While people are still talking about the yellow journalism of Michael Wolff, a new book contains explosive claims about Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and his machinations in attempting to undermine President Donald Trump.
McCabe appears to be the one who leaked the claims of President Trump looking to ‘obstruct’ the Mueller investigation to the media, and this claim has been used to not only drive the media’s narrative that President Trump attempted to undermine the investigation into ‘Russian collusion,’ but also to provide backing to continue Robert Mueller’s ‘investigation’ in lieu of evidence that such collusion ever occurred.
The book claims that McCabe requested a private meeting with former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. The purpose of that meeting was to tell Priebus that the contents of a February 2017 New York Times (NYT) article was “bulls***.”
McCabe claimed that he went to meet with Priebus to tell him that the FBI didn’t believe a word of the New York Times article “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.”
Understandably, Priebus asked McCabe if he could make a public announcement that the FBI didn’t believe the article, which was, at the time, being played up as factual on every media outlet.
McCabe responded that he would check and see what policy was and what he could legally do, according to the book’s account.
McCabe eventually told Priebus that he couldn’t do anything publicly, and James Comey told Priebus the same thing. However, Comey suggested that he would be open to brief the Senate Intelligence Committee, and suggested that they would be likely to leak the information.
However, according to the new book ‘Media Madness,’ authored by Howard Kurtz, Comey and McCabe then used this interaction to leak the story in a different way.
They began to leak the story that Priebus approached them and demanded that they publicly ‘knock down’ the story that the New York Times had written.
The leak essentially claimed that Priebus had pressured the two FBI leaders, leading to a story was run constantly by CNN, which had already earned a reputation as being less of a news outlet and more of an anti-President Trump outlet.
Further, the CNN report based on this fictional account of Priebus’ interactions with Comey and McCabe was created by five ‘reporters’ who had bones to pick with President Trump’s administration.
One such reporter was Evan Perez. Evan Perez has deep ties to Fusion GPS, the organization that paid for the political smear campaign ‘dossier’ being used as the basis for the ‘Russian collusion’ investigation in the first place.
Another reporter was Manu Raju, a relatively unknown reported launched into fame due to his inability to properly read a date. Manu Raju claimed that WikiLeaks gave Donald Trump Jr. access to the hacked Hillary Clinton and DNC emails before they were made public. Actually, WikiLeaks reached out to Donald Trump Jr. well AFTER the emails had been made public on their website.
CNN’s report on the communications between Priebus and the FBI executives suggested that such communications were unusual (however, apparently the husband of a presidential candidate being investigated meeting up with the U.S. Attorney General and hanging out on the tarmac of an airport in a private plane is normal).
They even claimed that there existed ‘decades-old’ restrictions on such contacts, claiming that there are extreme limits on communications with the FBI concerning ‘ongoing’ investigations.
The problem is that, as per statements from Comey AND McCabe, the New York Times article was “bulls***,” and thus was not under investigation. Further, if they approached Priebus, McCabe and Comey cannot make an honest claim of White House impropriety.
This is precisely what President Donald Trump and others mean when they talk about ‘Fake News.’ It’s easy to generate such stories when government officials who don’t like President Trump are willing to play cynical political games.
Further, the media is more than happy to be complicit in the spreading of nonsensical claims. At this point, it seems like left-leaning media outlets are happy to spread any story that they can, so long as it paints President Trump in a negative light.
It also doesn’t help that there have been almost constant leaks during the current administration. These leaks, often attributed to anonymous sources that may or may not be reliable, are often unconfirmed, but media outlets are happy to suggest they’re true without a shred of evidence.
If Howard Kurtz’s account is true, it should be an explosive condemnation of both the federal government and its leak-happy nature, and of the media. Either way, the media needs to properly vet stories, not just run with anything they think will besmirch President Donald Trump’s reputation.