MSNBC’s Hardball show actually delivered some interesting news for once tonight, despite Chris Matthews’ anti-Bush spin and uninformed sputtering over the NSA counterterrorism program. NBC’s DOJ correspondent Pete Williams corrects Matthews’ assertion (borrowed from the NYTimes’ report yesterday) that top Justice Department officials opposed the NSA program.
In response to Matthews’ fulmination that “it wasn’t like the President was even getting support from his own people,” Williams reported:
There does appear to be something here where both deputy AG Comey and AG Ashcroft were concerned about technical aspects of it and concerned about how it was being carried out–the sort of pretext that the NSA needed to start monitoring someone.
But once those things were worked out, my understanding is from talking to current and former Justice Department officials that they then agreed to the program and one former associate of the deputy attorney general’s said today that at one point Comey was among those officials urging the NY Times not to run the story, that he ultimately accepted the legal basis for the program after his initial objections were resolved.
Watch the exchange:
Download the video (.wmv file).
That little moment of silence after Williams schools Matthews is hilarious. For once, the Hardball harumpher is left speechless.
Hat tip: Reader Dan S.
Update: Let the shilling beginblog comments powered by Disqus
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