The media get it totally wrong about Russian interference in the election

Friday morning, news broke that Russia was meddling in the election on Trump's behalf.  By Friday afternoon, the truth came out, which was that this story was fake.  The only actual news about Russia was that it's been meddling on Bernie's behalf.

The story broke in a widely circulated AP article reporting that an expert had briefed Congress about the fact that Russia was once again meddling in the election on Trump's behalf:

Just weeks into this year's election cycle, Russia already is actively interfering in the U.S. presidential campaign in hopes of reelecting President Donald Trump, and is also trying to help the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, intelligence officials have concluded.

The Russian efforts are aimed at undermining public confidence in the integrity of U.S. elections and stirring general chaos in American politics, intelligence experts say.

Lawmakers were told in a classified briefing last week that Russia is taking steps that would help Trump, according to officials familiar with the briefing. And Sanders acknowledged Friday that he was briefed last month by U.S. officials about Russian efforts to boost his candidacy.

The revelations demonstrate that the specter of foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election will almost certainly be a cloud over the campaign, and possibly even the final results if the contest is close. Democrats have consistently criticized Trump for not doing more to deter the Russians and others, and now they have fresh evidence to support their concerns.

Trump immediately recognized the alleged "news" for what it was: yet another attempt to smear him.

Unfortunately for the media, Trump was correct, and the report was not true.  In a series of tweets, Jake Tapper explained what had really happened:

A national security official I know and trust pushes back on the way the briefing/ODNI story is being told, and others with firsthand knowledge agree with his assessment. Thread/

2/ "What's been articulated in the news is that the intelligence community has concluded that the Russians are trying to help Trump again. But the intelligence doesn't say that," the official says...

3/ "The problem is Shelby" — Pierson, the elections threats executive in the intelligence community — "said they developed a preference for Trump. A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it's a step short of that....

4/ "It's more that they understand the president is someone they can work with, he's a dealmaker. But not that they prefer him over Sanders or Buttigieg or anyone else. So it may have been mischaracterized by Shelby" at the House Intel briefing last week...

5/ "And by the way," the official says, "both Democrats and Republicans were challenging this at the briefing." Then there's the matter of the tense meeting between President Trump and erstwhile Acting Director of National Intelligence Admiral Maguire...

6/ "The President was upset that he had to hear about an intelligence conclusion from a Member of the House Republicans rather than from the intelligence community. So he was out of joint with Maguire on that process."

7/ None of this disputes that Trump desires to replace those who have Intel expertise with partisan loyalists, or dismisses the larger issues and concerns about Russia and how the president seeks help from abroad. Just that there seems to be more to this particular story.

8/ ALSO none of this disputes that the Russians (and others) are attempting to interfere in the US election again.

Despite Trump's destroying their economy and arming their enemies, the Russians believe it's possible to work with Trump.  They know what we all know: Trump is a dealmaker, although the last three and a half years have shown that Trump makes deals only when they're good for America.

Regarding the report that the Russians were trying to help Bernie, that makes sense.  Bernie has had a love affair with Russia for his entire adult life — or, more accurately, with the Soviet Union.  It's therefore reasonable for the Russians to hope Bernie will be as nice to them as Obama and Hillary were.

Bernie's strong disavowals about Russia, however, ring true — after all, it's now just another corrupt oligarchy, and Bernie doesn't like those.  He prefers corrupt socialist states.

Bernie was lucky to be able to disavow the Russians.  Trump's administration extended to him the courtesy of informing him about the problem.  Obama's administration, on the other hand, used fake intel to spy on Trump.

Friday morning, news broke that Russia was meddling in the election on Trump's behalf.  By Friday afternoon, the truth came out, which was that this story was fake.  The only actual news about Russia was that it's been meddling on Bernie's behalf.

The story broke in a widely circulated AP article reporting that an expert had briefed Congress about the fact that Russia was once again meddling in the election on Trump's behalf:

Just weeks into this year's election cycle, Russia already is actively interfering in the U.S. presidential campaign in hopes of reelecting President Donald Trump, and is also trying to help the candidacy of Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side, intelligence officials have concluded.

The Russian efforts are aimed at undermining public confidence in the integrity of U.S. elections and stirring general chaos in American politics, intelligence experts say.

Lawmakers were told in a classified briefing last week that Russia is taking steps that would help Trump, according to officials familiar with the briefing. And Sanders acknowledged Friday that he was briefed last month by U.S. officials about Russian efforts to boost his candidacy.

The revelations demonstrate that the specter of foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election will almost certainly be a cloud over the campaign, and possibly even the final results if the contest is close. Democrats have consistently criticized Trump for not doing more to deter the Russians and others, and now they have fresh evidence to support their concerns.

Trump immediately recognized the alleged "news" for what it was: yet another attempt to smear him.

Unfortunately for the media, Trump was correct, and the report was not true.  In a series of tweets, Jake Tapper explained what had really happened:

A national security official I know and trust pushes back on the way the briefing/ODNI story is being told, and others with firsthand knowledge agree with his assessment. Thread/

2/ "What's been articulated in the news is that the intelligence community has concluded that the Russians are trying to help Trump again. But the intelligence doesn't say that," the official says...

3/ "The problem is Shelby" — Pierson, the elections threats executive in the intelligence community — "said they developed a preference for Trump. A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it's a step short of that....

4/ "It's more that they understand the president is someone they can work with, he's a dealmaker. But not that they prefer him over Sanders or Buttigieg or anyone else. So it may have been mischaracterized by Shelby" at the House Intel briefing last week...

5/ "And by the way," the official says, "both Democrats and Republicans were challenging this at the briefing." Then there's the matter of the tense meeting between President Trump and erstwhile Acting Director of National Intelligence Admiral Maguire...

6/ "The President was upset that he had to hear about an intelligence conclusion from a Member of the House Republicans rather than from the intelligence community. So he was out of joint with Maguire on that process."

7/ None of this disputes that Trump desires to replace those who have Intel expertise with partisan loyalists, or dismisses the larger issues and concerns about Russia and how the president seeks help from abroad. Just that there seems to be more to this particular story.

8/ ALSO none of this disputes that the Russians (and others) are attempting to interfere in the US election again.

Despite Trump's destroying their economy and arming their enemies, the Russians believe it's possible to work with Trump.  They know what we all know: Trump is a dealmaker, although the last three and a half years have shown that Trump makes deals only when they're good for America.

Regarding the report that the Russians were trying to help Bernie, that makes sense.  Bernie has had a love affair with Russia for his entire adult life — or, more accurately, with the Soviet Union.  It's therefore reasonable for the Russians to hope Bernie will be as nice to them as Obama and Hillary were.

Bernie's strong disavowals about Russia, however, ring true — after all, it's now just another corrupt oligarchy, and Bernie doesn't like those.  He prefers corrupt socialist states.

Bernie was lucky to be able to disavow the Russians.  Trump's administration extended to him the courtesy of informing him about the problem.  Obama's administration, on the other hand, used fake intel to spy on Trump.