February 27, 2020

Investigative reporter John Solomon has outdone himself this time –- which is saying a lot –- with a “whistleblower” interview that confirms all we thought about the FBI’s misuse of their spying programs, and not just FISA.

This whistleblower is not anonymous and, being retired from the Bureau, receives no whistleblower protections. Retired Special Agent Bassem Youssef ran the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit from late 2004 to late 2014. This was the (yes) “warrantless spying” program started after 9/ll that he came to believe was “deeply flawed” but that was kept on, he said, to give Americans a false sense of security and possibly also to enable “inappropriate spying, such as that which targeted President Trump’s 2016 campaign.”

Solomon conducted an interview with Youssef for THE HILL in 2018, and now, in a lengthy podcast for John Solomon Reports, Youssef has added to our understanding of what the intel community was doing. He sat down with Solomon again for the podcast after the release of a report from the White House civil liberties board that outlines the same problems he’d tried to discuss with James Comey and Andrew McCabe for years. “I have no doubt, or very little doubt, that it was used for political spying or political espionage,” he told Solomon.

This was called the NSA program, because it searched call records captured by the National Security Agency. (As I read about this, I couldn’t help but remember James Clapper lying before Congress when asked if the government spied on Americans. “Not...wittingly,” he fibbed unconvincingly.) After Edward Snowden leaked the existence of this program, the FBI performed an audit, which revealed a lot of monetary waste and numerous false positives and negatives. According to Youssef, it also showed “there was collateral damage in terms of civil liberties” of Americans whose phone records were unnecessarily searched or who were wrongly identified as being connected to terrorism. (And here, I can’t help but think of Michael Flynn and all the others who were surveilled and unmasked.)

Youssef discussed his concerns about the NSA program with Andrew McCabe on two separate occasions, the first when McCabe was assistant director for counterterrorism and the second after he’d been promoted to acting executive assistant director, the third most powerful job at the Bureau. Both times, Youssef’s warnings were brushed off. “...He was so adamant about, we need this program,” Youssef told Solomon. “We’re keeping it as this, even though we’re not getting anything out of it.”

So, why should it be so important to McCabe to continue a program that isn’t giving them what it’s supposed to deliver? He must have had some other reason to keep it around.

Likewise, when Youssef went to James Comey in September of 2014, Comey’s only expressed concern after Youssef had laid out all the problems, including the potential for abusing civil liberties, was “is it legal?” Or, in bureaucrat-ese: “Do you have a problem or concerns with the statutory authority?” As Youssef recounted it to Solomon, he told Comey he had no reservations about the program’s legality because the surveillance had to be approved by FISA court judges. (I wonder if he looks back on that comment now and smacks his forehead for being that naive.)

Youssef told Solomon that he had “no doubt whatsoever” that McCabe and Comey were fully briefed and understood the severity of the problems with the NSA program. Yet they continued it.

He said that since his retirement, he has developed “deep concerns” that the NSA program has been abused, just as the FISA program has been, during the Russia “collusion” investigation into the Trump campaign that involved spying on Carter Page. “There is no doubt in my mind now, looking at the backdrop and the information that has come up since 2016 in the media, that the abuses were rampant,” he told Solomon, “and not just for the FISA process, the FISA program, but for other programs that were used to spy on the Trump campaign. That to me is almost the obvious conclusion of what I’ve seen.” He very strongly suspects the NSA program he had run for ten years was used “to handpick selected targeted numbers” for political espionage. No wonder McCabe and Comey wanted so badly to keep it --- it was to be quite useful.

Here are the full details; there’s also a link to the podcast.

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Comments 1-25 of 27

  • Joe Gerron

    03/01/2020 03:49 PM

    Hi Mike, ok so we have this information, now what are the Republicans doing with it? We have been informed, almost daily, of some nefarious deeds that were conducted by Democrats and we (Republicans) pound our chest and huff and puff but we can't seem to blow their house down. All the while, we sneeze, and all of a sudden the full force of congress seems to be unleashed on us by the left. When are the "do nothing" Republicans gonna grow a set and DO SOMETHING about it? Meanwhile we are bombarded with requests for donations to "defeat the liberals". I for one would like to see some bang for my bucks. BTW love your show and monologues.

  • Raymond D Babcock

    02/28/2020 12:27 AM

    Until someone goes to jail there is no equal justice under the law in America.

