The CBS News producer who was fired for supposedly leaking damning footage of an ABC News anchor discussing the Jeffrey Epstein investigation says she is not the person responsible for the leak.
Ashley Bianco had been an employee of CBS for four days before she was ousted as the alleged leaker, she told Megyn Kelly in a new interview. She says that a number of ABC employees were "freaked out" by the hot mic moment when they initially saw it in the office, but she had no involvement in making it public.
Before joining CBS, Bianco was a producer for ABC News, which is how she originally watched the now widely-circulated clip of anchor Amy Robach voicing her frustrations about the network quashing her Epstein research. Bianco definitively states that she did not leak the footage to Project Veritas, the outlet that released the clip, adding that she didn't even know it existed until the story broke.
Bianco told Kelly that while employed at ABC, she saw the recording of Robach venting that the network had refused to air her 2015 investigation into Epstein, allegedly due to pressure from the royal family and other powerful figures. After voicing her concern internally, she was told that Robach was aware that she was wearing a live microphone and that her comments had been broadcast across the network.
"I essentially marked it in the system," she said. "Everyone in the office was freaked out by what she was saying, and everyone was watching it."
Kelly asked whether this was the first time Bianco had clipped footage of anchors on hot mics, to which she replied, "No, we do it all the time. Part of my job is I'm like a video editor."
Bianco says she all but forgot about the moment and never accessed the video again. Weeks later, CBS made her a good job offer and she switched networks. But after the Robach footage went live, ABC informed CBS that it believed Bianco was responsible for the clip, and CBS swiftly fired her.
“I begged. I pleaded. I didn’t know what I had done wrong and I just, you know, I didn’t — I wasn’t even given the professional courtesy to defend myself," she told Kelly. "I didn't even know what I was accused of."
She added that she had never even heard of Project Veritas or its leader, James O'Keefe, before this situation.
Kelly, herself an alum of NBC and Fox News, has stayed mum throughout 2019 after her messy exit from "Today" last year. The Bianco interview seemingly marks her return broadcast journalism via YouTube and social media, and Kelly is already indicating that she's not afraid to voice controversial positions.
"Jeffrey Epstein was an accused serial pedophile who died in prison in August — supposedly by suicide, though there are doubts," Kelly says at the beginning of the interview.
ABC and CBS have both, at this point, remained largely silent about the controversy.