Accuracy in Media

President Trump is considering declassifying and un-redacting documents related to the Russia investigation he said in a tweet early Thursday. 

The Washington Post responded with a story reminding readers of the general kookiness of those who suggest there is a cabal among establishment Washington that is out to get Trump.

At 7:19 a.m., Trump tweeted: “The Deep State and the Left, and their vehicle, the Fake News Media, are going Crazy — & they don’t know what to do. The Economy is booming like never before, Jobs are at Historic Highs, soon TWO Supreme Court Justices & maybe Declassification to find Additional Corruption. Wow!”

The Post responded less than three hours later with, “Trump’s declassifying what now?” by Philip Bump.

He quotes an interview Trump did with the Daily Caller in which the reporters asked if he would “be declassifying the FISA documents that have been targeting your campaign?”

Bump then sets about disparaging the entire enterprise. “Both the Daily Caller and Trump are overly broad in describing what’s being talked about,” Bump charged.

“The ‘FISA documents’ ‘targeting’ Trump’s campaign, as the Daily Caller presents it, appears to be a reference to the warrant application made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by the FBI in October 2016 seeking permission to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.”

In the next paragraph, he reminds us “That application didn’t ‘target’ the Trump campaign: It targeted Page, who, in July 2016, while still serving as an adviser to the campaign, traveled to Moscow.”

Bump points out that earlier this year, the administration released a redacted version of the warrant application that included information obtained by Steele.

“The rationale for this was obvious: Trump and his defenders see and present Steele’s intelligence as hopelessly biased and incorrect because most of the information in his dossier of reports has not been publicly verified and because the work was undertaken for Fusion GPS, which was being paid by a law firm that worked for the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign. ‘The Steele dossier’ is often used as a shorthand by Trump allies for ‘biased, untrue information.’”

He did not provide any examples of the president or any member of his administration or supporters using this “shorthand” as described.

Bump then goes on to demean Sara Carter, a reporter who has followed this story from the start. He refers to her as “a regular on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program who often shares reports about new developments in the sprawling theory of anti-Trump conspiracies at the Department of Justice.”

Carter, he wrote, reported Wednesday that Trump may declassify “20 FISA documents Congress wants” – referring to 20 pages of the FISA warrants. “To close observers of this issue, that ‘Congress wants’ should be a giveaway for one of the names in Carter’s story.”

He then goes on to malign Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He tells us Nunes wants the documents declassified because he believes they provide exculpatory evidence about Page that the court should have been told of by the FBI and Department of Justice, but then says:

“Nunes has been at the forefront of defending Trump against what he portrays as fervent Trump opponents in the federal government. It was Nunes, who, in March 2017, publicly defended Trump’s false assertion that the phones at Trump Tower had been wiretapped. It was Nunes who, earlier this year, pushed for the release of a memo summarizing the development of the Page FSA warrant in a way that sought to cast doubt on its objectivity.”

Bump does not say how he knows it to be a false assertion Trump Tower was wiretapped. He did take issue with Monica Crowley tweeting “No wonder we’re now getting a fierce new flurry of anti-Trump attacks” and referencing Carter’s breaking story about declassification.

“It’s safe to say that Bob Woodward’s book … was not hastily written to distract from the possibility that Trump might release 20 pages from a warrant renewal application.”

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