RUSH: Well, another hearing and another dud, as far as the Democrats are concerned. From the NSA, General Rogers: “I have never been directed to do anything illegal, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate. I don’t recall feeling pressure to do so.” Democrats are asking, “Did Trump tell you to stop this? Did Trump tell you to get in the way? Did Trump tell you to lie? Did Trump tell you to stop the investigation? Did Trump tell you to come up here and say that Trump’s wonderful and great?”
“I’ve never been directed to do anything illegal, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate. I don’t recall feeling pressure to do so.” Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence: “I have never felt pressured to interfere or intervene in shaping intelligence in any way.” When are we gonna get to Obama’s domestic spying? That’s the story. When are we gonna get to the unmasking? When are we gonna get Susan Rice up here?
Greetings, my friends, and welcome.
Man, they are salivating over Comey. The networks are brooming everything. If you happen to watch soap operas and like them, you can forget about it tomorrow, because the networks, every network in the world, even in Guinea-Bissau — look that place up — is gonna be brooming normal programming and covering the Comey testimony. Because everybody’s convinced that Comey’s gonna come in here and nuke Trump and that’s gonna be it and it’s gonna be over.
It’s just a cycle here of repeating processes where nothing changes. There is nothing new, earth-shattering or heart-stopping that happens in many of these hearings. The closest we may have gotten is McCabe. McCabe is the acting director of the FBI while we’re waiting on the new nominee to be confirmed. That should happen by 2018. He wouldn’t answer some questions, and neither would Coats, Dan Coats, about his conversations with the president. And there was some Democrat Senator, “Are you invoking executive privilege?”
“No, I just don’t share my conversation with the president in public, Senator.”
“Well, this is a huge issue. I note my time is running out but I want everybody to note it’s a huge issue that you will not blab about your conversation with the president.”
They’re salivating here.
RUSH: The Drive-Bys and the Democrats are convinced that somebody somewhere in the administration, in the executive branch, knows what a scumbag Trump is and has the goods on him, has the goods on his collusion with Russia, and they think if they just keep calling witnesses and bring these people up again and again, that at some point one of them is gonna crack and spill the beans. And every time this is met with eager anticipation, almost uncontainable anticipation, and it always blows up in their face. And it did today.
We are going to start with Mike Rogers, he’s the NSA director. He’s an admiral. You know, I once had a chance to meet Michael Hayden when he was the CIA director. It was at a Steelers game in Pittsburgh. And we had that commonality. We had that thing in common, we’re Steelers fans. We were in the same luxury suite. And so like I asked Rumsfield once when I had a chance, I asked him, “As director of the CIA, do you know everything going on?” “Oh, no,” he said. “It’s not possible.” I said, “Don’t misunderstand. I don’t mean do you know what everybody in the building is talking about. Do you know every operation? Are you aware of every objective the agency is attempting to accomplish on a daily basis, a weekly, monthly, yearly basis, whatever.” He said, “No, it’s not possible.” I said, “So what does the director do?”
You know, I’ve never been a CEO, and I’ve often wondered what CEOs actually do. Now, you may think it’s a stupid thing. I mean, they’re the chief executive officer. But I’ve never been an executive, other than of my own little enterprise here. And I know how hands on I am.
Like Tim Cook at Apple. Does Cook know everything they’re working on? I’ve always assumed so. I’ve always assumed the CEO knows everything. And Rumsfeld told me the same thing. I said, “Is there somebody in the Pentagon that knows what’s going on in there every day?” No. No. It’s not possible. There’s too much going on, too many people, too much is delegated. There are too many admirals, vice admirals, generals, vice generals.
Hayden told me the CIA has operatives that are freelance. That Special Forces, military operatives are assigned various parts of the world and are free to act according to their training and according to their intuition if it’s necessary. Sometimes there’s things off the books that nobody can know about that are happening. I said, “So what does the director do?”
