Both CNBC and the Huffington Post have reported that Comey privately urged against naming Russia for allegedly meddling in the election and hacking Democratic email accounts. Photograph: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
The Clinton campaign blasted FBI director James Comey for “jaw-dropping” double standards on Monday after claims that he had sought to withhold evidence of Russian support for Donald Trump for fear of influencing next week’s US election.
In a sharp escalation of their unprecedented war of words with federal law enforcement authorities, Clinton’s key aides contrasted this apparent caution with Comey’s controversial decision to release new details of its investigation into Clinton’s private email server to lawmakers on Friday.
“It is impossible to view this as anything less than a blatant double standard,” her campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters, claiming the decision “defied all logic”, especially as other intelligence agencies had favoured disclosure of suspected Russian involvement.
“Through these two decisions he shows he favours acting alone and without consulting … these are not the hallmarks of a responsible investigation,” added Mook.
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Both CNBC and the Huffington Post have reported that Comey privately urged against naming Russia for allegedly meddling in the election and hacking Democratic email accounts.
Though this advice has not been confirmed officially, it tallies with the fact the FBI’s name did not appear on a list of US intelligence agencies supporting the allegations.
“A foreign power was trying to undermine the election. He believed it to be true but was against putting it out before the election,” one former official told CNBC. Comey’s position, this official reportedly said, was: “If it is said, it shouldn’t come from the FBI, which as you’ll recall it did not.”
The Clinton campaign called on Comey to “immediately explain this incongruence”.
“He has set the standard for narrating a play-by-play,” added spokesman Brian Fallon. “If that is his way of handling things, he needs to take the same approach to the Trump campaign.”