The New York Times launches sleazy, dishonest attack against Trump
The New York Times seemed to have a blockbuster story: After the election, Donald Trump told pressed the Department of Justice to announce that the election was “corrupt,” after which he would take care of the rest. Other news outlets quickly picked up the story. It took Margot Cleveland’s skilled detective work to discover that the Times, by blurring the chronology in its report, had presented a completely fake story. Trump, as always, had done nothing wrong.
The title to the Times article begins the sleazy deception. “Trump Pressed Justice Dept. to Declare Election Results Corrupt, Notes Show,” the title blares. The subtitle drives it home: “‘Leave it to me’ and to congressional allies, the former president is said to have told top law enforcement officials.” The import was clear: If the DOJ would lie about election fraud, Trump would sell the lie.
The article stated that, according to notes DOJ personnel took during a December 27 phone call, Trump pressed them about voter fraud claims “that the department had disproved.” When one of them warned that the DOJ had no power to change an election outcome, Trump said he did not expect that. Instead, “Just say that election was corrupt + leave the rest to me” and to congressional allies. In other words, the Times said Trump told the DOJ’s people to lie.
2/ This section here is absolutely damning: pic.twitter.com/wsLNEqZpJd— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) July 30, 2021
3/ It reads as if the President told his DOJ to tell American public the election was corrupt even after the DOJ told him there was no evidence to back it up.— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) July 30, 2021
From the moment she read the article, though, Margot Cleveland knew that something was wrong. She engaged in some excellent detective work to reveal the journalistic sleight of hand that took place.
4/ But then I remember this is @nytimes. And read on....— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) July 30, 2021
Although she doesn’t say so in her Twitter thread, Cleveland might have been tipped off by more than the Times’s bias and dishonesty. That’s because Katie Benner wrote the article. Perhaps significantly, Benner once lived in Beijing and wrote for the Beijing Review, which is published by the Chinese Communist Party.
Benner’s name might sound familiar to you from a Twitter thread that Benner posted on July 27, and then swiftly deleted:
Today’s #January6thSelectionCommittee underscores the America’s current essential natsec dilemma: Work to combat legitimate national security threats now entails calling a politician’s supporters enemies of the state. 1/
As Americans, we believe that state power should not be used to work against a political figure or a political party. But what happens if a politician seems to threaten the state? If the politician continues to do so out of office and his entire party supports that threat? 2/
This dilemma was unresolved by the Russia probe and 2 impeachments. With many Republicans denying the reality of the Jan. 6 attack, I doubt the #January6thCommittee will resolve it either. That leaves it up to voters, making even more essential free, fair access to the polls. 3/
When a woman who ignores the four years of Trump’s presidency, during which all the alphabet agencies worked to undermine him, calls people concerned about a completely aberrant election “enemies of the state,” it’s wise to doubt anything she says about the politician who “seems to threaten the state.” (Apparently, she doesn’t find it threatening that Biden has erased America’s sovereign borders and welcomed in millions of people, many of whom carry deadly medieval diseases and are drug cartel members or human traffickers.)
Margot Cleveland carefully tracked down the real story. First, she noticed that another section of the same report mentioned that the DOJ could quickly verify whether more ballots were cast in Pennsylvania than there were voters:
5/ This section comes later in the article: pic.twitter.com/EYFXqFXsrV— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) July 30, 2021
Because the quoted language reflected the earlier damning paraphrase, it occurred to Cleveland that Benner might have taken liberties with the order in which she presented what the notes said. That is, looking at the following vague chronology, was it really accurate?
7/ Such notes have an entirely different meaning than both the intro pic.twitter.com/DdXu1an4Ep— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) July 30, 2021
8/ And the original presentation: pic.twitter.com/6X9m9It2QG— Margot Cleveland (@ProfMJCleveland) July 30, 2021
As Cleveland noted, Benner implies that Trump tried to bully the DOJ to lie about election corruption so that he could make political hay out of it. However, if Benner’s vagueness was deliberate, it was possible that she was covering for the fact that Trump simply said that, if a quick Pennsylvania audit of votes cast showed corruption, once the DOJ confirmed that fact, he could act.
So, Cleveland got the notes and, what do you know?! The Times lied:
According to the notes, the DOJ reps told Trump that they would “look at whether there were more ballots in PA than registered voters – should be able to determine that quickly but understand that the DOJ can’t & won’t snap its fingers and change the outcome of the election, doesn’t work that way.” Trump’s reply was “Don’t expect you to do that, just say that the election was corrupt & leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen.”
In other words, Trump said, I don’t expect you to change the election outcome. Just do the Pennsylvania analysis, which Trump assumed would show corruption; announce that corruption; and then I’ll do with it what I can politically.
Never, ever trust the New York Times, especially when the person writing believes that both Trump and his supporters are “enemies of the state.”
IMAGE: Trump’s in the way. Public domain.
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