Accuracy in Media

Journalist Seth Abramson took to Twitter Monday to point out every lie Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in her first news conference since the Paul Manafort indictment was announced.

In the process, Abramson demonstrated how far the mainstream media will go to concoct anti-Trump stories.

He lined up a series of Sanders’ comments, then sought to expose them.

“Trump has no intention or plan to fire Mueller,” he wrote, relaying Sanders’ comments. “FALSE: Trump told the NYT that if Mueller crosses a certain ‘red line’ he could be fired.”

The administration has been asked many times in many different ways whether it would fire Mueller. The president and two of his top aides – attorneys Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow – said Monday they were not considering firing Mueller.

Second: “The charges and plea announced today had ‘nothing to do with the president’s campaign or campaign activity.’ FALSE: … Manafort lied to the FBI while Trump’s campaign manager and used his illegally gotten, Putin-linked funds to work for Trump ‘for free.’ So Trump was the direct beneficiary – to the tune of saving ‘many millions’ in consulting fees – of Manafort’s money from Russia.

It is preposterous to argue Trump would pay Manafort “many millions” when Manafort did not join the campaign until just before the Republican National Convention in June. Trump self-funded most of his campaign. He could have afforded Manafort, even at these inflated prices, if he had so chosen.

“There’s clear evidence” Clinton colluded with Russian intelligence, Sanders said.

“FALSE,” Abramson said. “This is false on almost too many grounds to mention. A start: Clinton’s camp ‘continued’ payments started by *Republicans* to a firm that contracted with *another* firm whose sources were *non-FSB.*”

Clinton did not collude with the Russians because someone else – as we now know, a conservative website that was conducting routine investigations on all the candidates – began the payments. There was a subcontractor involved and some of the sources were not directly connected to the government.

“The dossier ‘smears’ the president,” Sanders said.

“FALSE,” Abramson responded. “Every piece of information in the dossier that can be confirmed so far *has* been confirmed.” The others can’t be confirmed because they are not true. He says the FBI “believes the dossier.” 

Abramson then turned to George Papadopoulos, the volunteer campaign staffer who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about when he met with a Russian professor who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“Papadopoulos is in trouble only for not telling the truth,” Sanders said.

“FALSE. The WH implies the underlying activities were all okay. They were not,” Abramson wrote.

Papadopoulos pleaded to making false statements so he could cooperate with the FBI – not, apparently, because he was guilty of making false statements, according to Abramson, who also said Papadopoulos’ activities were “campaign sanctioned.” 

Those connected with the campaign described him as a minor staffer whose efforts to make contacts with the Russians were routinely discouraged by those above him.

Abramson is a lawyer, a professor, a pundit who has appeared on CNN, PBS, BBC, MSNBC, NPR, the Washington Post and elsewhere. That he would twist words and offer these excuses tells you where the mainstream media’s mindset is. 

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