“Well, the director provides the ongoing executive leadership and becomes the point man for the American people and Congress when it’s time for CIA activities to be addressed and discussed. A lot of budgeting and so forth.”
Now, I’m not naive; I didn’t expect the CIA director or the secretary of defense to know everything going on. But do not the chips all fall on the director if something goes wrong? Doesn’t the director pay the price, even though it may be things he doesn’t know? I said, “Are there things that are going on that you haven’t personally authorized? “Of course there are. Rush, we’re an organization of tens of thousands of people. Not all of them are expert at taking orders. We’ve got freelancers. We’ve got people with their own minds, their own initiative. There’s all kinds of stuff going on. It would be impossible to know.”
I said, “Well, how do you know, then, that everything going on within the banner, underneath the roof of the CIA is pro-American?” The more questions I asked, it became more difficult to answer. Not because the questions were particularly challenging, it’s just there isn’t any answer to them. This is why I have always found, if I may make a brief departure, what I’ve always found fascinating about people who lead large organizations, who have established a culture at those organizations, where no matter where you go, that organization is the same/
Everybody in it has the same objective, everybody in it has the same mind-set, not robotically. Just hires a stunning number of people who are all oriented toward the same objectives. And creating a culture like that in a very large organization to me would be phenomenally difficult, coupled with the obvious necessity to delegate so much because no one person can be effective running every aspect of every organization.
And the NSA — the reason I got on to this, the NSA, I mean, how in the world would any one person — like Mike Rogers is the director of the NSA, but he’s plucked from somewhere else. You know, a president gets elected and decides it’s time to staff various agencies of the executive branch with people to run it, so he gets recommendations. “Mike Rogers would be a good guy to run NSA.” But what does he do when he gets there?
I mean, the NSA’s got people that have been there for their adult lives, they’re career oriented. Nothing a director can come in and overnight change the direction of the place. It’s too massive. It’s too big. There’s no way. Like with Snowden, for example, did anybody there know what he was doing? Now, he actually didn’t work for the CIA; he worked for a consultant, a contractor, Booz Allen. And the same thing with this Reality Winner babe. She worked for a consultant. I got the name right, I know. I don’t know why. She worked for a consultant, an outfit in Augusta, Georgia. She was not a staffer per se of the NSA.
When you stop and think of it, contemplate running one of these massive enterprises. (interruption) Yeah, I know, like the president cannot possibly know everything going on within the executive branch, just can’t possibly know. In Trump’s case, I mean, look at all the people leaking, and they can’t find a way to stop it. They can’t find a way to identify the leakers. And some of them are in the White House, and they can’t find ’em.
So it’s a personal curiosity that I have about CEOs and people who direct or manage or are the chief executive of a massively large enterprise, knowing what I know about people and their desire to personally get noticed, to achieve, to climb the ladder of success. It’s gonna be a massive, massive undertaking. So these guys show up today to testify over these investigations, and the same question exists: Do they know everything? Can they possibly know everything going on in their building, so to speak?
Now, Mike Rogers’ building is the NSA, the National Security Agency. Have you even thought about getting hired there and what you would do and how you are monitored? So, anyway, we’ll start with Mike Rogers, who is now the director of the NSA. Mark Warner is querying him. He says, “You’ve had a very distinguished career. You’ve been in it 40 years now. In your experience, would it be in any way typical for a president to ask questions or bring up an ongoing FBI investigation, particularly if that investigation concerns associates and individuals that might be associated with the president’s campaign or his activities?” And here’s what Rogers said.
ROGERS: Today I am not gonna talk about theoreticals. I am not gonna discuss the specifics of any interaction or conversations that I may or may not —
WARNER: Can you — can you —
ROGERS: If I could finish, sir, please. That I may or may not have had with the president of the United States. But I will make the following comment: In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believed to be illegal, immoral, unethical, or inappropriate. And to the best of my recollection, during that same period of service, I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so.
