Yesterday, the Daily Beast posted a story, that if true, was a nothingburger of the first order. The headline used to read (used to, being the operative phrase here) Devin Nunes Won’t Say If He Worked With White House on Anti-FBI Memo.” This was the sub=head:
The House intel committee GOP leader refused to answer behind closed doors if he coordinated with the president’s team on his report blasting Rosenstein, Comey, and McCabe
The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee refused to answer when a colleague asked him if he had coordinated his incendiary surveillance memo with the White House, The Daily Beast has learned.
In the story they state that during the debate over the release of the memo on abuses of the Trump dossier by the FBI this happened: “According to sources familiar with the exchange, Nunes made a few comments that didn’t answer the question before finally responding, “I’m not answering.”
I’m not sure what the implication of this is. All manner of lefties and never-Trumpers, to the extent you can even tell the difference anymore, were whinging about the Intelligence Committee not sharing information with the Executive Branch so one would have thought Nunes working with the White House on the document was a good thing. Now some mouthbreather who heads up the David Brock AstroTurf organization CREW (he’s billed as an “ethics lawyer” from the Obama administration, donchaknow?) is trying to claim the head of a Congressional committee talking to the White House about an oversight action is, naturally, “obstruction,” or maybe “collusion.” But one of those things.
Now the House Intelligence Committee has released the transcript of the meeting. It tells a bit different story.
This is the way Spencer Ackerman and Betsy Woodruff report the event is like this:
During Monday’s contentious closed-door committee meeting, Rep. Mike Quigley, a Democrat, asked Nunes point-blank if his staffers had been talking with the White House as they compiled a four-page memo alleging FBI and Justice Department abuses over surveillance of President Trump’s allies in the Russia probe.
According to sources familiar with the exchange, Nunes made a few comments that didn’t answer the question before finally responding, “I’m not answering.”
This is the actual way it went down.
Two things are very obvious.
First, Nunes didn’t refuse to answer. He says “as far as I know, no.” In the context of the question, which was directed at the “majority” not at Nunes in person, that is a conclusive “No, I did not.”
Secondly, at no point did Nunes say “I’m not answering” or anything approaching it.
When confronted with the lie, Woodruff simply told another lie:
Per our reporting yesterday, Nunes didn't answer a question from Quigley about coordination between his staff and the White House. Transcript says, "The chair will not entertain" pic.twitter.com/Sv9bXvvrKC
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) January 31, 2018
The “will not entertain” is to shut the badgering by Rep. Quigley (don’t know if he’s known as “Down Under” or not)
Daily Beast has since edited its headline and inserted a mealy-mouthed "correction" that is also false. A denial and a non-denial are not substantively the same. False subhed and lede are still up. pic.twitter.com/NxhSsGzPSV
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 31, 2018
Now the headline is “Did Devin Nunes Work With White House on Anti-FBI Memo? ‘Far as I Know, No.’”
The rest of the reporting remains filled with lies. They still include the “refuse to answer” part when it is not in the transcript.
This is not a mistake. This is a bald-faced lie. It is character assassination. And when caught these two douchenozzles refuse to correct their story.