Hours after stepping down as the chief executive of online retail giant Overstock.com over his tryst with Russian spy Maria Butina and what he described as his role in a “deep state” government plot, Patrick Byrne appeared on Fox Business Network on Thursday to ostensibly make sense of both his baffling claims and his resignation.
He made sense of neither.
Wearing a hat emblazoned with Make America Grateful Again, Byrne was given free rein by Bulls and Bears host David Asman, and he immediately took advantage of that, taking the program on a wild ride.
After briefly discussing the financial shape of the company he’s leaving, Byrne said he was “ejecting” from Overstock.com because he’d been warned that if he came back to America, the “Washington apparatus is going to grind me into dust,” an assertion he would make several times throughout the 16-minute segment.
Referencing his previous claims that he had helped the “Men in Black” with their Clinton and Russia investigations, Byrne stated that he had assisted law enforcement with cracking a murder 17 years ago and that this eventually resulted in them asking for his help in 2015 and 2016.
“I figured out the name of who sent me the orders and this has been confirmed. The name of the man who sent me was Peter Strzok,” Byrne exclaimed, naming the embattled former FBI agent at the center of the right’s Spygate conspiracies. “This is going to be quite a whirlwind.”
At times bursting into tears, Byrne alleged there was a “big coverup” of “political espionage” that was connected to President Trump, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, insisting that “this is not a theory” of his because he was “in the room when it happened.”
“Both catching my friend's murderer and taking on Wall Street were consistent with my values and it was my honor to help the Men in Black and it was the third time that they came to me,” he said at one point. “And I got some request, I did not know who the hell it came from and it was fishy and three years later on watching television and I realized who it was—it was Peter Strzok and [former Deputy FBI Director] Andy McCabe, that the orders came from.”
Byrne said he decided to come forward with his Deep State concerns because he felt guilty for recent mass shootings.
“But the issue is, I realized that these orders I got came from Peter Strzok, and as I put together things, I know much more than I should know and tried to keep silent,” he said. “Everyone in this country has gone nuts, and especially for the last year when I realized what I know, every time I see one of these things, somebody drives 600 miles to gun down 20 strangers in the mall, I feel a bit responsible.”
He also claimed federal investigators offered him a “one billion dollar bribe to keep quiet” and broke down emotionally when Asman asked about his mentor Warren Buffett, whom Byrne described as “one of the great heroines of my life.”
Byrne wasn’t just focused on the Men in Black and political espionage, though. He also took some time to make a pitch for his former company.
“If you want to help me go buy your daughter a rug at Overstock.com,” he told one of the hosts.
At the end of the extraordinarily strange interview, Asman offered to have Byrne on again whenever he was willing, to which Bryne replied: “I am laying low.”
Treating this as just another business segment, Asman threw it to commercial by noting: “Patrick Byrne, an incredible man in the history of business in the United States.”
The following hour, Byrne repeated these same claims in another off-the-rails interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. He also made the outlandish accusation that the federal government told him to engage in a romantic relationship with Butina in order to get information from her as this was a “national security emergency.”
At the end of the lengthy segment, MacCallum asked why anyone should believe him, leading Byrne to repeat his “grind me into dust” line while once again calling on people to buy Overstock merchandise.
“No doubt Peter Strzok would watch this and say he’s full of it, I had nothing to do with anything,” the Fox News anchor stated.
“He won't!” Byrne shouted. “I can tell you. Peter Strzok, if you want to see a former director crap his pants—stick a television camera on Peter Strzok, or let's just say James Comey, and say the name Patrick Byrne. You will see a former director crap his pants.”