Former FBI Director James Comey's claims that Republicans funded the salacious Russian document against President Donald Trump are "really, really crazy," Rep. Ron DeSantis said Friday.
"It's really really crazy to hear him try to say that Republicans funded Christopher Steele and the dossier," the Florida Republican told Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "That's been debunked 10 times over.
"Yes, Republicans did hire Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Donald Trump during the primary. Once he won the nomination, the Democrats then retained Fusion, who then retained Steele. It started with the Democrats. It started with Hillary Clinton. For him not to acknowledge that is unbelievable."
In an interview with Fox News' Bret Baier Thursday night, Comey denied that he knew who was behind the leak about the dossier, and said he never really knew who funded it.
He also said he doesn't "know for a fact" if the Democratic National Committee and Clinton funded Steele's work, as he has "only seen it in the media."
Comey's competence comes into question "if he didn't really know that Hillary [Clinton] and the Democrats funded this," and if the dossier was used to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump aide Carter Page, DeSantis said.
"As the FBI director, that would be something you definitely should have known," he added. "I think they knew it, but I think Comey's problem is in early 2017, when he was talking to the Intelligence Committee. He basically repeated that same thing where he said look, 'I think Republicans started this.' That was obviously not true. So I think he thinks to acknowledge that those statements were wrong would put him in further jeopardy."
The congressman also debunked Comey's repeated claims that he does not consider handing off his secret memos about meeting with Trump to be leaking.
"If you are in a government position like that, it doesn't even need to be classified to be a leak," said DeSantis. "If you have government documents that the public doesn't have access to and you give it to the press, that is a leak. ... I think it really made Comey look bad. He has gotten pretty kid gloved treatment because people like the fact is he criticizing Trump."
DeSantis also commented about 49 pages of text messages exchanged between FBI agent Peter Strzok and agency attorney Lisa Page that several congressional committees received Thursday, complaining there were "big gaps" in the documents.
"I think their average texts from the other periods were almost 12 texts a day," said DeSantis, but the documents they got show "less than two text a day."
"Unless they just magically had radically different texting habits for that particular six months, there is a lot more that needs to be received by the Congress, said DeSantis. "We're going to have to go back to [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein and go back to these guys and say produce the goods."
There has been some talk of holding Rosenstein in contempt or initiating impeachment proceedings, noted show co-host Steve Doocy, and DeSantis said that Congress could keep getting stonewalled if it is not willing to consider that.
"The fear is that they try to string this out past the election," he said. "If the Democrats take over, which I hope not, then they don't have to worry about doing this anymore."
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