(Article by Chuck Ross republished from DailyCaller.com)
CNN added to its deep roster of former FBI and CIA officials-turned-analysts Friday with the hiring of Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director fired for lack of candor during an investigation last year.
McCabe is the tenth ex-FBI, CIA or intelligence community official CNN has hired during the Trump administration, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis. MSNBC has followed closely behind, having hired five former officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan.
CNN was widely mocked on Friday after announcing the McCabe hiring, largely because the network has criticized its competitors for hiring former Trump administration officials. But the personnel move is also part of a larger trend that has come under scrutiny from some media observers.
Jack Shafer, a media critic who writes for Politico, noted the potential pitfalls of networks like CNN and MSNBC having a stable of ex-spies and G-men as paid, on-air contributors.
“But the downside of outsourcing national security coverage to the TV spies is obvious,” Shafer wrote in a Feb. 5, 2018 article at Politico. “They aren’t in the business of breaking news or uncovering secrets. Their first loyalty — and this is no slam — is to the agency from which they hail.”
Glenn Greenwald, an editor at The Intercept who covers national security issues, echoed that sentiment during a Fox News interview in March.
“And not only did MSNBC and CNN use those people as their sources, they hired them as their news analyst. So if you turn on CNN or MSNBC, it was basically state TV. It was CIA TV,” he told Tucker Carlson March 26.
Greenwald and others have noted the lopsided analysis offered up by the former officials, especially on the topic of the Trump-Russia probe.
Most have hewed to their networks’ general viewpoint that Trump or his associates conspired with Russia. Others, like McCabe, Brennan, and former national intelligence director James Clapper, have all defended the investigation of the Trump campaign. They’ve maintained their defense even in the wake of the special counsel’s report, which debunked the theory that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia.
Here is a rundown of CNN and MSNBC’s most prominent analysts.
James Clapper, director of national intelligence under President Obama. As the nation’s top intelligence official, Clapper was intimately involved in the investigation of possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian government. He set up a now-infamous Jan. 6, 2017 meeting with top intelligence officials and then-President-Elect Donald Trump. During that briefing, then-FBI Director James Comey told Trump about the existence of the Steele dossier.
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper testifies to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on “Russia’s intelligence activities” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Four days later, CNN reported that the briefing occurred. Hours after that, BuzzFeed News published the Steele dossier in full.
Republicans have accused Clapper of leaking information to CNN for its report, though he has denied it.
Andrew McCabe, former FBI deputy director. CNN announced on Friday that McCabe would serve as a law enforcement analyst.
McCabe was fired from the FBI on March 16, 2018 upon the recommendation of the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility. An investigation determined that McCabe lacked candor under oath regarding his authorization of a leak to the media in October 2016 regarding the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton Foundation. (RELATED: CNN Hires Andrew McCabe As A Contributor)
McCabe sued the Justice Department and FBI Aug. 8, claiming that he was fired due to pressure from Trump.
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