Rand Paul and Steve Doocy lock horns over blind loyalty to FBI

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Fox News host Steve Doocy got into a little back-and-forth argument this Thursday regarding the FBI.

Speaking on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” Thursday morning, the Kentucky senator began the discussion by arguing that it’s on the FBI to prove to America that its raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property wasn’t politically motivated.

“This is the same FBI that used a foreign intelligence warrant to snoop on and spy on the Trump campaign to investigate them for over two years, so I think the burden really is on the FBI. They’ve been wrong in the past. They’ve broken the law in using these foreign intelligence warrants. Now they use a domestic warrant. But I do think they need to release the justification for this, because this is extraordinary,” he began.

“And we should not lose sight of the fact this has never ever happened before for good reason, because we need to have confidence in the FBI. We need to have confidence in our intelligence agencies, that they’re there to protect us and not to go after people for political purposes. So the burden is on them to prove that this is not a politically motivated witch-hunt.”

“Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy immediately pushed back on Paul by claiming that the “bad actors” in the FBI are no longer employed by the agency.

“We’ve heard of bad actors at the FBI years ago regarding Russia and Trump and stuff like that. But those people were fired years ago,” he said.

It’s not clear why he believes there are no additional “bad actors” still at the agency, particularly under this authoritarian administration.

Doocy continued by equating legitimate criticism of the FBI with threats of violence against the agency.

“Yesterday Mike Pence … called on the attacks on the FBI to stop. He was reminding the New Hampshire Republican Party there that the Republican Party is the party of law and order, and Republicans stand with the men and women who serve at the federal and state level. And he said the attacks on the FBI must stop,” the Fox News host argued.

Paul disagreed with this line of thinking.

“Part of the democratic republic like we have is allowing dissent and having discussion over government behavior,” he said.

He also disagreed with the idea that there are no more “bad actors” in the FBI.

“So for example, Christopher Wray came to my committee, and I asked him is it appropriate, does it meet the constitutional standard to use a foreign intelligence warrant on a domestic politician such as Trump, on an American. …,” Paul said.

“And Christopher Wray’s response to me, and this is the current head of the FBI, was it’s no big deal. He thinks it’s fine to use FISA or foreign intelligence warrants on Americans. And a lot of people [within the FBI] think that’s true. This is part of the abuse. This is part of the same people still running the FBI.”

Doocy acknowledged the senator’s point but then returned to complaining about the violent rhetoric being directed at the FBI by crazy people.

“Senator, absolutely Congress has oversight over the FBI and the Department of Justice and everything else. The problem is over the last week or so there’s been so much violent rhetoric directed at the FBI. And I heard somebody printed FBI stands for Fascist Bureau of Investigation,” he said.

To be clear, referring to the FBI as the Fascist Bureau of Investigation is not remotely equivalent to issuing a death threat against the agency.

“Unfortunately, now the people who work at the FBI headquarters, you know, there are death threats and all sorts of stuff. I heard from a staff member who was talking to a colleague at the FBI, and the colleague realized, ‘Oh look, I’m wearing the wrong shoes today to work, because if somebody comes and attacks the building and I’ve gotta run, I can’t run in these heels.’ So unfortunately, people at the FBI are caught in the crosshair,” Doocy continued.

Paul replied by stating the obvious, which is that he, of course, doesn’t support death threats against the FBI.

“I think the death threats are obviously inappropriate and not the way to go around it as far as investigating the FBI through the congressional process. The problem is that the people in charge of Congress, the Democrats, have not been interested in investigating anything. … So the thing is there’s been a lack of curiosity on the part of investigating, but there’s no excuse for threats to the FBI,” he said.

But, he continued, he noted that members of the FBI aren’t the only ones who have to deal with death threats.

“I’ve had probably over 50 threats this year. You know, I sometimes can have a dozen or so in a week. We have my address posted online. We have people that are wishing me, you know, injury all the time. So all the threats are wrong from the right or the left.”

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