For those of you who continue to consume anonymously-sourced news from the likes of CNN, NYT, WAPO, etc, as pure fact and a perfect substitute for actual, unbiased journalism, while blindly ignoring the overwhelming evidence which continues to suggest these outlets are simply pushing a sensationalized narrative aimed at bringing down an administration of which they disapprove, please consider Comey's testimony from earlier today in which he describes a February NY Times story, which alleged numerous contacts between Trump associates and Russia, as "almost entirely wrong"
Cotton: "On February 14 the New York Times published a story, the headline of which was "Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence."
You were asked earlier whether that was an inaccurate statement and you said you said 'in the main.' Would it be fair to characterize the story as 'almost entirely wrong?'"
For those who missed it, we covered the original New York Times article in a post entitled "NYTimes Reports Trump Aides' "Repeated Contact" With Russian Intel Officials, Admits No Collusion Discovered."
Meanwhile, in earlier testimony with Senator Risch, Comey further explained why anonymously sourced stories can often be pure "nonsense."
Risch: "So the American people can understand this, that report by the New York Times was not true, is that a fair statement?"
Comey: "In the main it was not true. And, again, all of you know this, maybe the American people do not, the challenge, and I'm not picking on reporters, about writing stories about classified information is, the people talking about it often don't really know what's going on and those of us who actually know what's going on are not talking about it.
And we don't call the press to say 'hey, you got that thing wrong about his sensitive topic.'"
"I mentioned to the chairman the nonsense around what influenced me to make the July 5th Statement. Nonsense, but I can't go explaining why it's nonsense."
Of course, just like with CNN's story yesterday, we're certain that the New York Times will promptly retract their erroneous reporting and offer an apology to their readers for the unfortunate mistake...not that it matters much because the story has already reached millions of readers and inflicted the damage for which it was intended.
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For those who missed it, Comey's opening statement also outed another anonymously-sourced 'fake news' article pushed by CNN. Here was our post on the topic from yesterday:
Back on May 9th, the White House released the letter that President Trump sent to former FBI Director James Comey informing him that he'd been relieved of his duties at the FBI. Within that letter, Trump awkwardly inserted a sentence thanking Comey for informing him "on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation." Here's the full sentence (full post here):
"While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau."
Not surprisingly, this statement set off alarm bells at CNN and other MSM outlets because, if true, it would put a real damper on their "Trump colluded with Russian hackers to stage a coup" narrative. Therefore, those outlets set out on a mission to 'prove' that Comey never made those statements and that, by definition, Trump clearly lied about his past interactions with the former FBI Director.
And not long after setting out on that mission, courtesy of those infamous 'anonymous sources', CNN and ABC struck gold when they confirmed that "FBI Director James Comey is reportedly set to testify he never told President Donald Trump that he was not under investigation." Here is a summary of CNN's reporting from their primary echo chamber, HuffPo:
"Former FBI Director James Comey is reportedly set to testify he never told President Donald Trump that he was not under investigation in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to CNN and ABC News."
And here is the original CNN reporting:
"Trump has made a blanket claim that Comey told him multiple times that he was not under investigation."
"But one source said Comey is expected to explain to senators that those were much more nuanced conversations from which Trump concluded that he was not under investigation. Another source hinted that the President may have misunderstood the exact meaning of Comey's words, especially regarding the FBI's ongoing counterintelligence investigation."
Unfortunately, CNN's 'anonymous sources' seem to have been 'mistaken' on this one. And while we have no doubts, generally, about the integrity of CNN and/or their anonymous sources, Comey's direct testimony released just a while ago seems to confirm exactly what Trump said in his original May 9th letter and exactly the opposite what CNN subsequently reported.
In fact, here are precisely three instances (ironic, right?), directly from Comey's testimony, in which he personally told President Trump he was not under investigation:
1. January 6th Meeting at Trump Tower:
"In that context, prior to the January 6 meeting, I discussed with the FBI’s leadership team whether I should be prepared to assure President-Elect Trump that we were not investigating him personally. That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him. We agreed I should do so if circumstances warranted. During our one-on-one meeting at Trump Tower, based on President Elect Trump’s reaction to the briefing and without him directly asking the question, I offered that assurance."
2. January 27th Dinner at White House:
"During the dinner, the President returned to the salacious material I had briefed him about on January 6, and, as he had done previously, expressed his disgust for the allegations and strongly denied them. He said he was considering ordering me to investigate the alleged incident to prove it didn’t happen. I replied that he should give that careful thought because it might create a narrative that we were investigating him personally, which we weren’t, and because it was very difficult to prove a negative. He said he would think about it and asked me to think about it."
3. March 30 Phone Call:
"I explained that we had briefed the leadership of Congress on exactly which individuals we were investigating and that we had told those Congressional leaders that we were not personally investigating President Trump. I reminded him I had previously told him that."
Of course, we're 'absolutely positive' that everything else CNN has learned and reported from their anonymous sources, regarding Trump and his Russian collusion, is completely accurate and reflect nothing but the highest levels of journalistic integrity. As such, we are quite confident that CNN will promptly retract their erroneous reporting and offer an apology to their readers for the unfortunate mistake.