President Elect Donald Trump held his first presser today, calling out CNN for ‘fake news’ as more information surfaces about a controversial ‘report’ involving Trump and the Russian government. Meanwhile, NBC dropped a bombshell about the whole affair.
The report, according to media, was produced for some of Trump’s Republican opponents and Democrats. One thing is certain. As president, Trump won’t conduct mind-numbing pressers.
BuzzFeed and CNN carried stories about the document, but many national media claim they chose not to publish it because the allegations could not be substantiated.
A new bombshell has been dropped as NBC is now disclosing, according to Mediaite, US intel agencies believed the information to be “disinformation”:
“[Trump] was not actually briefed on the unsubstantiated memo alleging links between the Trump campaign and Russia, and officials brought the two-page summary of the memo to his briefing to serve as an example of “disinformation.”
NBC also reported what Trump supporters already claimed—the President Elect has no “link” to Russia’s government.
The smear job—I am not linking to it here—read like an attempt by a failing novelist. Media can’t seem to agree on who actually produced the report. No one is saying who leaked the full report Trump didn’t even see.
John McCain, senator from Arizona who lost the presidency to President Barack Obama in 2008, said he handed a copy of the 35-page document over to the FBI. McCain is a known admirer of Hillary Clinton and he has long been a critic of Trump. If you read the NY Post story explaining McCain’s involvement, the whole process sounds like that gossip game kids play when they whisper something into another’s ear and it’s passed down the line until the original message bears scant resemblance to the final one.
NBC has attempted to correct falsehoods about the dossier.
Just as with other attacks on Trump, no sources have been named in the latest fiasco.
There are real concerns, however, about politicizing intelligence agencies. Two former CIAers, Mike Morell and Evan McMullin, worked aggressively to upend Trump’s campaign. Others who targeted Trump include lesser known political operatives likely self-promoting for profit.
Morell was on the job when the US was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. The attack represented one of the most spectacular intelligence failures in the country’s history.
It’s ironic media have never peppered President Obama with questions about his policy with Russia. Overall, Russia benefited immensely from Obama’s terms, gaining control over a sizable share of US uranium and presumably with Obama’s blessing, purchasing Olavsvern, a strategic NATO military base in the Arctic US taxpayer money helped fund.
Nor did media go into a frenzy after the FBI disclosed the Russia spy ring in Operation Ghost Stories, alleging spies attempted to get close to US leaders. According to The L.A. Times, one spy caught provided financial planning for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign finance chair.
Trump responded to questions at the presser today, stating Mexico [who receives large amounts of aid and benefits from the US] will repay the US for the border wall he plans to build and he has requested a hacking report from his staff within 90 days of taking office.
At one point in the presser, a CNN ‘reporter’ attempted to talk over another reporter when Trump refused to take CNN’s question. After repeated requests for the CNN employee to be quiet, Trump looked at him and said, “You’re fake news.”
Another report released by US intel agencies had nothing of substance regarding Russia, but the report did say documents hacked from the Clinton campaign and the DNC contained no forgeries. The report also notes the NSA only had ‘moderate’ confidence in findings in that US government report.
Americans should be concerned about politicizing intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Similar tactics were used in the late 1990s, and the US government lapsed under both Bill Clinton and George Bush when it came to understanding intelligence on Osama bin Laden and his intent to attack US interests. Controversy over Bush’s election delayed his transition, and politics trumped national security as media and political interests ignored threats despite a public declaration of war by bin Laden.
(Commentary/Analysis by Kay B. Day; Jan. 11, 2017)
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