‘FBI Sees no Clear Link to Russia.-‘ NY Times Oct 31, 2016
This is why I have so little interest in Beltway journalists carping about Louise Mensch:
Mensch et al: My sources tell me it will rain Tuesday. Tuesday: Any day now. Wednesday: I'm told there was a delay. Thursday: I was right!
— Brendan Nyhan (@BrendanNyhan) May 26, 2017
I know, but my response to Nyhan-over at the NY Times-is ‘Physician, heal thyself.’
Throughout the 2016 election, the Times didn’t exactly cover itself with a blaze of glory. But then again, they didn’t in 1972 either. Let’s go to the videotape:
1. In 1972 hey didn’t cover Watergate at all before the election. They did do some good work after once they hired Seymour Hirsch who did some good work in 1973. But that was way after the election.
2. In 1992 they broke Whitewater. This scandal would basically consume the next seven years and find no wrongdoing other than Bill Clinton having a consensual sexual affair and lying about it. He was mpeached on a strict party line vote. Great job Times. The world sure would have been a worst place if you hadn’t broken Whitewater.
3. They did break Emailgate. A minor email scandal that in conjunction with Russian active measures-if not for false hacked docs from Wikileaks, Comey would not have given that indefensible press conference-‘extremely careless’ indeed-elected Donald Trump.
4. The day of the Comey letter-that derives directly from the active measures of Russian hackers-after all, without the July presser the Oct 28 letter wouldn’t have been necessary-the NY Times literally had no story on the upper half of the Times that wasn’t related to the Comey letter and the ‘damned emails.’
It's a fairly open-and-shut case. But the media's election post-mortems have mostly ignored it because it implicates the media's judgement. pic.twitter.com/cBLifP9WLu
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) April 22, 2017
5. To go from bad to worse, not only did the NYT manage to weaponize what the Washington Post in September, 2016 referred to as a ‘minor email scandal’-the cows had left the barn by then of course-but it simply didn’t cover Trump Russia.
The day in the Summer of 2015, the whole world knew the minute the email probe was opened. Comparatively, the Trump Russia probe had been mentioned when it started in August, 2016, but the media mostly ignored it after that. On October 31, 2016, three days after the NYT’s all email all the time cover, it had this story to shut the door on Trump Russia.
TK the email freakout, Dems like Harry Reid attempted to push back and point out: What about Russia? The Times responded with this headline:
— James Fallows (@JamesFallows) May 27, 2017
It's bizarre that there's never been any explanation of what happened with this story. Who fed it and why? https://t.co/klvflwYcJn
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) May 27, 2017
Indeed, even now the Times continues with the Trump apologetics. While the Post and Reuters were releasing bombshell stories on Jared Kushner’s meetings with Kislyak, the Times was again playing the ‘Nothing to see here’ card:
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) May 27, 2017
Note that most intel guys are scoffing at this Times narrative-it was just a responsible discussion about Syria, yeah that’s it.
So never mind Mensch. The Times ought to stick to its own knitting-or maybe improve it.
I’ve argued with people about Mensch a lot lately-which is too bad as there are far more important things to discuss-like we have a Constitutional crisis in the Oval Office and need to get to the bottom of it. Our very national security is imperiled as well as our system of democracy.
That’s why I normally tell Mensch haters: either read her or move on. But why waste all this time arguing? What matters is not Mensch pro or con, but Trump Russia, full stop.
But as they keep bashing Mensch we have to give her a fair accounting. And the Kushner news is yet another case of the mainstream press catching up with something she broke weeks and months ago.
To be sure, I don’t know that all her details are always 100% correct. But the gist has been right. I had someone arguing that she owed a retraction over the Caroline Conspiracy-which she gave after Weiner pleaded guilty to sexting a minor. But then a few days later it emerged that this young woman indeed may have been older than they’d lead us to believe and that she had sought Weiner out-to entrap him.
This person on Twitter could not see how Mensch who might have gotten some details wrong in Carolina Conspiracy still did better than a MSM that never considered that there was a setup in the Weiner laptop mess.
Who is more wrong? I guess is the question.
1. Someone who rightly gets there was a setup but gets some of the details wrong.
2. Someone who mocks the idea of a setup as ‘lurid conspiracy theories’ when:
3. It turns out there indeed was a setup?
To me, 2 is more wrong and in an important material sense. The person in 1 helps us a lot to get on the right path, whereas 2 has actively harmed our knowledge and information-not deliberately but still they have misinformed us.
Ok, so Jared Kushner and Kiylak. Here’s what Mensch said-remember Devin Nunes?
“On March 3rd, Donald Trump made a series of tweets. Three were about a wiretap at Trump Tower. Two, however, were about Jeff Sessions meeting the Russian ambassador. Those tweets got lost in the resulting storm.”
“Over the past week, Devin Nunes obstructed justice on TV, both announcing that one White House staffer was under investigation and that “a transition team member” was recorded in a FISA intercept.”
As we exclusively reported, that staffer was almost certainly Boris Epshteyn, named by Comey in his first failed FISA application in June.
Also as we exclusively reported, Michael Ellis is suspected of having leaked this material to Nunes.”
“But what would be so bad that it would cause Nunes to rush to the White House to illegally receive top-secret FISA evidence?
“I believe that Jared Kushner is on tape talking to a Russian spy. Worse, I believe that as part of entirely legal and admissible FISA evidence, Donald Trump is also on tape talking to a Russian spy about money laundering.”
Ok. So there are things that are now confirmed and things that have yet to be confirmed. Kushner did talk to a Russian spy-if you consider Kislyak a spy-as many in the intel community do.
On the other hand the Russian banker from the sanctioned Russian bank is: a spy school grad.
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) May 27, 2017
So I think that belief of her’s about Kushner back in late March holds up.
We don’t have that knowledge about Trump money laundering yet. Of course, a Mensch hater will declare: aha! I told you she makes things up!
But that’s jumping ahead. Maybe such a thing does exist. Based on the record you’d have to assume that either that or something as bad or worse did happen.
It’s certainly hard to believe that Kushner did all this without Trump’s authorization. And the FBI is trying to figure out whether that sanctioned banker from spy school offered Russian financing for Trump people in exchange for releasing the sanctions.
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) May 27, 2017
“Kushner had snuck the Russian ambassador secretly into – Trump Tower. And Trump said “MY phones were tapped.” That means – I believe – that legal FISA intercepts involve not only Jared Kushner talking to Russian spies but also, because Trump called in to this secret meeting or meetings within Trump Tower, Donald J. Trump.”
According to the Washington Post piece last night, Kushner became a person of interest for the FBI due to his name being mentioned in Flynn’s conversations with Kisylak on lifting the sanctions on December 29-the day Obama imposed them.
So we’ll have to see going forward which things she says come exactly true. But at least she’s been in the arena. The NY Times for so much of the time hasn’t even tried.
And at this point how can anyone rule out anything Trump related as too farfetched?
Regarding the MSM-and the Times has been a particularly flagrant offender:
Dear US media: After your systemic failure as an institution in 2016, you are RE-auditioning for credibility with the public.
— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) May 27, 2017
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.