CBS staffers turn on Norah O’Donnell over her tweet insisting FBI didn’t have Trump’s passports
CBS employees reportedly turned on anchor Norah O’Donnell over her tweet in which they insist the FBI has not taken Donald Trump’s passport because her ratings are falling.
On Monday, O’Donnell tweeted that a “DOJ official” told her the FBI was “not in possession” of Trump’s three passports, contradicting the former president’s claims that three of his passports were seized during the raid on Mar-a-Lago.
Angry CBS sources told the New York Post that the anchor allegedly violated the outlet’s strict “two-source” protocol when she tweeted the claim.
“She’s desperate,” one contributor said of O’Donnell, whose show is falling further behind ABC’s David Muir and NBC’s Lester Holt.
‘It doesn’t look good. If you want to attack the POTUS and call him a liar, don’t tweet that thing.”
Several CBS employees said they were angry at anchor Norah O’Donnell’s tweet who insisted the FBI had not taken Donald Trump’s passports because it was revealed that they had.
Employees allege that O’Donnell violated the outlet’s strict “two-source” policy and became desperate when she posted the tweet amid a further drop in ratings against ABC and NBC
The former president criticized the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, which he watched from New York, announcing that they had taken three of his passports.
On Tuesday, Trump said the DOJ and FBI had returned his travel documents to him
Earlier on Tuesday, it was reported that Trump’s passports had been returned to him after the former president criticized the raid.
“The DOJ and the FBI just returned my passports. Thank you!’ Trump posted on Truth Social. “Unfortunately, when they raided my house, Mar-a-Lago, 8 days ago, they just opened their arms and grabbed everything in sight, like a regular criminal would. This shouldn’t happen in America!’
Despite O’Donnell’s sloppy reporting, CBS defended the star anchor, claiming the passports were not in the possession of the FBI when she conducted her investigation.
In a statement, a CBS representative said: “Donald Trump publicly claimed that his passports had been ‘stolen’ and were in the hands of the FBI.
“As part of the normal reporting process, our reporters at the DOJ asked if they had Donald Trump’s passports. They replied that they did not.
‘Our reporting reflected that; it was true then and it is true now that the FBI was not in possession of his passports at the time. And as the tweet thread makes clear, any items not in the warrant would be returned.”
However, some staffers called the entire incident “poor journalism” and said it would make the outlet unprofessional.
“This is a disgrace to CBS that the face of your network can’t even make a second phone call to a Justice Department representative,” a source said. “It’s journalism 101.”
The incident comes as O’Donnell’s rating fell even further in recent weeks. On June 20, O’Donnell placed third in the ratings behind Holt and Muir.
O’Donnell garnered a total of 4.7 million viewers, behind Holt’s 6.5 million and Muir’s 7.9 million, according to Nielsen rating data.
According to the latest Neilsen ratings, O’Donnell fell to 4.4 million, unable to close the gap with Holt, who is on vacation and Tom Llamas had him fill in.
In all, FBI agents took 27 boxes of documents when it raided Mar-a-Lago last week, according to federal orders, but among them were Trump’s passports
The president on Monday complained about the seizure of Truth Social
Taylor Budowich shared the message from Jay Bratt of the National Security Division that apparently two expired passports and one active diplomatic were seized.
Trump returned 15 boxes of material to the National Archives in January, but then the Justice Department issued a subpoena for additional material in May — with officials going to Mar-a-Lago in June to pick it up.
At least one of Trump’s lawyers signed a document stating that all material with undisclosed markings had been returned.
The FBI’s affidavit to obtain the search warrant to raid Mar-a-Lago could provide additional details about what the investigators believed was still there.
A federal judge who approved the injunction has now scheduled a hearing on whether or not to unseal the affidavit for Thursday.
It comes after Trump furiously called for the immediate release of the “completely unedited” document on Monday.
The DOJ is expected to argue against disclosing the affidavit after it formally opposed its release on Monday in a court filing.
It warned that the release of the affidavit “will likely cool down” future witness collaboration as the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents continues.
The above timeline highlights just some of former President Donald’s battles with the National Archives since he left office, including an unrelated court battle with the Jan. 6 commission.
However, the department offered to release less descriptive documents.
The former president said Monday it was “in the interest of transparency” to make the affidavit public after last week’s “terrible and shocking break-in” in Mar-a-Lago.
He also rebuked the “extremely large number of armed FBI agents” who entered his home, and in his Truth Social post demanded that the judge who authorized the search warrant take himself back.
Meanwhile, Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich shared an email from a DOJ official who appeared to admit that the FBI confiscated his three passports when they raided the house.
Budowich reportedly shared the message from Jay Bratt of the National Security Division that two expired passports and an active diplomat were seized in the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida estate.
Trump on Monday repeatedly angrily reprimanded the DOJ and the FBI for an “attack on a political opponent” by catching them.
It’s all part of a continuation of Trump’s struggle since he announced last Monday that his Palm Beach residence was raided by federal agents and that 27 boxes of allegedly classified material were seized.