Yesterday, the New York Times ran a rather bizarre little story that said “days” (wtf? we don’t have calendars anymore?) before Comey was fired he asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for more resources. The source was three alleged Congressional aides who were not at the meeting between Comey and Rosenstein AND they were not at the meeting between Comey and their bosses. The story doesn’t say if the request was granted or what the resource request was. What the story tries to do is establish a series of dots that say “Comey asked for more resources. Comey was fired. Therefore Comey was fired because he asked for more resources. OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE.) You’ll note the article studiously avoids saying that but the implication is clear. If you doubt it, check out twitter where the NeverTrumpers were having multiple orgasms.
In short order, two Justice spokesmen, on the record and speaking for Rosenstein, said this request for resources never happened. That should have stopped the story but it didn’t because the second-hand story of anonymous people who weren’t there outweighs on the record statements by one of the meeting attendees every time. And because Trump.
Today, the acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and he was asked about the story:
The FBI’s acting head said on Thursday he believed the agency has sufficient resources to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and he was not aware of any request for more resources.
“If you are referring to the Russia investigation, I do. I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately,” acting FBI director Andrew McCabe told lawmakers, adding that he was unaware of any request by the agency for additional resources.
Day after day we are seeing this. Unfounded and unsourced rumors are reported as news for one reason alone: they hurt Donald Trump. As the old saying goes, a lie travels halfway around the world before the truth can get its pants on. McCabe’s statement is not getting the same exposure as the original allegation. The NYT has not retracted their rumor-masquerading-as-reporting. The breathless television news coverage from yesterday and overheated online commentary are what will be remembered.