Acosta, Blitzer Knock ‘Right-Wing Narrative’ by ‘Conservative Media’ of Bias Inside FBI, Mueller Probe

Early Friday afternoon, CNN host Wolf Blitzer and rabble-rouser/senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta sought to throw cold water on any questions surrounding the Mueller probe into possible Trump-Russia collusion, denouncing concerns “as a right-wing narrative” promulgated by “conservative media” to influence President Trump.

Following a clip of the President attacking the FBI’s institutional credibility, Blitzer lobbed a softball to Acosta about whether Trump’s “comments help fuel what is seen as a right-wing narrative that the independent investigation right now — Robert Mueller's investigation is biased.”

 

 

Acosta began by stating his obvious agreement, pronouncing that Trump’s tweets about the FBI are “an echo of what it being said on conservative media about this Muller investigation.”

“You have a lot of people in conservative media these days attacking the Mueller investigation, pointing to that FBI agent who was reassigned whose texts, I guess, denigrating the president and came to light. The President was obviously seizing on that when he was leaving the White House earlier this morning,” Acosta added.

He continued on with his latest sermonette to the CNN faithful:

But Wolf, it's interesting to note the President was making the comments as he was heading down to a FBI national academy down in Quantico. At that ceremony, he praised federal and local law enforcement officials but it was here at the White House where the president was saying it's a shame what happened to the FBI and that a lot of people are very angry about what's happening at the FBI. It appears the President is essentially echoing what he is hearing in conservative media. 

What’s interesting was that the pair seemed to give zero thought to the possibility that this matter should be thoroughly examined in both the interest of transparency and the benefit of the investigation. 

One prevailing thought in the media has been if the President has nothing to hide, then he should be more cooperative with the Special Counsel. Using that logic, the same should be expected of the FBI when it comes to snuffing out claims of political bias. Most reasonable people should and do believe that the FBI (and CIA) are among the country's most cherished institutions. Simple questions don't harm that credibility.

The other tidbit is how the media have defended the Mueller probe to the ends of the earth, but did the opposite with the Ken Starr investigation into the Clintons. My colleague Rich Noyes published a fascinating story that showcased the press’s viciousness roughly two decades ago when the subject of a special counsel investigation was a Democratic President. To find that story, go here.

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Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s Wolf on December 15:

CNN’s Wolf
December 15, 2017
1:17 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: Jim, the President also insisted that there’s been no evidence as he always said of collusion with Russia between his campaign and the Russians. Do his comments help fuel what is seen as a right-wing narrative that the independent investigation right now — Robert Mueller's investigation is biased? 

JIM ACOSTA: I think it certainly does, Wolf, and I also think it also is an echo of what it being said on conservative media about this Muller investigation. You have a lot of people in conservative media these days attacking the Mueller investigation, pointing to that FBI agent who was reassigned whose texts, I guess, denigrating the president and came to light. The President was obviously seizing on that when he was leaving the White House earlier this morning. But Wolf, it's interesting to note the President was making the comments as he was heading down to a FBI national academy down in Quantico. At that ceremony, he praised federal and local law enforcement officials but it was here at the White House where the president was saying it's a shame what happened to the FBI and that a lot of people are very angry about what's happening at the FBI. It appears the President is essentially echoing what he is hearing in conservative media. Now, at the same time, another thing the President said on the South Lawn of the White House is that we’ll see when it comes to whether he would pardon Michael Flynn, who pled guilty a couple weeks ago to lying to federal investigators in the Russia investigation. He said we’ll see whether Michael Flynn might get pardoned. I asked Ty Cobb, who is a White House lawyer over here about that and here's what he said to me. He is essentially saying no, that is not under consideration at this point, but he gave us a brief statement if we put it up on screen and he said that is not being considered over here at the white house. Of course, that leaves open the possibility that it might be considered down the road, that it might be considered by the President’s attorneys outside of the White House, but it is a bit of a contradiction when you have the White House lawyer saying no, that is not under consideration and, yet, the President of the United States as he was leaving the White House said it is something that he isn’t closing the door on. He didn’t rule it out. He said we’ll see. There you see it right there. “There is no consideration being given to [a pardon for] Michael Flynn.” So, Wolf, once again, as the President is calling this investigation a hoax and so on, there — there seems to be conflicting signals as to how the White House is handling the President’s legal defense in this investigation, Wolf.


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