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CNN host says Trump ‘exonerated’ in Russia collusion hoax report

U.S. President Donald Trump thumbs up as he welcomes Venezuelan National Assembly President and opposition leader Juan Guaido before their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on February 5, 2020. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
May 16, 2023

Special counsel John Durham’s report on a years-long investigation into the U.S. government’s response to the 2016 Trump-Russia collusion hoax was released on Monday, prompting CNN’s Jake Tapper to say the report “does exonerate Donald Trump.”

Durham’s 306-page report revealed that “neither U.S. law enforcement nor the Intelligence Community appears to have possessed any actual evidence of collusion” between former President Donald Trump and Russia.

“The report is now here. It has dropped. It might not have produced everything of what some Republicans hoped for, [but] it is, regardless, devastating to the FBI, and to a degree, it does exonerate Donald Trump,” Tapper said.

Durham’s “sobering” investigation concluded that “the Department and the FBI failed to uphold their important mission of strict fidelity to the law in connection with certain events and activities described in this report.”

“As noted, former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith committed a criminal offense by fabricating language in an email that was material to the FBI obtaining a FISA surveillance order. In other instances, FBI personnel working on that same FISA application displayed, at best, a cavalier attitude towards accuracy and completeness,” the report continued.

READ MORE: Fmr. Trump intel chief says evidence for ‘multiple’ indictments in Durham’s Trump-Russia probe

The report added that FBI personnel “repeatedly disregarded important requirements” when seeking to renew the FISA surveillance order “while acknowledging – both then and in hindsight – that they did not genuinely believe there was probable cause” that Trump was “knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of a foreign power, or knowingly helping another person in such activities.”

Durham’s report also noted that then-President Barack Obama and other senior administration officials knew Hillary Clinton fabricated the Trump-Russia collusion hoax four months prior to the 2016 election.

“According to his handwritten notes, CIA Director [John] Brennan subsequently briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence, including the ‘alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services,'” the report stated.