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If you were watching MSNBC in discussing the article (below) everyone in the media, except on Fox News, is alarmed about you’d have heard phases like “absolutely extraordinary.” That was one of the milder utterances.
You heard a commentator comparing Trump to Benedict Arnold when the hosts and guests expressed their grave opinions about what was reported. Former US attorney Harry Littman (quoted in The Daily Beast) said “it’s mind-blowing and even though it’s separate from criminal inquiry, any determination that the president of the U.S. had been or was a Russian agent would be out of The Manchurian Candidate.”
If you were watching Fox News you would have heard Tucker Carlson introduce Trace Gallagher with a hissing comment about the NY Times article about the FBI opening an investigation into whether Trump was “seeee-cretly a Russian agent.” He repeated Giuliani’s disclaimer which made no sense, but then what does anything Rudy ever says make sense?
HuffPost, which summarized the NY Times article, reported what Giuliani said:
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Times he didn’t know of that probe while also downplaying it.
“The fact that it goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it that showed a breach of national security means they found nothing,” Giuliani said.
Giuliani’s contention that this goes back a year and a half and nothing came of it means that the FBI found nothing wrong is meaningless. All it means that the FBI started the investigation a year and a half ago and that nothing has come out publicly about what they found, or whether the investigation is still ongoing or even if it already has resulted in a sealed grand jury indictment.
Then this is how Tucker Carlson spun the breaking news about the FBI opening a counter-intelligence investigation into Trump’s wittingly or unwittingly being working for Russia and their interests. Brian Williams replayed the following saying this was probably a preview of how the White House would deal with the revelations.
So if you’re keeping track at home, and get a pen and paper, because this is worth remembering, this is why you should never criticize the FBI.
You think it’s your birthright as an American, you can do it, wouldn’t try it though,they might open an investigation into you without your knowledge into something appalling, maybe it’s beating your wife maybe it’s dealing fentanyl to kids maybe it’s betraying your country in some alliance to Vladimir Putin, you don’t need to have done it but two years later they can always leak two years later that they were investigating you for a crime they didn’t commit or they found no evidence you committed and they never charged you for it.
It doesn’t matter because you were discredited. Don’t criticize the FBI, very unwise. (My transcription)
Chuck Rosenberg is the former acting head of the DEA. On “The 11th Hour with Brian Williams” he said this was a deeply and profoundly troubling statement.
Frank Figliuzzi, a former FBI assistant director, expressed concern that the mercurial president might act out to try to shut down the Mueller investigation.
Here I thought this would be a quiet weekend with the only breaking news possibly that Trump would declare a national emergency.
Now I expect that the trending search word on Google and Wikipedia will be treason.
Update Jan. 12, 2019 10 PM
The NY Times published a follow-up article to their original expose on Saturday night at 10:45 PM EST saying that in his morning Tweets he “compiled all the threads of the conspiracy theory he has pushed for many months in an effort to discredit the investigation..”
Hours later, Mr. Trump continued his broadside on a friendly television venue, Jeanine Pirro’s show on Fox News. Asked “are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Mr. Trump did not directly answer the question.
“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” he said by telephone. “I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written.”
But an investigation conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general and internal surveys of F.B.I. agents have undercut Mr. Trump’s portrayal of Mr. Comey as corrupt and unpopular within the bureau.
Parts of the statements by Mr. Trump and Ms. Sanders are at odds with the public record and with the findings of the inspector general’s report.
“We’ve really never had ― and if we have, it’s classified and lost to history at least so far ― a president of the United States who is considered to be possibly an asset of a foreign government,” Meacham said. “This is what the founders were worried about in the 1790s.”
Meacham recalled similar concerns about the Founders themselves in the early days of the republic, when George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson came under suspicion. However, “that was in a kind of fevered political atmosphere,” he added, noting that the FBI didn’t yet exist to get to the bottom of the matter.
“I think the report in the Times tonight has ― if anything could possibly elevate the stakes of our current moment, that did it,” Meacham said.
Update Jan. 13, 2019, 10 AM EST:
Mike Pompeo Rips As ‘Absolutely Ludicrous’ NYT Story On Alleged FBI Inquiry Into Trump – HUFFPOST (Includes video)
In an interview for CBS News’ “Face the Nation” set to air Sunday, Pompeo declined to engage in a serious discussion on the report when host Margaret Brennan asked for his reaction.
“I’m not going to comment on New York Times stories, but I’ll certainly say this, that the notion that President Trump is a threat to American national security is absolutely ludicrous,” Pompeo said.
Pushed by Brennan to explain whether he was aware that an FBI investigation had been underway, Pompeo again dismissed her question.
“Margaret, Margaret, Margaret. I’ve answered this question repeatedly indeed on your show,” he said. “The idea that’s contained in the New York Times story that President Trump was a threat to American national security is silly on its face and not worthy of a response.”
This is all being discussed on “morning Joy” on MSNBC this morning. “If you are the commander in chief and not the traitor in chief the first thing you say is “no” commented Maya Wiley (above, bottom center).
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