Politics

Media Lose Another Round to Trump

from – Renew America – by Cliff Kincaid

On the same day that the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal warned that President Donald Trump was going to go down in history as a “fake president,” in part because of his “false tweet” about the “wiretapping” of Trump Tower, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee disclosed evidence of the wiretapping, also known as surveillance.

The Journal editorial, “A President’s Credibility,” will probably not be followed up by an editorial on the Journal’s lack of credibility.

The anti-Trump editorial followed “conservative” Fox News undermining its own commentator, Judge Andrew Napolitano, whose sources said that the surveillance was conducted by the British to give U.S. intelligence officials plausible deniability. Napolitano was apparently suspended.

But thanks to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chairman of the committee, Trump has been vindicated, media credibility has suffered another blow, and the inquiry is taking a very interesting turn. It is now turning to the question of what President Barack Obama knew and when he knew it, and what role FBI Director James Comey has been playing in the cover-up.

At Monday’s hearing, Comey said, “With respect to the President’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets and we have looked carefully inside the FBI. The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets.”

The evidence cited by Nunes suggests that Comey lied. Who is he protecting? It looks like Obama and/or his top aides.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) had asked Comey: “Did you brief President Obama on any calls involving Michael Flynn?” Comey replied, “I’m not gonna get into either that particular case, that matter, or any conversations I had with the President. So I can’t answer that.”

This is critical because Flynn’s name was improperly “unmasked” and was then illegally leaked to David Ignatius of The Washington Post, resulting in Flynn’s forced resignation as national security advisor.

When Gowdy asked Comey if he could assure the American people that the illegal leak of classified information in the Flynn case was going to be investigated, the FBI director replied, “I can’t but I hope – I hope people watching know how seriously we take leaks of classified information. But I don’t want to confirm it by saying that we’re investigating it. And I’m sorry I have to draw the line, I just think that’s the right way to be.”

Here was an obvious case of illegal conduct, but the director would not confirm an investigation. Yet he confirmed an investigation of Trump and his associates, without any evidence of wrongdoing, and won’t discuss what he told President Obama about the investigation.

“I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked,” Nunes said in his statement on the surveillance. He added, “To be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.” Nunes then outlined some of the key issues regarding the surveillance:

  • Who was aware of it?
  • Why it was not disclosed to Congress?
  • Who requested and authorized the additional unmasking?
  • Did anyone direct the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates? and
  • Were any laws, regulations or procedures violated?

The Journal’s editorial attacking Trump’s credibility has backfired. We now know, according to Nunes and the whistleblower who came forward with this information to his committee, that a massive cover-up has been underway involving the intelligence community, including the FBI. Unraveling the cover-up may lead into the oval office – not Trump’s, but Obama’s.

The Journal editorial said Trump’s claim about wiretapping or surveillance had been “repudiated by his own FBI director.” Now that FBI director has been repudiated.

The Journal also condemned the Trump White House for accepting “an unchecked TV claim that insulted an ally,” a reference to Napolitano’s report about British involvement in the surveillance.

What is “unchecked” is the “public denial” from the British Government Communications Headquarters. Why should the British be believed, when there have been decades of collaboration between the GCHQ and the NSA?

The Journal suggested that Trump was clinging to the claim of surveillance “like a drunk to an empty gin bottle.” Leaving aside the defamatory nature of this innuendo, it would appear that the bottle is not only full but that there is more to come.

At this stage in the investigation, responsible media should encourage more whistleblowers to come forward, so that former Obama White House officials, including possibly Obama himself, can be put under oath and grilled about their knowledge of the surveillance.

As for Comey, he joins the Journal’s editorial page writers on the list of people who have completely lost their credibility and can’t be trusted. He should resign and be replaced.

Regarding Fox News, the network should reinstate Judge Napolitano and establish a special unit to investigate the FBI and the intelligence community. Sean Hannity shouldn’t be the only Fox News personality trying to get to the bottom of this Watergate-type scandal.

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Dave
4 years ago

Off the subject, but last night i went to a concert performed by the 1st Division Marine Corps band. The are awesome, and so inspiring. Of coarse i was in the Marine Corps. Anyway, i noticed there was no middle America in attendance. A huge crowd of gray haired white people, no 25-35-45 year olds. Way predominantly white people. Been trying to figure this out since.

