It’s been a bad week for the mainstream media.
12/1: ABC: “.@realDonaldTrump colluded-Russia”
12/2: ABC: “RETRACTED”
12/4: Reuters: “Mueller subpeona Trumps banking”
12/5: Reuters: “RETRACTED”
12/8: CNN: Wikileaks sent .@DonaldJTrumpJr secret email
Me: “MSM suffering severe Trump Derangement Syndrome”
— Eric Bolling (@ericbolling) December 9, 2017
Friday provided a fitting culmination provided by CNN.
Exclusive: Donald Trump, Trump Jr. and others in the Trump Organization got an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and link for hacked WikiLeaks documents https://t.co/hEJLhtiYKm pic.twitter.com/DCCMNhtzge
— CNN (@CNN) December 8, 2017
The CNN story listed the email date as September 4, 2016.
Prior to the September 13, 2016 public release of the WikiLeaks documents.
MSNBC, CBS and the rest of MSM – quickly picked up the story and ran with it.
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake later discovered CNN got one detail wrong:
BREAKING: That WikiLeaks email was actually from Sept. 14, not Sept. 4 — which means it is far less significant https://t.co/kMON9rQT7m
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) December 8, 2017
This was a huge error by CNN.
So CNN misreported the date of the Wikileaks email that @DonaldJTrumpJr received, meaning that the entire point of the story —
that the campaign might have gotten advance warning of the leaks — is wrong. Wow. https://t.co/oiXngwHZAq
— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) December 8, 2017
CNN reported the email date as September 4, 2016. The second DNC email release happened on September 13, 2016.
The initial CNN story claimed the Trump Campaign received advance – and possibly illegal – access to WikiLeaks documents.
This was incorrect. The actual email date was September 14, 2016 – the day after the documents were publicly leaked.
The email was never opened, nor answered.
It was at this point things began to get…odd:
True. CNN has not yet apologized or even really begun to explain what happened, probs w/ sources, other stories https://t.co/xnbfXR4y3Z
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 9, 2017
Which was strange.
Why wouldn’t CNN explain their sourcing problem:
A CNN spokeswoman says there will not be disciplinary action in this case because, unlike with Brian Ross/ABC, @MKRaju followed the editorial standards process. Multiple sources provided him with incorrect info.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 8, 2017
Some had slightly different takes:
CNN’s editorial standard is that it may “report” on documents that its own editors and reporters have never seen? That’s so much worse. https://t.co/2Gw3ZzWhXP
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 8, 2017
Stelter continued to protect the story’s sources:
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) December 9, 2017
Many journalists disagreed:
Name the sources. Being lied to negates any obligation to respect on-background guidelines. https://t.co/gU1xtbRQNX
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) December 8, 2017
if the sources lied to him, he must out the sources.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) December 8, 2017
Why would CNN take such a protective stand?
From the “corrected” CNN article:
CNN originally reported the email was released September 4 — 10 days earlier — based on accounts from two sources who had seen the email. The email, which was described to CNN by multiple sources…
Note the language by CNN. Two sources who had seen the email – and described it to CNN.
The “sources” did not have the email in their possession.
Trump Jr. had been in a closed House Intelligence Committee Meeting on Wednesday. It was here that the email referenced by CNN was discussed. As noted by the Post:
The message was one of thousands turned over to the House Intelligence Committee and others investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, emails that included spam and junk emails. Trump Jr. was asked about the email Wednesday, when he spent about seven hours behind closed doors answering questions from members of the committee.
Futerfas [Trump Jr.’s lawyer] said that he and Trump Jr. had been required to surrender their electronic devices during the interview for security reasons. He expressed anger that details of the session leaked out before it had even concluded.
The email leak came from Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.
Following the CNN story, Futerfas had this to say:
It is profoundly disappointing that members of the House Intelligence Committee would deliberately leak a document, with the misleading suggestion that the information was not public, when they know that there is not a scintilla of evidence that Mr. Trump Jr. read or responded to the email.
We are concerned that these actions, combined with the deliberate and misleading leak of a meaningless email, undermines the credibility of the serious work the House Intelligence Committee is supposedly undertaking.
Which might explain CNN’s “protective” stance for these particular sources.
It’s amazing to watch CNN stand up and defend the anonymous sources who burned their credibility like this. Must be pretty important and well connected sources then, definitely not part of the House intel committee. https://t.co/8lxIRBdP8R
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) December 9, 2017
Hopefully you noted the sarcasm.
