Americans often think of the press as completely separate from government, an independent group of people interested in the objective truth.
We still tend to imagine reporters as noble people keeping bureaucrats accountable. It’s a quaint view shaped by newsmen of yesteryear: Cronkite, Woodward and Bernstein, just the facts, ma’am.
Increasingly, however, it looks like the mainstream media has become a sort of propaganda wing of the state — and the recent FBI scandal centered on former Director James Comey makes the relationship between reporters and government elitists look even more incestuous.
According to The Federalist, emails have now been revealed which raise serious questions about two-way leaking between the media and top Department of Justice officials.
The messages, which were made public by the U.S. Senate, suggest that not only were FBI leaders passing sensitive information to reporters, the bureau was also receiving tips and inside information from the press, mainly CNN.
This suggests that despite acting like independent groups with very different missions, the FBI and outlets like CNN were “teaming up” with the apparent goal of undermining an American president: Donald J. Trump.
“Newly revealed e-mails show that former Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) deputy director Andrew McCabe was keenly aware of CNN’s internal understanding of a secret briefing about the infamous Steele dossier, days before CNN published any stories on the matter,” explained The Federalist.
One of the key points of the emerging scandal is that CNN knew about a classified briefing between FBI Director Comey and President-elect Trump regarding the Steele dossier suspiciously soon, and it is all but certain that this information came from a leak.
Bizarrely, however, the entire reason cited by Comey for his decision to brief Trump about the salacious dossier is that CNN was preparing to go public with its contents.
“Comey claimed that he was compelled to brief Trump on the dossier because ‘CNN had (it) and was ‘looking for a news hook,'” stated The Federalist.
In other words, it was chicken-and-egg circular reasoning, which raises the strong possibility that outlets like CNN were quietly working hand in hand with the FBI the entire time.
Leaks occurring back and forth — from the FBI to CNN, and then from CNN to the FBI — indicate that there was frequent information sharing between the DOJ and the press.
“Two days after the (Comey-Trump) briefing, on January 8, 2017, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who earlier this year was fired and then referred for criminal prosecution by the DOJ inspector general for repeatedly lying about media leaks, wrote an e-mail to top FBI officials with the subject, ‘Flood is coming,'” The Federalist elaborated.
“CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story,” McCabe declared as a known fact in that email. “Sensitive story” was an established euphemism for the anti-Trump Steele dossier.
“The trigger for them is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment,” the deputy director of the FBI continued to his staff.
One major question now being raised by The Federalist and others is this: How in the world did McCabe know that an independent news outlet was about to publish a story about the dossier?
Even if he discovered this information through legitimate means, how did McCabe specifically know exactly what the “trigger” or decision factor was that prompted the news outlet to go forward? This suggests insider knowledge of top-level CNN meetings.
There’s a major clue buried in the center of the scandal. When CNN published its news report, it claimed that Trump was given a two-page summary of the dossier by Comey.
Strangely, Comey denies that this two-page summary was ever given by him to the president. The former FBI director may be dishonest, but there seems to be no reason for him to lie about this.
In other words, CNN seemed to have included a specific detail — the two-page summary — that wasn’t part of the briefing between Comey and Trump. They were told, and reported, a detail that ended up not being correct.
It is very possible that they were basing their claim on information that had come from a leak. And who might that have been?
“Comey himself later claimed that he did not give the two-page document to Trump, raising questions about whether McCabe himself was a source for CNN’s assertion that Trump had been given the entire two-page document during the briefing,” stated The Federalist.
Remember, the entire reason McCabe was investigated and fired was for improper communication — leaking — to the news media.
Perhaps most suspiciously, the FBI and its director seemed completely uninterested in investigating the massive leaks that were constantly occurring.
“To date, there is no public evidence that the FBI ever investigated the leaks to media about the briefing between Trump and Comey,” reported The Federalist.
“When asked in a recent interview by Fox News Channel’s Bret Baier, Comey scoffed at the idea that the FBI would even need to investigate the leak of a secret briefing with the incoming president,” the outlet continued.
If CNN and top FBI officials, perhaps even McCabe, were secretly working together in an attempt to discredit and undermine Trump, it would be the scandal of the century.
Nixon was brought down during Watergate because intrepid reporters believed — mostly correctly — that it was their job to keep government bureaucrats honest. Imagine if they didn’t work to find the truth, but instead conspired directly with corrupt officials to advance their political agenda.
The American people deserve answers, but it looks like they won’t be coming from establishment sources like CNN or MSNBC. They will come from the new media, and the power of the truth to emerge even when buried.
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