The New York Times and The Washington Post served President Donald John Trump a double whammy of scandal this week.
According to The NYT, an unnamed associate of former FBI Director James Comey read part of a memo Comey wrote to himself following a meeting Comey had with Trump. The portion of the memo, if you stretch it, could be read to indicate that Trump wanted Comey to halt the investigation of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.
The source is, of course, anonymous and The NYT reporter didn’t see the memo but was read parts of it over the phone. But even if the memo is real and was read accurately by “the associate,” it’s hardly a smoking gun. According to the article, the meeting between Comey and Trump took place the day after Flynn resigned. Trump reportedly told Comey, “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”
According to the mainstream media, this is Trump ordering Comey to halt an investigation. “I hope you can let this go” is ordering Comey to halt an investigation? Or, if you are not someone who desperately wants to do anything possible to undermine the Trump presidency, it could be read as Trump acknowledging that Flynn is a “good guy” who just lost his job and Trump “hopes” that the investigators will not go overboard in the investigation. It’s hard to interpret “hope” as a command, but that is what the mainstream media have done.
Then The Washington Post had its blockbuster that when Trump met with the Russian foreign secretary and ambassador that the two discussed issues of concern to both countries. The Post story seems to be even more of a leap than The NYT’s. What is Trump supposed to talk to the Russian foreign secretary and ambassador about? The NBA playoffs, golf, the color scheme in the Oval Office? I would hope that Trump didn’t waste his time and the time of the Russians with idle chitchat.
National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster – who was there and didn’t leak his comments by calling a reporter anonymously but went in front of the White House press corps in person – said that Trumps comments were “totally appropriate.”
But the mainstream media don’t care about that because it doesn’t fit with the storyline they have chosen. Instead they believe the anonymous “current and former US officials” who leaked the story.
If the leak is a former member of the intelligence community that would indicate that they worked for President Barack Obama and have good reason to try to undermine Trump.
The article does note that Trump can say anything he wants because he is president. If he wants to talk about classified material in the meeting that is his prerogative because the people of this country elected him president.
It is fascinating that both The Post and The NYT – who have been claiming for a year that there was nothing wrong with Hillary Clinton using an unsecured server for classified material – are now outraged that Trump may have talked about classified material with Russian officials.
It is the way the newspapers have characterized these two events that is causing much of the controversy. They have characterized them as horrible abuses of power by Trump when, even taken in the worst possible light, they don’t appear to be that at all. It’s a tremendous leap to say that “I hope” is a command. Of course, in the Comey leak, how Comey responded would be enlightening, but evidently that part of the conversation was not leaked.
But Comey was shocked and embarrassed by being fired. For some reason Comey thought that he could do and say whatever he wanted. Trump should have fired Comey his first day in office, but he didn’t.
Comey went way over the line on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails. It’s not the job of the FBI to decide who to prosecute and who to give a free ride. It also isn’t the job of the FBI to interpret the law. Comey decided that as FBI director he would also do the jobs of attorney general and federal judges.
Maybe what Trump should have said is, “I hope you will give Flynn the same consideration you gave to Hillary Clinton.” I wonder if the mainstream media would have interpreted that as a president ordering an FBI investigation to be stopped.
In the case of the Russians, to the mainstream media, for Trump or anyone who works for him to meet with Russian diplomats is a horrible crime on its face, and for Trump to actually discuss terrorism with the Russians makes it even worse.
The problem here is the media, which has lost all sense of fairness or restraint. The NYT felt the need to apologize to its readers for the bias in favor of Hillary Clinton in the coverage of the presidential campaign.
It’s also worth noting that by winning the election, Trump humiliated The Post , The NYT and the rest of the mainstream media, which predicted up until the results of the election were announced that Hillary Clinton would easily win. Newspapers hate to have their credibility called into question. By winning, Trump proved that the mainstream media were not reporting the news but were operating as the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The mainstream media got caught with their pants down and they are not going to forgive Trump for winning when they reported continually that he had no chance of being president.
