Another Deep State hoax blown out of the water: Trump never briefed about Russian bounties —Herridge
The other day, the New York Times was subtly and not so subtly promoting the claim that President Trump was standing callously by and coddling Russia's Vladimir Putin even as Putin was busily offering the Taliban bounties for the bodies of dead U.S. servicemen. It was the old "Trump is a Russian agent" canard whipped out in a new form.
The intelligence finding was briefed to President Trump, and the White House's National Security Council discussed the problem at an interagency meeting in late March, the officials said. Officials developed a menu of potential options — starting with making a diplomatic complaint to Moscow and a demand that it stop, along with an escalating series of sanctions and other possible responses, but the White House has yet to authorize any step, the officials said.
Heartless bastard, allowing Russia to pick off our men while he kaffeeklatsched with Putin and invited him to the G-7. Anything for his Russian master.
President Trump denied it. His acting director of National Intelligence at the time, Richard Grenell, denied it vehemently. Grenell's disavowal of the leak of such "partial intelligence" was something I noted here. And for what it's worth, even the Russians denied it.
But the Times pressed on with the claim and even did some additional reporting to claim that it had proof. The Guardian helped the Times along with a follow-up story beginning with "Outrage Mounts about..."
Fortunately, there was CBS's Catherine Herridge, who batted back at the press at its own game — and found some pretty exculpatory backing for the Trump administration's statements:
DEVELOPING: A senior intel official tells @CBSNews the GRU/Taliban bounty allegations were not contained in the President's Daily Brief (PDB) which is the highly classified, daily summary of national security issues delivered to the President, key cabinet secretaries + advisers..— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 28, 2020
talks with the Taliban, intel about a GRU operation involving the Taliban, targeting US forces would have risen to the level of inclusion in the PDB. @CBSNews— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) June 28, 2020
Bzzt. False issue. Fake news. Egg all over the Times' face.
Herridge is an experienced reporter and the best in the business. The story she filed came in response to some extremely shoddy journalism, promoting the hoary claim that President Trump was a Russian agent, something the Times got assorted awards for promoting, including the Pulitzer. It's almost as if it was their own now-discredited previous reporting they were promoting, complete with Deep State claims.
Report phony stuff up just in time for elections, promote fake claims that are all but impossible to check under cover of intelligence, whip up fake feeding frenzy of scandal with your buddies, see how it works?
Another top reporter, Lara Logan, has noted some pretty atrocious news reporting standards:
I have been a journalist for more then 35 years & I have never in my life witnessed such extreme disinformation coming from political figures. Four years of nonsense/lies peddled by Democrat leaders, believed by Trump haters, promoted by journalists pretending to care about truth https://t.co/0IcTd30005— Lara Logan (@laralogan) June 28, 2020
That leaves the Times to beat the dead horse of "what the president knew" even as the preponderance of evidence points to his not knowing at all. If the Times sticks to this, that's propaganda, a false picture in the name of promoting a political motive.
And it's particularly despicable when it's done with politicized intelligence. Imagine if the scenario were true: President Trump knew and set up a savage retaliation for Putin he didn't want anyone to know about? That's the problem with "partial" intelligence, as Grenell noted. It wasn't true, and now senior officials are playing the same game as the Times' original sources. What a sorry picture this is when all they had to do was report the news truthfully, in service of no "narrative."
Image credit: Twitter screen shot.