steele Dossier, there would be no FISA application.
That dossier became the basis for the “Trump-Russia collusion” story. The dossier and collusion story was being spread throughout Washington and the media by the FBI, DOJ, Brennan’s CIA, the State Department, the Defense Department, and White House staffers. Clapper leaked to CNN about the classified briefings being given you and later President-elect Trump. Your National Security Adviser Susan Rice first denied then confirmed being a part of the effort to unmask people connected to Trump.
How’s that happen?
OBAMA: Hypothetically, the presidential race began getting going in mid 2015 —
REGAN: Or roughly around the time Sally Yates denied the DOJ inspector general permission to oversee the National Security Division which handles FISA requests —
OBAMA: Charlie wanted to know everything there was to know about our foe. Again, he wanted to abuse the courts. Again, he wanted to misuse the nation’s intelligence capabilities. Again, he wanted to help ensure the election went the direction I … uh … Charlie wanted it to go. He wanted that information out. He wanted that information out!
Somehow, though, the phone and pen ended up in my hand. Hypothetically, of course.
As I told Fox News, I don’t talk to the Attorney General or FBI directors about investigations.
REGAN: But Lisa Page talked about helping James Comey prepare to brief you.
OBAMA: That may have been preparing to brief Charlie. I didn’t know what the FBI was up to.
REGAN: Page was speaking specifically of you: “He wants to know everything we are doing.”
OBAMA: Hypothetically, I did.
REGAN: Shortly before you left office you held a meeting to go over the Russian investigation. According to Susan Rice, you were worried about sharing too much intelligence with Trump.
OBAMA: Not true. He needs all the intelligence he can get! (LAUGH) No. Seriously. I was really worried about the Russian interference in the election.
REGAN: Yet Rice gave NSA operatives who were set to fight the interference a “stand-down” order. Yet you took no serious action. You denied Russia could interfere with the election. It wasn’t until Trump won that suddenly you were gloom and doom. Explain how you allowed all of this to happen. … The politicization of the Justice Department and FBI? The misuse of the intelligence apparatus? The leaking? The lies? The Russian meddling?
OBAMA: Like the sign on my desk said, “The Buck Stops With Charlie.”
One Final Question
JUDITH: One final question. Just out of curiosity. What were you actually doing the night of the Benghazi attack?
OBAMA: Remember, this is just a hypothetical. I don’t remember.