It is “our job,” not Trump’s, to “control exactly what people think,” gasped MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski last month. This week’s gasp from the media assumes a slightly different form and can be translated as: It is our job, not Trump’s, to push stories about the government investigation of Trumpworld.
For months, the media, drawing upon criminal leaks from Obama holdovers, has been saying in effect: Trumpworld is under investigation for ties to Russia! Then Trump says essentially the same thing on Twitter and the media freaks out. Why does the latter merit condemnation but not the former?
Notice what is happening here: The Obama holdovers are denying the import of the very stories that they planted. Where did the liberal BBC’s story (building on a story first reported by Heat Street) on intelligence agencies receiving a FISA court warrant to investigate Russian-Trumpworld ties come from? It came from a “senior member of the US intelligence community”:
On 15 October, the US secret intelligence court issued a warrant to investigate two Russian banks. This news was given to me by several sources and corroborated by someone I will identify only as a senior member of the US intelligence community. He would never volunteer anything – giving up classified information would be illegal – but he would confirm or deny what I had heard from other sources.
Notice on the Sunday talk shows that Obama’s CIA director John Brennan did not appear. Yet he served as the genesis of this investigation, according to the BBC story:
It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States. The CIA cannot act domestically against American citizens so a joint counter-intelligence taskforce was created.
The taskforce included six agencies or departments of government. Dealing with the domestic, US, side of the inquiry, were the FBI, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Justice. For the foreign and intelligence aspects of the investigation, there were another three agencies: the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic spying.
Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.
Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.
Why did this article appear? Because John Brennan wanted it to. He just didn’t expect Trump to call him on it. Now the Obama embeds who used the press to smear Trump now demand it disclaim the storyline they stoked. How dare anyone suggest we were investigating the Trump campaign!
Forget about all the endless parsing of claims and lawyerly denials from the Jim Clappers. The bottom line is that John Brennan and his band of anti-Trump saboteurs sought to investigate the Trump campaign. That is the story. The Chuck Todds want people to miss the forest for the trees. That’s why Todd didn’t press Clapper on his as-far-as-I-know style denial. A serious questioner would have asked Jim Clapper to respond directly to the BBC paragraphs quoted above. A serious questioner would have also asked: Why are you here and not John Brennan? Why are you here and not Loretta Lynch?
Notice as well that FBI director Jim Comey’s quasi-denial on Sunday didn’t come from an appearance or even a press release but from a leaked news story, which was designed not to eliminate confusion but to increase it. We’re told that he wants the Justice Department to issue a denial. But to deny what? That the U.S. government ever sought to investigate the Trump campaign? To deny the Heat Street and BBC stories (which Trump was in effect repeating) that Comey didn’t ask the Justice Department to deny after they actually appeared?
The line in the BBC story that Congressional investigators should focus on like a laser beam is: “Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him.” This line, which was fed to the BBC by Brennan or one of his aides, contains the seed of the overreach to which Trump was drawing attention. Brennan wasn’t so much “worried” by the half-baked intelligence as excited by it and the pretext it furnished for a fishing expedition at Trump Tower. What stage that expedition reached — Did they only seek a FISA warrant but not get one? Did they get one but not actually wiretap Trump Tower? and so on — is of less importance than that it was launched at all.