The NY Times Explains Why There Is So Much "Confusion" About Its "Trump Wiretapping" Story

Tyler Durden's picture

In the aftermath of the Trump accusation that Obama wiretapped his phone during the election, an allegation which the flagbearers of the "truthful" (according to their various advertising campaigns) anti-Trump media wave, namely the Washington Post and the New York Times have vehemently denied, an unexpected victim has emerged over the past few days: the New York Times itself.

The reason is that while the NYT has repeatedly criticized and denied Trump's allegation, it itself had written an article on January 19 titled, in the print version, "Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides', and online "Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates", by reporters Michael Schmidt and Michael Shear, which paradoxically corroborated much, if not all of what Trump himself said, and quotes the usual anonymous source who said that wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House” as part of an investigation into “the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia.

So with various conservative blogs taking the NYT to task over this seeming contradiction, and even the WaPo's own fact-checker seemingly confused...

... today the NYT's public editor, Liz Spayd felt compelled to address its January 19 article which, implicitly, substantiated much of Trump's allegation, and to explain why that's not the case.

She starts by saying that "Trump’s assertions, however overinflated, nonetheless echo certain aspects of The New York Times’s reporting from recent weeks. That, in turn, has allowed his administration to assert that the basis for his claims rests, in part, on reporting by The Times."

On the surface, there are similarities. Both The Times and Trump have referred to wiretaps. Both have referenced White House knowledge of the investigations. And both have described efforts by officials from the Obama administration to involve itself in the continuing investigations of Trump and Russia.

Maybe Trump is not a completely raving lunatic after all. So where are the differences:

For one, as The Times (and others) has made clear, these investigations have been conducted by the F.B.I., intelligence agencies and Congress, not by Obama himself. The Times has also said Obama administration officials sought to spread intelligence about a possible link between Trump and Russia to ensure a trail of evidence for investigators, but it said Obama himself was not involved. And no Times reporter has claimed that any warrants have been issued to spy on Trump or his associates.

And there it is again: several months after we thought we would never again hear the old "Obama had no idea what was going on excuse", it strikes yet again, only this time we find it very difficult to believe that Obama, who expanded the distributions of confidential NSA data to multiple offices just weeks before his final day in office, had no clue that Trump was being wiretapped.

There's more, and this is where things get delightfully Orwellian, because as Spayd "explains", the confusion is really just a function of readers being confused because, well, it's complicated:

Distinguishing between Trump’s assertions and The Times’s reporting is essential. Yet readers at this juncture may be understandably confused on what is true and not in one of the most important ongoing news stories in the country.

More details about this pervasive "confusion" fanned by none other than the NYT itself:

Several readers have written in this week saying they’re having a hard time squaring The Times’s own past reports of wiretapping with the paper’s assertions that there is no firm evidence that any warrants for wiretaps have been issued. Readers also expressed confusion with The Times’s assertion that it would be illegal for a White House to receive information about such investigations, when its own wiretapping story in January said the Trump White House was given some information from intercepted communications.


“For months now the NY Times and many other mainstream news sources has been running stories based on anonymous leaks saying that a massive investigation was going on into Trump and company’s Russian dealings based on wiretaps and intel intercepts,” wrote John Penley of Asheville, N.C. “Now Obama officials are saying this all never happened so my question is this: Why have the NY Times and others been saying it has for months now basing their stories on anonymous leaks?”

So to eliminate the confusion, here is the NYT's explanation of how the wiretapping of Trump and/or his associates, which eventually made its way to the White House - as per the NYT - didn't really happen.

I reached out to editors in the Washington bureau to seek their help in clarifying the difference between Clapper’s — and The Times’s — assertions that no warrants had been issued, and the reference to wiretapping in the January story.


Elisabeth Bumiller, the bureau chief, said the January story was referring to information picked up from wiretaps and other intelligence collected overseas, a process that requires no warrants.

Still confused? Don't worry: the NYT even has a Q&A to help you out of your cognitive dissonance predicament":

There’s a lot to parse. And doing so, in a way that is clear to readers, is not easy when the subject matter is complicated and the information that reporters receive comes under strict terms of how it can be used. One reporter, Charlie Savage, produced a helpful Q. and A. explaining the law around wiretaps and key terms. But it didn’t try to show how Trump’s claims line up against The Times’s past reporting.

Sarcasm aside, what the NYT's long-winded explanation boils down to is that Trump's inner circle was wiretapped, but the difference is whether Obama knew about it or not. And if anyone harbors any gullible thoughts that the president who lied to the public about his knowledge of Hillary's email server - arguably the biggest fiasco of her presidential campaign - but is telling the truth when he says that he has no idea whatsoever that someone, somewhere was in fact wiretapping Trump as the NYT reports, then we wish you all the best as you click away on all the other NYT "Q&A"s to help you in your misery.