RUSH: Well, this is not what the Democrats wanted to hear. This is effectively the end of the hearings where this guy’s concerned. There’s no reason for any other questions. Of course, the questions continued, but there wasn’t any reason for any other questions. He just shot down every hope and dream the Democrats, and maybe some Republicans, on this Intelligence Committee had. And he’s been there three years. That means a lot of the time he’s been there he served under Obama, Barack Hussein O.
Let me ask another question. Who is the head of the executive branch? Can anybody tell me? Good going, Mr. Snerdley. The president of the United States is the head of the executive branch. As such, the president of the United States can say anything to anybody he wants. He can declassify classified information just by telling somebody. He does not have to go through a declassification process. He doesn’t have to ask anybody’s permission. He doesn’t have to go to a committee of intel people and say, “You know, I want to make this public, is it okay?” He can just do it.
By the same token, the president of the United States can call the FBI director and ask what the hell’s going on. “Tell me about the Bonnie and Clyde investigation. What’s going on? Are you getting close to nailing ’em? I need to know.” The president can ask anything he wants. I know some of you are screaming, “Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Limbaugh, he cannot ask about his own investigation if he’s being investigated.” Yes, he can.
You might think it’s unethical or whatever, but the president’s entitled to find out what the people in his branch are doing, because he is the ultimate fall guy. He is the man on whom all responsibility rests. The president, the point is, has much latitude. The question here by Mark Warner is a question that attempts to convey that Trump doesn’t have the right to inquire about investigations being conducted by the FBI, and that if he does, it might be obstruction, it might be unethical, it might be problematic.
By the way, Trump’s in Cincinnati today, and do you know what the official White House schedule says? “Meeting with victims of Obamacare.” Is that not great? “Meeting with victims of Obamacare.” Okay, so that’s Mike Rogers. So the next question from Warner: “Well, then let me ask you specifically, did the president, from reports that are out there in the Drive-By Media, did the president ask you in any way, shape, or form to back off or downplay the Russia investigation?”
ROGERS: I’m not gonna discuss the specifics of the conversations with the president of the United States, but I stand by the comment I just made to you, sir.
RUSH: There’s no reason for any other question after that first comment. He’s never been pressured. He has never been directed. He’s never been asked, he’s never been told, ordered, or any of these things. And yet Warner wouldn’t give in. “Let me ask you specifically from reports that are in the media.” So everybody’s going by what’s in the media, where fake news rules the roost.
This is a major problem, by the way, folks. Not saying something profound, I know. But all of this fake news that’s out there that everybody thinks is real, even idiots in the Senate act as though it’s real, when it isn’t. And then ask these guys questions based on what they think is fact simply ’cause it’s been in the Drive-By Media.
Okay, up next is Dan Coats. Dan Coats, a former Senator from Indiana. Right now he’s the Director of National Intelligence, which means that the guys that head up the NSA and the CIA and the DIA and the BIA, the FIA, all the intelligence agencies, report to him. He is Trump’s Version of James Crapper — Clapper. And Mark Warner zeroed in on him.
RUSH: So we’re getting an idea now how the Democrats are gonna deal with Comey. You’ll hear it coming up. But up next is Dan Coats and the question from Mark Warner: “Okay, we’re gonna hear from Director Comey tomorrow. This pattern where the president seems to want to interfere, downplay, or halt the ongoing investigation, not only that the Justice Department’s taking on, but this committee is taking on, and I hope that we move forward on this, but you realize the importance the American public deserves to get answers to these questions.”
Notice his question. “We will hear from Director Comey tomorrow. This pattern where the president seems to want to interfere.” Nobody has said that he has. Nobody has said that he has interfered. And so Warner says, “Well, this effort by the president’s, this pattern where he seems to want to interfere.” Here’s what Coats said that to that.
