Trump Outsmarts the Media, Again

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

Nobody does it better than President Donald Trump. That is, drive the media crazy. And The Washington Post has gone nuts in reacting to the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Remember that Comey botched the Hillary email and Trump/Russia investigations, using in the latter the discredited “Trump Dossier” of gossip that the anti-Trump intelligence community couldn’t even verify.

Comey was in over his head, as we demonstrated in part one of our series, “The final Truth about the Trump Dossier.” He had to resign or be fired.

In addition, Trump blew the whistle on the Russia probe, noting in his firing letter that Comey confirmed that Trump was NOT under investigation. Trump said “…I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation…”

Nevertheless, the Post is convinced that the firing means that Trump is guilty as hell and has dug his own political grave. Look at the headlines from Wednesday’s “Post Most” list of “popular” columns:

  • Firing FBI director Comey is already backfiring on Trump. It’s only going to get worse.
  • After Trump fired Comey, White House staff scrambled to explain why
  • John McCain on Comey firing: ‘There will be more shoes to drop’
  • In the wake of Trump’s brazen firing of Comey, it’s time to go nuclear. Here’s how.
  • Jeffrey Toobin went ballistic about Trump and Comey. It was great TV.
  • If Trump fired Comey over Russia, he must go
  • The Comey debacle only magnifies the Russia mystery
  • The shocking firing of James B. Comey puts new pressure on Trump and his team
  • Trump is mirroring Nixon’s final days
  • Firing Comey is a thuggish abuse of executive power

I am not sure this is an exhaustive list. I listed several that stood out as noteworthy. It is hysteria bordering on mental illness. There isn’t even a pretense of an objective analysis of the facts in the case.

As we noted in part one of our series on the phony dossier, “It appears that the only significant Russia connection the media have left out is the story that Accuracy in Media first broke in 2015 when we revealed retired Lt. General Michael T. Flynn’s attendance at a public conference in Moscow with Russian president Vladimir Putin.”

One big factor in the Post’s hatred of Trump is the role played by Post columnist David Ignatius in getting an illegal leak of classified information about Flynn. The paper wants desperately to divert attention away from the fact that Ignatius can be prosecuted under the law.

As we noted, “Whether Flynn disclosed the entire story about his Russian contacts remains to be seen. The matter is irrelevant to the far more serious issue in Flynn’s case, namely the illegal disclosure of his wiretapped conversations to CIA mouthpiece David Ignatius of The Washington Post. Unraveling how and why this occurred could shed light on the Watergate-style surveillance that President Obama or his aides authorized on the Trump campaign and how the political intelligence was shared with Hillary’s operatives in the bureaucracy.”

One of the above cited Post columns, “The Comey debacle only magnifies the Russia mystery,” is by Ignatius. He calls developments a “dark tale” and claims that the mission of a new FBI director “will include investigating Trump himself.” Yet Trump says Comey confirmed that the FBI is not investigating the President.

In fact, a new FBI director should investigate Ignatius and his CIA-connected employer, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

“Already,” says Ignatius, “congressional pressure is building for an independent counsel—which is the most sensible way to restore a measure of public confidence after this debacle.”

The lack of confidence is in the media. And the Post doesn’t even seem to know or care.

As we argued in our column, “Investigate and Prosecute the Press,” since it’s doubtful that Ignatius will volunteer his testimony and reveal his sources, a subpoena would be necessary. We pointed out, “He can then be prosecuted if, as expected, he conceals the names of those who used him as a conduit for illegal leaks of classified information.”

Trump is the elected President. He had the legal right to fire Comey for incompetence and other flaws outlined in Department of Justice memos. There is no evidence of any illegal activity by Trump, and the President says that Comey cleared him.

The evidence of illegal activity lies with the Post and its anonymous sources in the intelligence community. Publishing a hundred or a thousand anti-Trump columns cannot change this basic fact.

The paper should try to bring some basic standards of objectivity and fairness back to its coverage of the Trump administration. Otherwise, it will continue to be outwitted by Trump and his Tweets. The history of journalism has taken a “dark” turn with a paper whose promise under Trump became “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

We predict the coverage will go from hysterical to laughable, since Bezos can underwrite this kind of material forever. The problem is that the paper’s liberal writers don’t seem to know the difference. At least it’s entertaining. It is a journalistic meltdown on public display.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.


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