  • Danny

    02/27/2020 09:14 PM

    So what, no one is ever going to be indicted for any of it. What good is investigating if nothing happens to the people doing wrong. Hello separate Justice system.

  • Donna Yates

    02/27/2020 08:21 PM

    It seems to me the more exposed these people get including the "deep state/swamp" the more I wonder why AG Barr is not doing anything to rein in the DOJ of which he has complete control over and can get rid of any of the holdovers from the Obama years. We keep hearing about the Inspector General's report but nothing has come out and no indictments either. I get that you need to get your ducks all in a row and make sure all your i's are dotted, but it has been over three years of nonsense with the Russia collusion, Mueller's investigation or not investigation, then the impeachment that never should have been as it was all for show, a hoax, no witnesses, no crime, no nothing yet the House was allowed to continue this circus show.
    I for one am sick of these people getting away with lies that they readily admit to in public, write books on how great they are and walk around like their crap don't smell. Yet people like Manafort, Gen Flynn, and others are forced to sign documents under duress, threatened, and told if they don't sign then they will be left homeless, penniless and taken in the middle of the night like some serial killer surrounded by press and swat teams at gun point. Oh yeah, that actually happened to several of them.
    I recently read that the black book that convicted Manafort of crimes is actually a fake written by possibly the same person(s) who wrote the Russia Dossier. That alone should get Manafort out of prison. These people need to sue the FBI, Mueller, and all the others for every penny they have. And they need to be arrested like Manafort was and taken into custody be forced to live in a one man 8x8 cell, all of them together. Company loves misery.

  • Sharon Keel

    02/27/2020 05:35 PM

    Very interesting read. Now that it's proven why isn't something being done about all the corruption?

  • Carbine Williams

    02/27/2020 05:19 PM

    It's far past time to eliminate the NSA,the FBI,the CIA and all intelligence agencies and start over with one combined non political agency that covers all the previous actions of it's predecessors. It should answer to the DOJ only and have very close scrutiny

  • Norma Self

    02/27/2020 04:32 PM

    Thank God something will get done. I PRAY THAT THEY GET PROSecuted.

  • Janet Pingston

    02/27/2020 04:20 PM

    What happened to Vince Foster and his “papers” ? You know - the guy next to Hillary’s office in the White House. I think there were six others. For a total of seven “accidents “. Uummm ?

  • Barbara Brace

    02/27/2020 03:51 PM

    Most excellent reporting by John Solomon, a reputable reporter who digs and verifies. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Nancy Wagner

    02/27/2020 03:04 PM

    SOOO many issues that need justice served to regain the confidence of the American people,in the CIA, FBI, FISA SYSTEM and many more, as well as so many Democrats lying to Congress and the American people and the FBI, yet never being. brought to justice. It's GOT TO STOP!!! WHY ISN'T IT????

  • Elizabeth Crouse

    02/27/2020 02:25 PM

    I agree with the person who wrote. The bad guys are getting nothing and the ones who hardly did anything are getting the book. When is the guilty going to be charged and fired.

  • Robert McFate

    02/27/2020 02:24 PM

    Another case of giving the government an inch and they expand it into denial of civil rights!

  • rodney burke

    02/27/2020 12:58 PM

    more alarm bells going off Mike? Comey AND McCabe were engaged in illegal activity and chose to ignore a head of the program? More proof that hate clouds judgement and Comey was all consumed with getting Trump and anyone associated with him including mike Flynn who poses STILL a clear and present danger to him and no telling how many others. this mess is blowing up in their faces "Because they thought Hilary would win." It's almost comical isn't it? The utter arrogance, blind assurity that they would never be caught. As 2020 progresses, I am more convinced that we had divine intervention.

    Solomon and co. are the true journalists here and we should be grateful for what they uncover.

  • Pat J Green

    02/27/2020 12:30 PM

    As much as I would like to see these lying swamp people go to jail for all they have done to we the American people. I do believe that God does keep his promises and in General. God said he would bless those that blessed Isreal and curse those that cursed those that cursed Isreal. President Trump has blessed Isreal in several ways, the biggest is the recognition of Jersaliem as Isreal Capital. There has been other things he has done along those lines. There for I do believe that God will bless President Trump and we the American people. What that blessings are God knows, I hope and pray four more years a House he can work with and a Senate he can work with

  • Kay DeWitt

    02/27/2020 12:28 PM

    I read this only minutes after I received a phone call from a pastor who is very supportive of President Trump and we both agreed on how God is using President Trump to expose these never-ending stories of lies...corruption...abuse and everything else that is done for political gain....

