Accuracy in Media

With the Mueller investigation unraveling in the face of accusations the FBI and various national security agencies were determined to get President Trump from the outset, the mainstream media has begun to strike back.

In a story entitled, “Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked,” the Washington Post took the lead with a lengthy piece that asks why the president won’t simply accept the Democrats’ and mainstream media’s increasingly discredited view of the level and scope of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The president continues to “reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House,” the piece claims.

“The situation is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president – and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality – have impaired the government’s response to a national security threat. The repercussions radiate across the government.”

As has become custom, the Post admitted its detailed criticism of the president and his handling of information related to Russia came from 50 unnamed sources whom it identifies as “current and former U.S. officials, many of whom had senior roles in the Trump campaign and transition team or have been in high-level positions at the White House or at national security agencies” – in other words, every single one a possible enemy of the president.

The story hangs on a quote that does have a name attached – that of Michael Hayden, CIA director under President George W. Bush and, like a lot of alums of that administration, a fierce critic of President Trump.

Trump’s refusal to say Russia interfered in our election is “an understandably human reaction,” Hayden said, because, as another unnamed source points out, “the idea that he’s been put into office by Vladimir Putin is pretty insulting.”

Hayden made the point it’s tough to respond to future threats from Russia when the president won’t accept the version of events delivered from the intelligence community he regards with distrust.

“What the president has to say is, ‘We know the Russians did it, they know they did it, I know they did it, and we will not rest until we learn everything there is to know about how and do everything possible to prevent it from happening again,’ Hayden said in an interview. Trump ‘has never said anything close to that and will never say anything close to that.’”

The Post says the Putin government is still high-fiving over the “success” of its operation to infiltrate our presidential campaign. For less than $500,000 in Internet ads, it has not realized a lot of policy success, the story admits – the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has not been recognized, sanctions imposed for Russian intervention in Ukraine have not been lifted and the “wave of diplomatic retaliation,” which has cost Russia a variety of compounds, including its San Francisco consulate, has not been ended.

But because the Post believes the Kremlin hates Hillary Clinton and worked hard to help Trump defeat her, it quotes its unnamed “U.S. officials” as saying the Russians consider the operation a “resounding, if incomplete” success.

The story then goes on to cite still more unnamed sources as saying President Trump does not like to hear about Russian interference in the election in his daily intelligence briefings … that briefers write it in their reports but don’t bring it up orally, that some briefers adjust the order of their presentation to “soften the impact” and that talks of Russia take “the PDF (Presidential Daily Briefing) off the rails.”

It then quotes, by name, a Trump White House official saying he listens to all the information, even about Russia, and that it is prepared by senior career intelligence officers who don’t spare him critical news.

Then, in the next line, it shows the bias that drove the entire project: “Trump’s aversion to the intelligence, and the dilemma that poses for top spies, has created a confusing dissonance on issues related to Russia.”

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