Former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell told Maria Bartiromo today on FOX News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures” that members of the intelligence community and Obama administration knew the “truth” about a “Russian collusion hoax” in 2016 and “lied to the American people” about it.
“What we need to figure out is what level are these individuals,” he said. “We need transparency, Maria. It’s a very foreign concept in Washington, D.C., but the American people need to understand that those in Washington are hiding information from them. They think we’re stupid.”
MARIA BARTIROMO, SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES: That was Congressman Devin Nunes on this program last week reacting to never-before-seen Russian intelligence that implicates Hillary Clinton and President Obama in a 2016 campaign plot to — quote — “stir up a scandal” against President Donald Trump.
Without brave patriots, like DNI John Ratcliffe, who released the report, and his predecessor, Ric Grenell, the American public would never have heard any of this.
Ric Grenell joins me right now. He also served as the U.S. ambassador to Germany under President Trump.
Ambassador, good to see you this morning. Thanks for being here.
RICHARD GRENELL, FORMER ACTING U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Thanks for having me, Maria.
BARTIROMO: So, Ric, you have said that, according to Ratcliffe’s — this declassification, we have now proof that Obama and Biden directed their administration to use the powers of the government to attack their political enemy, that being Donald Trump.
Who, in your opinion, was the mastermind. And tell me what was going on here.
GRENELL: Well, we now know that not only was this a Russian collusion hoax, but that it was known to be a Russian collusion hoax by career intelligence officials.
And that’s a really big distinction. We now know that insiders in the government, at the CIA, at DOJ, at FBI, they knew that this was a Russian collusion hoax, and they allowed it to go forward, for a variety of reasons.
They were convinced that Hillary would win, and they didn’t really want to challenge Goliath. They thought that their careers could be benefited if they just shut up.
But here is the key to this whole argument that politicians in Washington need to focus on, I would also say the president’s Cabinet members and the inspector generals all need to focus on.
Right now, we have Comey and Brennan and others saying that they didn’t know that this was a Russian collusion hoax. Their people knew.
And so what we need to figure out is, what level are these individuals going to go to jail? Somebody needs to go to jail, and be prosecuted first, obviously. And this is a slam dunk. They lied to the American people. They knew a truth, and they hid the truth.
This can never happen again. We cannot allow our government to weaponize information, to hold it back. You know, now we have got Joe Biden literally saying that the American people don’t deserve certain information. He got caught on a camera saying that.
This is the ways of Washington. We need transparency, Maria. It’s a very foreign concept in Washington, D.C., but the American people need to understand that those in Washington are hiding information from them. They think we’re stupid.
So you have said that you have got career politicians, and then you have got career bureaucrats in Washington. There were many career people in the DOJ and the FBI who said, this doesn’t look right, but their red flags were put aside.
And the career politicians, I will call them, like a Gina Haspel, does not want to declassify and disseminate this information, because it’s going to embarrass the CIA? Is that what we’re talking about?
And then those career politicians said to themselves, well, we know this is not great info, we know that it’s not true, but Hillary is pushing it, and she’s going to be president, so we’re going to go along with it?
GRENELL: Yes, so the mid-level career officials who obviously knew that this was a hoax, whose comments were pushed aside and classified, a lot of people saw those comments.
A lot of people saw those warnings. Comey is accused of seeing those warnings. Brennan is accused of seeing those warnings. Susan Rice is accused of seeing those warnings. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are accused of seeing the warnings and the information that this was a Russian collusion hoax.
They went forward with this anyway because it was going after their political opponents. They allowed misinformation, bad information, false information to go forward. Now, the question is, who approved it and how high did it go?
I think what we have to do in Washington is just start in the mid-level, go to the people that did do the warnings, and say, who…
GRENELL: … told you to shut up?
GRENELL: And did you have a conversation?
And just keep going up the chain until someone says, I told Comey, or I told Brennan, if that’s the case.
BARTIROMO: Yes. OK.
GRENELL: We got — we know that there’s misinformation. We have got to focus on who approved it.
BARTIROMO: All right, we want to move on, because I only have another one-and-a-half, two minutes with you.
John Brennan said that he thinks his legacy is going to be what he has done for the LGBTQ community, OK?
You, as the first openly gay man in government in a leadership position, what do you say to that? What will his legacy be?
And then I have got to ask you about being knocked off of Twitter. Your account was locked up because of a tweet you put out. We have got the tweet. We’re going to show it.
Real quick on Brennan first, Ric.
GRENELL: Look, he’s trying to distract the situation.
And they’re — once again, the left is using the gay community to pretend like they’re tolerant or diverse. I mean, this is ridiculous. Issuing a statement every June is not a legacy issue. And that’s a silly concept.
On the Twitter lockout, it’s — I happened to get the notice that I was locked out of Twitter, and I was talking to the president. And I told him. I told — “Mr. President, I just was locked out, and here’s why.”
I showed ballots that had been sent to dead people. Two people that had been dead for 10 years got ballots. I showed the ballots. And Twitter has this community standards policing group that went after me. They didn’t call the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters to say, hey, your rolls are bad and you’re sending ballots to dead people.
They locked me out of Twitter.
I think, if we’re going to have community standard policing from some of these tech companies, they need to go after the source. They need to go after the Iranian regime, who don’t allow their people on Twitter, but they’re still allowed to be on Twitter, or all the porn sites that are on Twitter.
GRENELL: There’s really bad information.
GRENELL: And I spoke to the president about getting rid of this 230 exemption and pushed this idea that they should not have an exemption from what they see as freedom.
And this is what happened to Craigslist.
GRENELL: Craigslist had a real big problem…
GRENELL: … after people started suing them for misinformation.