During one of many morning talk show interviews on Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) told Morning Joe “there were people in the FBI plotting to bring [President Trump] down” while discussing his threatened filibuster for the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization. Paul’s remarks were apparently a reference to a December report detailing text message exchanges between an FBI agent and a Justice Department lawyer later assigned to Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. The two referred to Trump as an “idiot” during the 2016 campaign, prompting conspiracy theorists to sound the alarm.
Paul immediately tried to segue back to his FISA tirade, but co-host Joe Scarborough and his panelists weren’t about to let the senator’s FBI comments go without a response. “Actually that was a couple of people talking,” said Scarborough. “Are you suggesting there’s an FBI conspiracy?” Paul didn’t say “yes,” but he didn’t say “no” either. “When you’re talking on an FBI phone and you are at work conspiring with other workers to bring the president down, that is a real problem,” he exclaimed. “It’s evidence that there’s bias.” Needless to say, Scarborough and his panelists weren’t buying Paul’s talking points.
“You’ve indicated you have an apprehension about, in your words, ‘rogue FBI agents in the Department of Justice.’ But you just said that two FBI agents were conspiring to bring down a presidency. Can you back that up? How were they conspiring?” MSNBC’s Mike Barnacle asked. In response, Paul claimed the intelligence he’d seen was “at the very least… inappropriate,” but he insisted the word “conspiring” applied as well. “I don’t think ‘inappropriate’ is a synonym for ‘conspiring,’” said Barnicle, “but apparently you do.”