The former chair of the Democratic National Committee confronted FBI Director James Comey on Friday during a classified intelligence briefing.
The confidential briefing was focused on the Russian hacking of Democratic Party organization which was geared toward tilting the election to Donald Trump’s favor. Democrats left the meeting angered and ‘outraged’ earlier on Friday.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz was forced to resign her post as chair of the DNC last summer amid the hacking scandal, told Comey that he should have come to her directly once the FBI was aware of the breach, just as he had done with other hacking victims.
Comey, who is described as being unflinching and defiant during the heated meeting, stuck to his guns claiming that the FBI had properly notified DNC officials of the hacking.
“You let us down!” one Demcorat reportedly yelled to Comey during the tense exchange. Another Demorat said that “Essentially Debbie asked, how was it that the FBI knew that the DNC was being hacked and they didn’t tell her? He gave some bullsh– explanation, ‘That’s our standard, we called this one, we called that one’ — [she said] ‘Well, why didn’t you call me?'”
The meeting left many Democrats even more critical of Comey, accusing hiim of applying a double standard in the agency’s approach to investigations involving President-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The meeting included the heads of the major U.S. intelligence agencies, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; CIA Director John Brennan; and head of the National Security Agency Mike Rogers.
Just 11 days before the election, Comey publicly announced the discovery of a new batch of emails which may be related to the Hillary Clinton private email server investigation, which he had closed earlier in the year. Many Democrats, including Mrs. Clinton herself, claim that the move by Comey handed the election to Trump.
In contrast, Comey has repeatedly declined to say whether the agency is investigating potential ties between Trump’s team and the Russian government, even as recently as earlier this week at a congressional hearing.
“There are a lot of concerns about whether there was a double standard employed in openly and repeatedly discussing the Clinton investigation, and the unwillingness you saw during the Armed Services Committee hearing in the Senate, when Angus King asked whether the director was behind an investigation of Trump campaign ties, potentially, to the Kremlin,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, told The Hill on Friday.