Some observers were more direct:
Almost like there’s a crew of former US officials who have game on comms, and they’re pushing Russia collusion garbage on reporters who face editorial pressure to produce Russia collusion stories. https://t.co/NnxuUZe64x
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) December 8, 2017
Through all this, a much larger question remained:
How did multiple sources all mis-read the date and radically misinterpret the document in the same way? What’s the rationale for continuing to conceal the identity of these sources who caused so much damage and deceit on the public with their false claims? https://t.co/dixMWJ5OHv
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) December 8, 2017
Julian Assange posed the same question:
Is the fake news story about @WikiLeaks yesterday the worst since Iraq? It’s a serious question. Three outlets, CNN, NBC and ABC all independently “confirmed” the same false information. Has there previously been a serious triple origin fake news story? i.e not just re-reporting.
— Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange) December 9, 2017
How did three major outlets all get the story wrong – using information from sources they are all still protecting?
Donald Trump Jr. provided a possible answer:
I won’t hold my breath for an apology, or for you to call out your puppet masters on the left that fed you BS knowing you would gleefully run with it without ever checking the other side. Apparently it was just too good a scoop for you to actually do your job. You got played https://t.co/vnHQFd9i16
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 9, 2017
The leak came from the Democrat side. It would not have gone out without permission.
Adam Schiff is the likely source of the false leak.
He is also a member of the Gang of Eight. You can find out more about Adam Schiff and the Gang of Eight in, Devin Nunes, Classified Intelligence & Adam Schiff’s Political Pretense.
Schiff is less trustworthy than CNN’s reporting.
Others seem to agree with my assessment:
If CNN is worried about its credibility, it will burn its source. If it wants to protect Adam Schiff and his political agenda, it’ll stay mum about who lied. https://t.co/0mDmUA6Lvv
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 8, 2017
Which means that Schiff – and whoever he brought into his leaking scheme – have reason to be concerned.
Because they got the dates wrong.
There are three possible explanations for what happened.
Each of the 9 Democrat House Intelligence Committee members in the hearing examined the Trump Jr. email and somehow all 9 Democrats got September 14, 2016 confused with September 4, 2016.
Schiff decided to lie to CNN about the date in order to push a collusion narrative.
They were looking at emails that really did say September 4, 2016. They got played.
I don’t know what the true answer is. But I do recall an interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
On August 6, 2017, a very interesting interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein caught my eye. So much so that I wrote about it the next day. I was struck by Rosenstein’s composure. He answered each question carefully and gave only information he wanted to. He also made several important points:
We’ve created a new unit within the FBI to focus on those leaks, and we’re going to devote whatever resources are necessary to get them under control.
If we identify somebody, no matter what their position is, if they violated the law, in that case it warrants prosecution, we’ll prosecute them. Including anybody who breaks the law.
We’re going to devote the resources we need to identify who is responsible for those leaks and who has violated the law and hold them accountable.
This same interview contains some very interesting discussion of Special Counsel Mueller’s Investigation.
Rod Rosenstein was not appointed as Attorney General by the Department of Justice. He was not appointed by Congress. Or even AG Jeff Sessions.
Rosenstein was appointed as Deputy Attorney General by President Trump.
On Friday, December 8, 2017, Devin Nunes gave an interview to Fox News. He made a number of notable comments:
We have had an ongoing investigation into DOJ [Department of Justice] and FBI since mid-summer for both FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] abuse and other matters that we can’t get into too much. But it is very concerning.
I believe there’s evidence that abuses have occurred.
I hate to use the word corrupt, but they become so dirty that, who is watching the watchmen? Who is investigating these people? There is no one.
We have no evidence of Russian collusion between the Trump campaign.
The ethics complaint was a joke from the beginning, designed, purely designed to remove me as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which they were unable to do. I think, a clear design from the left, working in conjunction with parts of our government to keep information away from me and the House Intelligence Committee.
One last thing.
On Wednesday, December 6, 2017, Devin Nunes was fully cleared by the House Ethics Committee over almost laughable allegations that Nunes had made unauthorized disclosures in relation to the Obama Administration’s surveillance of the Trump Campaign.
It’s a complicated story but Nunes did nothing wrong. Meanwhile, Adam Schiff proved himself to be particularly duplicitous during the whole affair.
You can read about the entire series of events here.
Adam Schiff’s false public statements led to Nunes being investigated.
The clearance of Nunes likely means he is no longer recused in the Russian Investigation and has full power as Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Donald Trump Jr.’s House Intelligence Committee meeting occurred on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.
The same day that Nunes was cleared…
For those interested in an honest and scathing examination of the CNN email story – from a liberal writer – I suggest you read Glenn Greenwald’s piece, The U.S. Media Suffered it’s Most Humiliating Debacle in Decades. It’s an enlightening and worthwhile read.