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hedgeless_horseman's picture


There’s a lot to parse. And doing so, in a way that is clear to readers, is not easy when the subject matter is complicated and the information that reporters receive comes under strict terms of how it can be used. 

Complicated, eh? 

Strict terms of relaese, hmmm?

Where have I read this before?

An excerpt from, They Thought They Were Free - The Germans, 1933-45, by Milton Mayer.



"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

wee-weed up's picture

Never confuse Fish-Wrap with the facts. It gets in the way of their Lib agenda.

vato poco's picture

it's like bill clinton wrote a column for the NYT. a blizzard of bullshit.

macholatte's picture




Shemp 4 Victory's picture

The confusion is on the part of the NYT. They thought their readers had a memory span similar to that of a guppy.

chunga's picture

It must be complicated for the DOJ because they've yet to deny Barkey's involvement.

Does anybody know who is in charge of DOJ these days?

booboo's picture

NYT complicit with Oblowme in their rush to try and quickly kill Trump stepped on their own dick and are now trying to walk it back but that impossible.

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) booboo Mar 8, 2017 11:28 PM

NY Times is in bed with the Deep State and now they are worried they're about to get their collective asses kicked by Trump

VIDEO – Judge Napolitano: Trump is the First President in Modern Era who is Adversary of DEEP STATE

With a little help from his friends, WikiLeaks

prime american's picture
prime american (not verified) xythras Mar 9, 2017 5:39 AM

I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do...

nmewn's picture

"Internal NYT's Memo To Staff:

It has come to the attention of this Board of Directors that our company has been discovered to be a purveyor of fake nuuuz and a shill for the party of national democratic socialists known as the DNC by a majority of the people in the country. To help disguise and clarify our continually evolving political positions and staunch this new wave of subscriber cancellations we've decided to send forth that public editor woman Liz Spayd again to muddy the waters some more. In doing so she has of course been instructed to not address any of John Podesta's lobbying group business transactions with Russian banks with the United States government under the regime of former president Barack Obama as that would clearly lend credence to us being labeled as the shameless shills we are. 

Now lets get out there and print the libelous, scandalous, unsupported, non-factual, innuendo & slander that our paymasters have come to know & love!

Go Team!" 

Rah rah ;-)

weburke's picture

no one in legit world would have run a spy program on trump as candidate unless their boss obama knew.

Giant Meteor's picture

Whipons of mass destruction. 

Good point btw ...


GUS100CORRINA's picture

Public erupts on N.Y. Times promoting itself as 'Truth'

NEED I SAY MORE? The article above says it all! The comments in the article is hilarious.

whatamaroon's picture

And in retaliation, the Russian federation cancells all on-line and paper subscriptions to the NYT, because they print 'Fake' news, haha;

chubbar's picture

Those liberal cunts at the NYT are caught, period. They lie and obfuscate but can never stray from their ideology. They are completely without conscience and morals. It is such a pleasure to watch them self destruct.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) hedgeless_horseman Mar 8, 2017 10:17 PM

The media was so quick to paint Trump as a Russian agent they outted the wiretap of Trump tower.

The whole media is CIA. I read that the Soviet Union was allowed to collapse by Gorby because the KGB was running everything and became too powerful.

Think J.Edgar Hoover


Takeaction2's picture
Takeaction2 (not verified) Chris Dakota Mar 8, 2017 10:24 PM

@Chris Dakota....Read your comment...+1000  I think you just hit it out of the park.  

bookofenoch's picture


Yesterday I thought: if it's this hard to drain the swamp, set off the EMP grid breakers and reset the game.

FEDbuster's picture

Reliving the 17th Century will be cleansing, back to the basics.

American Gorbachev's picture

yep, bust it up and start over with blank sheets of parchment

is there any nation/province of the former ussr that is not now many times better than in 1989 ? 

ukraine maybe ?  but it only temporary (hopefully) and due to 'outside interference'

Blue Snowflake's picture

The entire world was at war with them. It was dangerous times. 

Are you of the opinion that Hitler was the bad guy? 

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Good guy, bad guy, it is all relative.


18.  Watch the online video of the TED Talk, A radical experiment in empathy, by Sam Richards.

I am of the opinion that our current overlords are clearly using Joseph Goebbels' tactics.

Read the book, as it is excellent.

SoDamnMad's picture

With that said, Your honor, we rest our case.

Sanity Bear's picture

NYT -> truth

relationship status: it's complicated

Sandmann's picture

That excerpt could be applied in Germany today under Merkel

Jubal Early's picture

Milton Sanford Mayer (August 24, 1908 – April 20, 1986), a journalist and educator, was best known for his long-running column in The Progressive magazine, founded by Robert M. La Follette Sr., in Madison, Wisconsin


Mayer, reared in Reform Judaism, was born in Chicago, the son of Morris Samuel Mayer and Louise (Gerson).


