U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney of Naples is trying to out Matt Gaetz Matt Gaetz in raising doubt about the FBI's investigation of Russia's ties to Pres. Donald Trump.
Interviewed by MSNBC's Hallie Jackson on Tuesday, the Naples Republican said the agencies in charge of Robert Mueller's investigation were "off the rails."
"I'm very concerned that (the Department of Justice) and the FBI, what do you want to call it, Deep State or what, are kind of off the rails."
Jackson seemed taken aback.
"Congressman, you just called the FBI and DOJ 'off the rails.' Fundamentally, how is that something you're ok with talking about here. How does that not undermine the work that these agencies are doing?"
Rooney replied: "I think the American people have very high standards for our government agencies and to see people, like these aforementioned examples, are really nerve wracking to me and undermine my confidence that the agencies don't respect the constitution and will not put the ends before the means."
Jackson: "That's a pretty broad brush you're painting with."
Rooney: "Yeah, but we've seen a lot of ends-before-the-means culture, both out of the Obama administration, out of Hillary Clinton, with her $84 million of potentially illegal campaign contributions, or the Clinton Foundation Uranium One. People need a good clean goverment."
Jackson: "Congressman, I'll let you go but the point I want to make is that there are those who look at the comments you are making and saying that Republicans are trying to discredit the Department of Justice, and thus discredit the Russia investigation. Is that not what you're doing?"
Rooney: "No, I don't want to discredit them. I would just like to see the directors of those agencies purge it and say, 'Look, we've got a lot of great agents and great lawyers here, those are the people that I want the American people to see and know that good work is being done, not these people who are kind of the Deep State."
Jackson: "Language like that congressman, purge? Purge the Department of Justice?"