Trump does have some work to do on his administration. He can’t do anything about Comey using anonymous associates to leak whatever he wants to the press, but Trump has got to plug some of the leaks in his own administration. Trump needs to clean house. He has to be able to have confidential conversations with leaders both foreign and domestic. With the current personnel in the White House, Trump can’t. Trump needs to start firing anyone who he suspects of leaking information.
Trump promised to drain the swamp in Washington. The swamp has more Republican elected officials than Democrats. The Republicans know that even though they are nominally in the same party, Trump was talking about many of them. They may give lip service to supporting Trump, but behind the scenes they are doing everything in their power to undermine him.
Trump has no natural constituency in Washington. The Democrats hate him and the Republicans don’t like him. But the people who elected Trump continue to be strong in their support. They do expect Trump to not only figure out a way to build the wall, but to also start draining the swamp.
The current reporting on the Comey firing is that everybody lied.
Trump said he had already decided to fire Comey. This doesn’t mean that his decision wasn’t based on the same set of facts that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein listed in his memo.
You can’t tell me that the news media is so out of touch with reality that they don’t know that the decision is often made to fire someone and then the reasons for that firing are formulated.
Trump in this case didn’t follow the standard government protocol, which would be to claim that the memo came first and then the decision was made, not the other way around. The mainstream media are claiming to be shocked that the decision would come before the paperwork, but they all know that it is not unusual. What is unusual is for an elected official to be honest about it.
One of the constant criticisms of Trump boils down to him being open and honest. He gets asked a question and he answers it. He says what is on his mind.
Trump is the opposite of Obama, who wouldn’t even speak to a room full of school kids without teleprompters.
Obama got better at speaking without reading every word after even the left made fun of his constant teleprompters. In Obama’s defense, he was way out of his element and had no idea what he was doing. He went from being an Illinois state senator, had a brief stop in the US Senate and was elected president. Trump has had far more experience talking to world leaders than Obama had when he moved into the White House.
Completely overshadowed by The New York Times and Washington Post stories from unnamed sources about Trump is the story from named and unnamed sources about the murder of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich, who was killed in Washington, DC, last July shortly before WikiLeaks started releasing emails from the DNC.
The reports are that Rich sent thousands of emails to WikiLeaks. Fox News reports that Rod Wheeler, a former Washington homicide detective and Fox News contributor hired to investigate the murder, reported that a federal investigator said their was evidence found on Rich’s laptop that he had been in contact with WikiLeaks.
Rich was shot twice in the back while walking home from a bar in Washington. He was not in a part of town where murders are common. He was shot within half a block of his house and he wasn’t robbed. When the police found Rich he still had his wallet, cell phone, keys, watch and an expensive gold chain around his neck. Rich lived for about two hours after the police found him and it is unknown if he said anything about who shot him.
Even in crime ridden Washington, it would be unusual for robbers to shoot first and then rob the victim. The fact that he was sending DNC emails to WikiLeaks would be a good motive to have Rich shot, although since he had already sent thousands of emails to WikiLeaks, it appears it was too late.
Although the head of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has refused to identify the source of those DNC emails, he did offer a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killers. There doesn’t seem to be much reason for Assange to offer a reward for a random murder in Washington, which is what the authorities are claiming this was.
Trump has said he might stop holding the daily White House press briefings. I might get thrown out of the press club for saying it, but Trump has a point. The idea behind the daily White House press conference is to provide information to the press about what the president and his staff are doing.
The idea is not to send someone out in front of a room full of leftwing liberal, Hillary-loving, Trump-hating women and men to get beat up.
Go back and watch any White House press conference with Jay Carney, Josh Earnest or any other press secretary for President Obama. It’s like a different world, not a better world but a different world.
In those days the White House press corps was terrified of somehow, through no fault of their own, stumbling across something Obama did that was less than perfect. To try and prevent this from happening, the journalists asked softball questions that they all knew the answers to. I by no means watched all the press conferences during the Obama years, but I watched enough to know that no news was coming out of those love-fests.
