Fox News’s Chris Wallace grilled over Comey his claim that Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report into the handling of the FBI’s investigation vindicated him and the agency.
Comey argued that Horowitz’s report cleared him and the FBI of charges of illegal spying and opening an investigation into the Trump campaign that had no legal basis.
“What I mean is that the FBI was accused of treason, of illegal spying, of tapping Mr. Trump’s wires illegally, of opening an investigation without justification, of being a criminal conspiracy to unseat… defeat and then unseat a president. All of that was nonsense.”
Watch his comments below:
Exclusively on FOX News Sunday: Chris Wallace asks Former FBI Director James Comey if the IG Report vindicates him. Director Comey responds to previous statements he made in 2018 about the Carter Page FISA warrant being handled appropriately: "There was real sloppiness." pic.twitter.com/vPmCV11hRe— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) December 15, 2019
However, Comey admitted that Horowtiz’s report uncovered several incidents of “real sloppiness.”
“He also found things that we were never accused of, which is real sloppiness. And that’s concerning, as I’ve said all along, has to be focused on. If I were director, I’d be real concerned about it and diving into it.”
Wallace played a clip of Comey speaking to reporters last year, where he said he felt the process to get a warrant to surveil members of the Trump campaign was conducted appropriately and asked him to respond to Horowitz’s testimony that there were 17 errors or omissions in the process of getting warrants.
Comey admitted that he was “overconfident” in the procedures designed to prevent abuse of FISA warrants.
“He’s right; I was wrong. I was overconfident in the procedures that the FBI and Justice had built over 20 years. I thought they were robust enough. It’s incredibly hard to get a FISA. I was overconfident in those. Cause he’s right there was real sloppiness, 17 things that either should have been in the applications or discussed and characterized differently. It was not acceptable.”
Additionally, Comey took responsibility for the errors saying if he were still the FBI director, he would investigate the procedures to prevent future such errors.
Watch his comments below:
EXCLUSIVE: Former FBI Director James Comey responds to the inspector general report and Michael Horowitz's finding that the Steele dossier played a "central and essential" role in the FISA order. #FNS #FoxNews pic.twitter.com/lNxO3DRoSI— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) December 15, 2019
“I’m responsible for that. That’s why I’m telling you I was wrong; I was overconfident as director in our procedures. And it’s important that a leader be accountable and transparent. If I were still director, I’d be saying exactly the same thing that Chris Wray is saying, which is, ‘We are going to get to the bottom of this.’ Cause the most important is, is it systemic? Are there problems in other cases?”
Comey also pushed back on accusations that the infamous Steele Dossier was sole reason the FBI requested a FISA warrant, “What [Horowtiz’s] report says is that the FBI thought it was a close call. Until they got the Steele report, put that additional information in, and that tipped it over to be probable cause. “
On Saturday night, Trump took to Twitter to blast Fox News for featuring Comey and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), accusing the network of “trying sooo hard to be politically correct.”
Hard to believe that @FoxNews will be interviewing sleazebag & totally discredited former FBI Director James Comey, & also corrupt politician Adam “Shifty” Schiff. Fox is trying sooo hard to be politically correct, and yet they were totally shut out from the failed Dem debates!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2019
Comey’s interview comes days after Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI’s 2016 investigation into the Trump campaign had a legal basis to be launched, but found several errors that occurred throughout the investigation.