COATS: When I was asked yesterday to respond to a piece that I was told was going to be written and printed in the Washington Post this morning, my response to that was, in my time of service, which is interacting with the president of the United States or anybody in his administration, I have never been pressured, I have never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relationship to —
WARNER: All I — all I —
COATS: — an ongoing investigation.
RUSH: All right. So here’s Warner now asking Coats, and Coats has said the same thing that Mike Rogers said. There’s no effort. I’ve never been pressured, I’ve never been asked, I’ve never been directed, and now the Senators are getting mad. They’re getting really upset why these guys won’t answer the questions. Here Angus King, who is an Independent from Maine.
KING: Why are you not answering these questions? Is there an invocation by the president of the United States of executive privilege? Is there or not?
ROGERS: Not that I’m aware of.
WARNER: Then why are you not answering our questions?
ROGERS: Because I feel it is inappropriate, Senator.
KING: What you feel isn’t relevant, Admiral. What you feel isn’t the answer. The answer is, why are you not answering the questions? Is it an invocation of executive privilege? If there is, then let’s know about it. If there isn’t, answer the questions.
ROGERS: I stand by the comments I’ve made. I’m not interested in repeating myself, sir.
RUSH: What else is there to answer? He’s said there isn’t any effort that has been made in the innuendo no direct order, no request, no pressure to interfere in anything that the NSA is doing. “Why won’t you answer the questions? It’s not about your feelings. Why won’t you answer the questions?” And then the same guy, Angus King, then goes after Coats. “Okay, Coats, I’ll ask you, what’s the basis for your refusal in answering these questions today?”
COATS: The basis is what I’ve previously explained. I do not believe it is appropriate for me to —
WARNER: What’s the basis — I’m not satisfied with, “I do not believe it is appropriate or I do not feel I should answer.” I want to understand a legal basis. You swore that oath to tell us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and today you are refusing to do so. What is the legal basis for your refusal to testify to this committee?
COATS: I’m not sure I have a legal basis, but I’m more than willing to sit before this committee during its investigative process in a closed session and answer your questions. I do have to work through the legal counsel at the White House.
RUSH: Well, they both answered whatever has been asked of them. You know, when Comey disappoints tomorrow, this is gonna be the same line: “Why aren’t you talking? Why won’t you answer the questions?” Get ready for that. Something like it.
RUSH: Let me tell you what’s going on here. This is a show trial. Coats and Rogers are answering the questions they have been asked. What’s not happening is they are not providing the answers that the Democrat senators want. And so the Democrat senators are accusing them of avoidance. The Democrat senators are accusing them of refusing to answer, after they’ve answered thoroughly.
What else is there to say? If you’re Admiral Rogers and you’ve said: “I’ve never been pressured in the three years I’ve been at the NSA. Nobody has asked me, nobody’s pressured me, nobody has sent word through a third party. There has been no effort whatsoever to interfere in whatever it is I am doing or investigating.” What else is there to ask after that? But since the answer was not, “President Trump routinely called me and tried to intimidate me and told me that I would not be in good standing if I continue this,” that’s what they want to hear, but that didn’t happen. These guys are not saying it. And so they’re ignoring those answers because they aren’t the answers they wanted.
This is a show trial. Where were these Democrats and their hectoring of Comey when he refused to answer questions time and again? Same thing. Comey constantly refused to answer even the most basic innocuous questions the last time he was up there. In fact, the last time Comey was up there was one of the strangest appearances before a committee I have ever seen. It was as close to a rehearsed performance as I have ever seen. This attempt to sound happy and eager to be there and projecting, “Awe, gee, Senator, what a great question, and I would love to answer that, but as I’ve looked at this, I just don’t think I can.”
He stonewalled. He didn’t have any of the answers. There were long faces. They were saddened, they were disappointed, ’cause they thought Comey was gonna drop the bombshell, but he constantly refused to answer even the most basic innocuous questions. And the Democrats at the time, along with the media, they had no problems with that. They cheered Comey on.