But according to a Daily Beast article published Thursday, Kallstrom first denied speaking at all to any active FBI agents and said his assessment of the mood of the bureau’s rank and file was based exclusively on conversations with retired agents. But later in that same interview, he said that he did interact with active agents who had reached out to him.
Kallstrom stuck with that story Thursday night on Fox News’s “The Kelly File,” where he disputed the Daily Beast’s assessment that he had claimed to have spoken with active FBI agents investigating Clinton.
“Well, they can write what they want. I never did claim I talked to the actual agents. I would never do that. I would never call up people that were investigating something and even put them on the spot. I wouldn’t do that,” Kallstrom said. “But I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds of people in the FBI — mostly retired people and some people that are currently on the job that are not directly involved, but, you know, it’s a small organization. You know, they know what’s going on.”
“And the agents are furious. And I haven’t walked anything back,” he continued. “I didn’t walk anything up that deserved to be walked back. So I don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Kallstrom, a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, is the founder of the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, which was the beneficiary of the fundraiser Trump held last January instead of attending a GOP primary debate in Iowa. According to the Daily Beast, Kallstrom’s foundation has received at least three major gifts from the Manhattan billionaire, two of which came during the campaign, totaling over $1.3 million.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who Kallstrom told the Daily Beast is “a very good friend” of his, has similarly claimed to have a pipeline of information coming from the FBI’s rank and file, offering a similar assessment of its mood to the one Kallstrom has. A week ago, Giuliani teased “a couple of surprises” from the Trump campaign just days before Comey announced that the FBI is examining additional, potentially new evidence related to Clinton’s email scandal. He declined to elaborate at the time what those surprises would be, but said they would be “enormously effective.”
Jason Miller, the senior communications adviser to Trump’s campaign, told the New York Times that Giuliani did not have advance notice of Comey’s announcement.
“Rudy was just having fun,” Miller said. “To keep the other side on their toes.”