WOW. That Last New York Times Russia Hoax Attempt Was So Wrong That Even Jake Tapper Called It Out

Yesterday, the New York Time ran a story headlined Russia Backs Trump’s Re-election, and He Fears Democrats Will Exploit Its Support.

As the New York Times tells it (READ New York Times Tries to Jump Start Another Russia Interference Hoax), the DNI official who Dan Coats charged with ensuring the 2020 elections were safeguarded from those wascally Wussians, an apparatchik named Shelby Pierson, pronounced at a February 13 meeting of the House Intelligence Committee that the Russians were, again, intent upon electing Donald Trump…never mind that the leading Democrat is an actual old-school Commie of the Trotskyite variety.

There is a lot of information missing both from the New York Times story and the companion piece in the Washington Post. For instance, there is no mention of what the evidence was. We don’t know which agencies concurred with the opinion. We don’t know their level of confidence in the assessment. We don’t even know how Pierson defended her presentation in the face of reported pushback by House Republicans.

Today, CNN’s Jake Tapper offers a conflicting narrative:

Just some thoughts on this.

Of course, Russia is trying to interfere in our elections. So is China which has extensive investment in mainstream US media. We do the same. It’s the cost of business if you live in a nation where you actually vote in meaningful elections. The Russians having developed a working relationship with Trump should be viewed as a good thing. There is no evidence that he is as in thrall to Putin as was Obama (take a close look at Obama’s policies after he had “more flexibility”). There is a great deal of evidence that he’s quite willing to kill Russians if he’s crossed. They will learn to work with the next president, too, but stability and predictability in international affairs is important to nations.

If, as Tapper reports, the first that Trump heard of this dog’s breakfast of failure was from a GOP member of Congress, he should have vaporized DNI Joseph Maguire right on the spot. The guy was either guilty of the worst sort of disloyalty or he’s stupid beyond comprehension. Under either scenario, he doesn’t need to be running the nation’s intelligence apparatus. Again, if Tapper’s reporting is correct, and even House Democrats were disputing the briefing, then that shows there was something terribly wrong. When it gets to the point where the House Democrats won’t swallow any bullsh** that makes Trump look bad–hook, line, and sinker–your stuff is really, really weak.

So how, then, do we get accounts at such wide variance from one another? The New York Times, and its junior partner the Washington Post, are desperate for some kind of fake scandal to throw at President Trump since the last dozen or so have dried up and blown away. The formula of Russia + nebulous evidence + sources that may or may not exist is tried and true. But when you look inside the New York Times reporting you see hints that they knew exactly what Tapper just reported. For instance, this is how that story describes the briefer, compare it to the Tapper tweet:

That intelligence official, Shelby Pierson, is an aide to Mr. Maguire who has a reputation of delivering intelligence in somewhat blunt terms.

Tapper says everyone pushed back on the analysis, this is what the Washington Post says:

Other people familiar with the briefing described it as a contentious re-litigating of a previous intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in 2016 to help Trump. Republican members asked why the Russians would want to help Trump when he has levied punishing sanctions on their country, and they challenged Pierson to back up her claim with evidence. It is unclear how she responded.

It seems like the New York Times decided to frame it as Russia-likes-Trump both to set a narrative for the remainder of the election season and prepare the battlefield for the real prize which is the fight for the next DNI by making a case that Trump can’t be allowed to appoint his choice to that position.

 

 

streiff
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