The report issued recently by the Inspector General of the Justice Department condemned former FBI director James Comey’s for mishandling sensitive government documents and for what it said were his deceitful comments about it. It was a blockbuster but it is reportedly just the latest bombshell to drop about Comey as the story of the Russia “collusion” investigation unfolds. So there will doubtless be more occasions to comment on his and several of his colleagues’ apparent disregard of various Department of Justice policies and protocols.
Preliminarily, though, it would appear that some of President Trump’s allegations about there being a “deep state” committed to the undermining of his presidency may well be documented very soon. We’ll wait and see.
But we hasten to also note the recent retraction of a damning story about Trump by MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell which tends to support the president’s claim that the systematic, relentless challenges that have been mounted against his presidency were aided and abetted by a compliant media that allegedly, regularly produced “fake news” about him.
Thus, O’Donnell had reported that Russian billionaires close to Russian President Vladimir Putin had co-signed on a loan that was given to president Trump’s private companies by a foreign bank. This was a very big deal given the allegations that Trump often acted as if he were beholden to Putin.
True, O’Donnell said that he had only one unconfirmed source for his story, and added an “if true” caveat to it. And as it turned out, the story was not true. Indeed, he would only have had to go online where the documents were available to review them to find that out. Any way, he retracted the story because it was not properly vetted but insisted that “We don’t know whether the information is inaccurate but the fact is we do know it wasn’t ready for broadcast and for that I apologize.”
So he is not willing to push the delete button on a story that is demonstrably false preferring to gratuitously leave it out there for the convenience of anyone looking for dirt on Donald Trump.
And then, citing “a person directly involved in the discussions,” CNN reported that in 2017, the CIA was forced to extract one of its highest level spies in Russia because “President Donald Trump and his administration repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.”
Several hours after the CNN story, however, the New York Times reported that the CIA “made the arduous decision in late 200 6 to offer to extract the [spy] from Russia,” because of increasing prying by the media.
So the decision to pluck their intelligence asset was made before Trump even entered office.
Is this the sort of thing Trump labels “fake news?” No doubt. But more importantly, it has to be understood that the issue of fake news goes well beyond the president. As we have been urging since the 2016 elections and the advent of the anti-Trump Resistance, all of us are in peril if there are different rules for different people–if the under-the-radar maneuverings by powerful rogue governmental officials and media pursuing their own agendas are left unchecked or go unnoticed.