    While there are Christians who would argue that President Trump was NOT God's choice, I could counter that with the argument that God chose Donald Trump... not because He wanted to use him as His mouthpiece (for obvious reasons)....but, rather, because He knew He could use his "what you see is what you get" UNpolitical type of "tweeting" personality to EXPOSE political hypocrisy for what it

    I don't know if my definition of our beloved President 's personality did it justice, BUT, the words that came to me got me a giggling so it felt good to, at least for those brief seconds, have the burden of grief...OVER all the evil that is being exposed.... "feel" lighter !...AND I used the word "beloved" to also define our....
    MY....President, because I DO love him!

  • Rhona H. Summerford

    02/27/2020 12:17 PM

    This is almost unbelievable, but given what we now know, I am not surprised!!!! Our FBI has lost the people's trust because of a few at the top!!!!

  • Floyd A Unger

    02/27/2020 12:10 PM

    Many thanks

  • Pat Orange

    02/27/2020 12:09 PM

    Thank you Mr. Solomon, for keeping on with your investigation. Please be careful, these people are MEAN!! There’s been several killed over this.


    02/27/2020 12:05 PM

    I hope mccabe and comey sre arrested like they did to Roger Stone

  • Eddie Chicago

    02/27/2020 11:40 AM

    Youssef better watch Hissef.
    He might get Haneyitis , Coronavirus or Epstein Syndrome. I suggest an immediate vaccination with "PSD" - private security detail. I would try to get an appointment with Dr. Bongino or other trustworthy life insurance

  • Ed Thompson

    02/27/2020 11:40 AM

    Ever since Donald Trump decided to run for the office of the President of The United States, the scumbags who were in control of most of the government of America, started their campaign of lies and conspiracy theory’s about and against ANYTHING associated with Donald Trump. Before he even got the nod to be the Republican candidate, he was under attack by every democrat who had a stake in the government. Talk show hosts and mainstream media outlets ramped up the rhetoric about and against anything Trump. Against all the pundits who had predicted a landslide victory for Hillary, we got a man who knew how to get things done FOR the GOOD of America and the citizens OF America, returning common sense and logic and morality back into the community and he’s been attacked every day for doing what was so desperately wanted by ordinary people who have been made to— told to— accept shit as the new normal and forget what you had before as it was a bad way to be! Drugs are good- killing babies is the new good thing— no such thing as illegal people— laws are bad for minority’s if they make them feel bad— history will be changed to make people feel better— local laws can ignore the laws of the Nation if they feel they make someone feel bad— police are bad everywhere— etc etc etc and so one it has gone on long enough. Adults have to take charge of the children at every home where children are and if they don’t, horrible things happen. Horrible things WILL HAPPEN to America if real adults don’t wake up and start telling them children where they will be! God Bless Donald Trump and America. I am very worried. How these people think is incredibly wrong. Unwilling to admit what they think is wrong is just a small part of the problem. Learn history or repeat it. It’s not going to be good if the Democrats win again. Not this crop of idiots.

  • Phillip Moomjean

    02/27/2020 11:36 AM

    Governor Huckabee, please explain to the (growing more cynical and disgusted) public, why in the face of these multiple and growing revelations about the illegality of the deep state and (protected?) government officials, why nothing is ever done to bring them to justice. To merely keep revealing these issues without any pretense of accountability only serves to further undercut the injustice of our system. I for one am weary of hearing of hearing about it and conclude we are no better than any corrupt 3rd world country that ignores justice!

  • susan Gillenwater

    02/27/2020 11:35 AM

    I want Chris Wrey out. He's deep state & is proving it by withholding information. Why isn't Trump & Barr replacing him??

  • Beverly Tischler

    02/27/2020 11:09 AM

    I fear that Comey and McCabe will NEVER be brought to justice. There is one standard of justice for conservatives and another for Liberals, such as Comey and McCabe. This is simply what our country has evolved into.

  • Jay H Mohler

    02/27/2020 11:03 AM

    How do we protect ourselves from inappropriate and illegal government spying? I guess just don't use any electronic media, just go back to living in a cave!!!!!!!!