Now we have the opposite and still no news is coming out of the White House press briefings, so what’s the point? What has come out of the press briefings is that Sean Spicer is not 100 percent accurate in what he says. This is news? Show me a press secretary who hasn’t made mistakes and I’ll show you a press secretary who has never done anything. They all make mistakes. They all get things wrong.
Here’s a news flash: So do the reporters. They get things wrong all the time. It’s the nature of the beast. Writing a newspaper article is not like writing a book; you don’t have all day to look up one fact. You have to go with what you have been able to verify to the best of your ability at that time.
But here is an example of what the current group is doing. In traditional journalism, a named source is considered far more valid than an unnamed source. But in articles about Trump, the mainstream media have been leading with the unnamed and unverified unnamed sources and then following with the named source that refutes everything the unnamed source said. The headline is, of course, based on what the unverified unnamed source said and the named source is added as an afterthought with the obvious implication that since the named source is in the Trump administration it is a given that they are lying. The very placement in the story says that the named source is not considered credible.
The Trump presidency appears to be a continuation of the Trump campaign as far as the media is concerned. During the Trump campaign, the media constantly announced that the Trump campaign was over, having been fatally wounded by a tweet or a statement by Trump. You can take your pick of statements and tweets, but they were fairly constant and the mainstream media’s response was also consistent: “This is it. He’s gone too far this time. His campaign can never recover from his [statement, tweet …] on [Muslims, illegal immigrants, trade …]
During the campaign the mainstream media never realized that Trump knew exactly what he was doing. He was communicating with his base, which often loved his tweets and weren’t troubled by the same flaws or faults as the mainstream media.
Trump won despite the fact that the mainstream media announced the death of his campaign on a regular basis.
The mainstream media didn’t learn anything from the campaign and six months later have not figured out how Trump could have won.
Despite the fact that with all the investigations no one has found any link between the Russians and the Trump campaign, the mainstream media are still claiming there is a link and that’s how Trump won.
It is a narrative invented by the Hillary Clinton campaign to explain how she could have lost. Her campaign staff was not going to take the blame for running a truly awful campaign and completely missing the mood of the electorate, nor were they going to blame the flawed candidate they were working to get elected.
Trump won because he bypassed the mainstream media, something that is not hard to do in today’s world. Trump tweeted and went on news talk shows all the time where he got his message to the American people.
The idea that the mainstream media keep promoting that he is not a legitimate president because he didn’t win the popular vote ignores the US Constitution. The presidential race is not won by the candidate with the most popular votes, it is won by the candidate with the most electoral votes.
Trump ran his campaign to win the presidency. Hillary Clinton ran her campaign to win the most popular votes. For someone as experienced in politics as the Hillary Clinton campaign was, it was an inexcusable oversight. But it was her campaign’s oversight and the blame for Hillary Clinton losing lies completely on her shoulders. She listened to the wrong people.
If you go back and look at the campaign, while Trump was flying all over the country making as many as 12 campaign appearances in one day, Hillary Clinton was refusing to do interviews and making few campaign appearances. It sounds like a crazy way to campaign, but it made sense if you accepted the premise that Trump could only win if Hillary Clinton really messed up.
Hillary Clinton doesn’t do well at interviews; she comes off arrogant, uncaring, out of touch with the average American and as someone who may understand the issues but has no empathy. Keeping Hillary Clinton off the stage and out of the television studios was the campaign strategy.
In every election there are candidates who would do better if they didn’t campaign. Hillary Clinton is the poster child of that group, and her campaign advisors recognized that and kept her away from people as much as possible.
It almost worked.
When asked if there was any evidence that the Russians colluded with the Trump campaign to affect the 2016 election, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said, “No, not at this time.”
The election was Nov. 8; the investigation of the accusations of collusion with the Russians goes back to when the Clinton campaign discovered that despite all the polls to the contrary they had managed to lose an election that pundits and the media said could not be lost.
