Brian Williams is back co-hosting actual news (hopefully) at MSNBC and he had a question for New York Times writer Michael Schmidt, whose revelation about a Comey memo made shockwaves in the press this week.
According to the story, President Trump told Comey, about the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn, that “I hope you can let this go.”
Michael Flynn, Trump's former National Security Adviser, was removed from office early in the administration due to serious discrepancies in his recounting of talks with the Russian ambassador. Additionally, Flynn has been in the news for working as a foreign agent for Turkey without declaring it to the U.S. government.
The problem with the story? No one seems to have the Comey memo, at least not yet. This is what Schmidt wrote:
Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.
This is where Brian Williams comes in. On Thursday, the NBC host hit Schmidt point blank:
“Why is it the Times has the story, but not the memo?”
The Times reporter's response? Buckle up, because you're about to go for a ride:
“Well, uh, we've been working on, I've been working on a story the past few days about the fact that Comey had written these. We thought that that was pretty significant in and of themselves. And then in the process of pushing on those doors this morning, I learned more about one of these memos. And someone that had seen them, recounted details to me. We felt comfortable with those details. We did some diligence on the information and we realized how sensitive that information was and how potentially important it could be. And we moved as potentially as we could...”
In layman's terms: 'No, we have not. But we ran the story anyway.'
So, is the chatter about this explosive Comey memo coming from one “fake news” reporter to another? It looks like we'll have to wait and see.