So you bring jew propaganda from a fucking progressive jew onto ZH as proof that we should worry about German Nationalists?   What a douchebag.

mpcascio's picture

When I see the NYT or WAPO or CNN or MSNBC I know it's a lie.

CaptainObvious's picture

Bitch, please.  You ran with the story because it tied Trump to DA ROOSKIES!, until it turned out that your hero was doing something illegal to tie Trump to DA ROOSKIES!, and now it has bitten you in your unethical ass.  I admire someone for standing up before the world and saying, "I fucked up.  Sorry about that."  I have a sneaking suspicion I will never admire you for that reason, because you're just doubling down on the lies and the weasel words and the fake news and the finger pointing.  Let me point a finger at you.  And yeah, it's the middle one.

Fuck you, New York Slimes, and your completely partisan fake news bullshit.  I read your paper (with ad blocking, so you don't make a fucking dime from me) in order to know what you're thinking.  And what you're thinking is bat-shit crazy.  The levels of cognitive dissonance you experience, and your mental gymnastics to rectify that dissonance, are off the charts.  If my worldview were that completely wrong and reality smacked me in the face, I'd eat a bullet to spare myself the agony of flashing through a life that was lived so erroneously.

Lore's picture

Lower-level peons working at these organizations would be well advised to make diligent notes and keep paper trails, with copies in multiple locations, because this has the potential to escalate to charges of TREASON, and given the opportunity, the historical pattern in these situations is for your superiors to hang you out to dry. PROTECT YOURSELF.  FOR GOD'S SAKE, COVER YOUR ASS AND BE READY TO TESTIFY. 

hannah's picture

first trump has to have the balls to actually nail someone. the problem is that when trump says the gov is against you and you listen then th ewhole wall of wax melts.. gov stopseverything stops....that is whythey cant nail a pizzagate personbecause 50% of the gov is involved. it would bring the whole gov down..................when trump does something that actually lock up a politician or stop welfare...REGARDLESS OF THE HOWLS then and only then do i believe in him.....i didnt like hillary even thou i wished she had won sso i could watch her self destruct...i didnt believe that trump would really take onthe deep state.....time will tell....

MsCreant's picture

I could not have borne it if Hillary had won, even to watch her self destruct. The thing is, Bill stayed the distance and so did Obama, no self destructing. The Bushlet was an idiot child and he stayed the distance. I choke to say I would take the Bushlet over Hillary. She was a sure bet to get us blown up bad, war mongering cunt. Let Chelsea join the service, then we can talk...

Lore's picture

@ Hannah: I understand your point, but suspect that you're thinking too much in terms of a situation where rule of law presents a meaningful constraint on behavior. Such thinking seems rather quaintly idealistic, especially given so many negative historical precedents. More rationally, people in key positions might be wise to fear for their lives. 

And if you're wondering about action on the pedophilia front, look up the 1,500 arrests reported on various websites. That investigation has legs, with many police agencies getting involved.  Suspect a lot of pedophiles are giving thought to turning themselves in with the hope for a reduced sentence in exchange for information on others. 

rockstone's picture

They're going to "explain"? Now that's rich.......

Jack Offelday's picture

All the News That's Sh!t to Print

Cabreado's picture

This story is already going away...

There is not the wherewithal in appropriate places to pursue it. 

That's what you get with a broken DOJ and a broken Congress.

And Trump is apparently not overly excited about fixing DOJ,

and the People don't give a damn about Congress.

Perfect storm, still brewing...

hooligan2009's picture

ah yes..the excited misery of the intellectual prostitute..

why on earth would any american company associate themselves with a failing paper that not only dissembles truth but also lies in an attempt to prove it has any significance to anythig other than itself.

beyond shame, beyond pity and beyond help.

don't let any vulnerable, easily inluenced people see or read this crap paper, NYT, for longer than three minutes or it will lead to mental health issues

aloha_snakbar's picture

Is it possible to overdose on popcorn?

Got The Wrong No's picture

You should be OK if you wash it down with Vodka. I recommend a 10 to 1 ratio, light on the ice.

Beaker99's picture

"For months now the NY Times and many other mainstream news sources has been running stories based on".....their own political bias!

"Several readers have written in this week saying they’re having a hard time squaring The Times’s own past reports of wiretapping"........because their a bunch of lying cunts!

Ms No's picture

It's pretty bad when the NY times fans start clueing in at such a rate that they have to respond.  That had to have taken a lot of emails and comments to accomplish.  It's all falling apart.  It already has the demon just keeps kicking.


Dragon HAwk's picture

Man I wish i had a Time Machine so i could fast forward and see how this all works out.