If in six months none of the agencies investigating this sore loser allegation made by the Clinton campaign has found credible evidence that it is true, isn’t it time to call it what it is – the Clinton campaign not being able to believe that it got beat fair and square by the Trump campaign?
The truth is that Trump outsmarted the woman who supporters claim, with absolutely no evidence, is the smartest woman in the world, Hillary Clinton.
In her mind Hillary Clinton is a legend. In reality she is the wife of Bill Clinton and her meager accomplishments in life are the result of her marriage to a man who is the consummate politician of his generation. Without Bill, Hillary is just another Yale educated liberal lawyer.
The facts prove that she is not a good politician. She has never won a political race where she had a viable challenger. Look at the Democratic primary. Bill Clinton scared off any viable Democratic challenger, but Hillary Clinton had a difficult time beating a socialist who is not and never has been a member of the Democratic Party.
I have not read the bill that created Obamacare, nor have I read the bill that created Ryancare, or whatever you want to call it, passed by the House to replace Obamacare. But from what I’m hearing, the main complaint against Ryancare is that it is not Obamacare. If it was going to cover the exact people, conditions and everything else as Obamacare, why replace Obamacare?
Of course it is different; that’s the idea. It also seems to go without saying that fewer people will be covered under Ryancare, if, unlike Obamacare, people are not forced to buy health insurance whether they think they need it or not.
It seems fitting that the FBI came back to sting Hillary Clinton in the presidential election because, when Bill Clinton was president, he had a room full of confidential FBI files on people that even the president was not authorized to have.
It was all forgotten about when everything was overshadowed by Bill Clinton having a sexual affair with a White House intern and then lied about it under oath.
But for a while the fact that the president had these FBI files on all sorts of Clinton enemies was news.
At that time the Clintons used the FBI for their own purposes, so the fact that the FBI came back to bite them in the end is rich.
There is talk of Trump cleaning house. He needs to because his administration is leaking like a sieve. Leaks in Washington are as common as the heat in July, but the Trump administration may be setting some kind of record, but it’s no surprise.
Trump has no natural constituency to call on other than this family. The Republican Party doesn’t trust Trump or support Trump. The Democratic Party hates Trump. Trump needs staff members who know DC and support him. It’s hard to find both. Most of the folks who know Washington know it because they are insiders who are as involved as anyone else.
Without a natural constituency on Capitol Hill, Trump has problems taking any swift decisive action. He ran against the Republican Party as much as he ran against the Democratic Party. The big difference was that he ran against the Republican Party first, taking on 16 of them. After beating everything the Republican Party could send at him Trump turned and took on Hillary Clinton, who in reality the Democrats didn’t like much more than the Republicans liked Trump.
Trump won again and became president, but the mainstream Republicans in Congress don’t like him anymore now than they did during the primaries when he was trouncing all of their friends.
Also, Trump makes all politicians look bad. Here is Trump, a 70-year-old man who has never run for office, with a trainload of baggage that would suffocate any professional politician, and he beats them all at their own game.
It’s kind of like if a guy who had never played golf talked his way into the Masters and won the Green Coat. People would talk about how great it was, but in their hearts they’re thinking, “I practice 12 hours a day for 20 years and this guy beats me his first time out.
Of course, that will never happen in the Masters because you can’t just walk on and golf is a real sport.
But when Trump does something like fire Comey, the way things are supposed to happen is the Democrats get in front of any microphone they can and talk about how this is the end of the world, will stunt the intellectual growth of children in the country and that a special prosecutor is needed to investigate. A special prosecutor is to a politician like garlic is to a vampire.
But the Republicans are supposed to get in front of microphones and talk about how the firing was the most brilliant move ever made by the president, that Comey was going to destroy the country and it is thought that he is actually a Chinese agent who infiltrated the agency and moved up to the top.
But the Republicans don’t do that for Trump. They either attack him or sit on their hands and do nothing.