PaulE
4 years ago

Good luck getting FOX News or the WSJ to throw a lot of financial or investigative resources into investigating the FBI as you suggest. Murdock, both his sons and most of the regular commentators that appear on the FOX network wanted Bush as the nominee. When it became obvious that Bush wasn’t going to be able to buy the nomination, most of the commentators switched to saying they would have accepted Kasich as a fallback position. Folks like Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, Steve Hayes, and several others openly expressed their support for Bush or Kasich being the GOP nominee and said trump was a joke. Brett Baier’s weekly candidate casino segment during the GOP nomination process, where all the commentators could express their personal opinions and preferences, really let the cat out of the bag as to where a number of these folks really stood. So there is not a lot of real support at the network now that Trump is President. Just listen carefully to how some of these folks talk about Trump and you can tell how displeased they are that Trump won.

FOX may bring back Judge Napolitano since without him they really don’t have a credible in-house legal expert who knows the Constitution cold. Most of the people they have paraded before the cameras since suspending the Judge clearly are playing out of their depth with their responses. Pretty obvious they are merely reading off a Tele-prompter at points.

So anyway, nice article that highlights a lot of the inconsistencies of Comey’s responses before Congress. He clearly is using very measured language to answer in a very narrow way. Clearly not what Congressman Nunes and Gowdy wanted by the nature of their questions. As I’ve said in comment to previous articles on this topic, no one seriously expects that Obama went to the FISA court to get a “wiretap” on Trump via either the FBI or CIA. That would leave a paper trail, which they would most likely be smart enough to avoid. Instead since the NSA already monitors virtually every single communication in this country (phones, Internet, radio, TV) and they report directly to the President, all Obama would have needed to do is place a call to the NSA and request any and all communications they already have related to Trump and all seniors members of his campaign staff. No FISA needed, so no paper trail to find. This would be the “incidental surveillance” that keeps getting referenced. Nothing related to “the Russians” or any national security matters, Just whatever they have picked up as a result of normal mass collection of all electronic forms of communications. Good luck getting the NSA to admit to that before an open Congressional hearing.

Ivan Berry
4 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

So well stated and concise, PaulE. Why has all this illuded everyone? Seems so obvious and reasonable that it’s invisibility is truly a puzzle.

PaulE
4 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

The last time I laid out how data collection works via our intelligence agencies, the article was quickly taken down by AMAC. I sincerely doubt this one will be here by the end of the day. It definitely won’t be in the weekend edition. What AMAC is looking for is comments like “Republicans good. Democrats bad.” or “AMAC is the greatest thing since sliced bread.” What should be a forum for the open and free exchange of ideas and facts to educate other members is unfortunately not what we apparently have here. It is setup more to be a cheering section for whatever policy positions AMAC is advocating for. Many of which aren’t even truly conservative in nature as we’ve both seen. That frankly is such a waste of an opportunity.

My response to Diana’s article yesterday, which was very positive, got immediately flagged with the “awaiting moderation” message. I figure it was because I was too detailed in describing how the “snowflakes” I’ve spoken to react to any fact that conflicts with the indoctrination they’ve received from their college professors,

Rik
4 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

You’re 100% correct, as usual, PaulE. I was recently waiting for my public library to open when an older women walked up and complained that a pile of discarded clothing was off to the side. She preceded to say “oh look, someone forgot their clothes” to which I answered that it looked like a homeless person’s belongings. I then said “did you know that 90% of the homeless here in Orange County are white people?”
She then replied “well things aren’t going to improve anytime soon”. To which I said “you’re right, it’s going to be a long time but at least now we’re headed in the right direction”. To which she said “not with Trump it isn’t”. I couldn’t resist so I said “oh, you mean we’d all better off with Hillary’s Communism?” … She then told me to keep my opinions to myself to which I replied “oh that’s right, it’s now vogue to be intellectually stupid” … to which she huffed and puffed as she walked hastily away. Aren’t Progrssives fun to irritate?

PaulE
4 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Yes, they are clueless, deluded fools who are very content to simply be sleepwalking through life. So comfortable with their own ignorance and indifference to the world around them, that they proudly wear both at as some sort of liberal badges of honor. I run into the same mindset here on the east coast as well. They are not worth your time.

PaulE
4 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

By the way, a few former CIA and NSA types have already gone on the record with FOX (once) and a few other more independent and honest news organizations (two or three different times) both in this country and overseas to verify this is how data collection works in this country and that the President doesn’t need a FISA warrant to get the NSA to do surveillance. That is how the enabling FISA legislation was written.

Ivan Berry
4 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Yep,they no longer have to try and justify a warrant for fishing since the mass data incidental collection came into effect. All that’s required is for the chief executive to ask for what he deams pertenant to the issues at hand. Isn’t that how liberty and privacy are to be maintained?
It really doesn’t much matter sence FISA was pretty much a rubber stamp anyway.

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