During a Wednesday CNN interview, Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold gave credence to conspiracy theories that claim the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee was an “insider job.”
Farenthold was apparently referring to a theory linking the killing of a DNC staffer, Seth Rich, to the DNC’s email hacks — a story that was reported by Fox News but later retracted after the outlet determined that it didn’t live up to its editorial standards.
“My fear is our constant focusing on the Russians is deflecting away from some other things that we need to be investigating,” Farenthold said, referring to US intelligence agencies’ determination that Russia was behind the DNC hacks. “There’s still some question as to whether the intrusion of the DNC server was an insider job or whether or not it was the Russians.”
CNN reporter John Berman interjected to ask Farenthold if he was referring to Fox’s story about Rich.
“The insider job, what are you referring to here?” Berman asked. “Because I hope it’s not this information that Fox News just refused to be reporting.”
Farenthold didn’t say whether he was referring to Fox’s story, which the network’s star, Sean Hannity, is continuing to promote, but noted, “there’s stuff circulating on the internet.”
When CNN reporter Poppy Harlow asked Farenthold if it was responsible to promote unsubstantiated theories from the internet, Farenthold replied that Trump critics are doing the same thing by accusing the Trump campaign of collusion with Russia.
“I think the same is true with what the media is doing with Trump,” Farenthold told CNN. “We’re basing allegations on anonymous sources.”
Harlow noted that former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed to Congress yesterday that, during the course of the investigation into Russian inference in 2016 election, he saw “evidence worthy of investigation … to determine whether there was cooperation or collusion that was taking place” between Americans and Russians.
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