Hysteria on CNN Set: Dismisses Dossier Concerns in Memo, Touts Use of Biased Sources

It was as if an asteroid was on its way to CNN’s D.C. bureau on Friday when the Republican House Intelligence Committee memo was released as CNN analysts and reporters did everything in their power to dismiss the memo and defend Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS. 

CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger concocted perhaps the biggest pretzel of them all, dismissing the memo’s concerns about an anti-Trump, leftist bias by Steele and Fusion GPS that put together the dossier because, well, people rely on biased sources to get to the truth all the time.

 

 

Borger credited Shimon Prokupecz for pointing out to her that “informants are not always as clear as the snow” but, as former Republican Congressman Mike Rogers (Mich.) pointed out, was “just the opposite.”

“So you want to say, well, Steele was dealing with Democrats or was paid by Democrats. I mean, you can get good information from sources who come at you with a — with a bias one way or another, can't you,” Borger complained.

Sure, but doing Steele’s bidding for months and months using the shield of anonymous sources totally undermines Borger’s point. If he were as biased as you claim, might it have behooved CNN and others to make that clarification that your sources might have had axes to grind?

On cue, Rogers agreed:

Remember, you're actually — if you're paying an informant to give you information in a criminal organization, trust me, that person is committing or has committed crimes prior to that in order to get there. So their veracity is always a little bit in question. That's why you would filter in other aspects of this, which they don't tell you that information. 

Following a meltdown earlier in the hour, CNN political director David Chalian trashed “Trump supporters” as seizing on the memo along with “the whole Fox News echo chamber, but they are going to point to...this political document from the majority staff in the House Intelligence Committee, that Steele was talking to Michael Isikoff of Yahoo news in September of 2016 in violation of — of rules to do so as an FBI source by talking to the media before the FISA application.”

However, what’s most egregious is that CNN Justice correspondent Evan Perez is even allowed to cover the memo considering his conflicts of interests with Fusion GPS. At any rate, Perez tried to separate the memo from what he considers true criticism of the FBI: 

[L]ook, there are some things here that probably will bother Americans about how this was done. But it's different from, you know, saying someone made a mistake from saying they were acting on a partisan point of view or trying to stop Donald Trump or trying to act for partisan purposes which I think is where the FBI really takes offense about what happened here. There may have been mistakes that were made by some people in leadership, but it wasn't necessarily for partisan purposes.

Here’s the relevant transcript from CNN’s Inside Politics on February 2:

CNN’s Inside Politics
February 2, 2018
12:40 p.m. Eastern

EVAN PEREZ: But it's very important to remember that you can — as you said, there can be mistakes that were made by the FBI, and look, there are some things here that probably will bother Americans about how this was done. But it's different from, you know, saying someone made a mistake from saying they were acting on a partisan point of view or trying to stop Donald Trump or trying to act for partisan purposes which I think is where the FBI really takes offense about what happened here. There may have been mistakes that were made by some people in leadership, but it wasn't necessarily for partisan purposes. At least that's the point of view of the FBI and I think what you see in this memo is obviously they believe that the fact that this dossier was used is the end of the story. It's the beginning of the end of this memo. They believe it should never have been used and it's important, by the way, to remember that the law was written by these members of Congress — by the way, they just reauthorized a section of the FISA law. 

DANA BASH: It’s a great point.

PEREZ: And they knew what was in these documents that they reviewed, and they made no significant changes. So, you know, if you are so bothered by the way the FBI carries out FISAs, then maybe they should change the law.

(...)

DAVID CHALIAN: The Trump supporters, there’s no doubt, we saw it in the whole Fox News echo chamber, but they are going to point to — maybe it was Jim this mentioned this, perhaps it was Manu, that Steele, according to, again, this political document from the majority staff in the House Intelligence Committee, that Steele was talking to Michael Isikoff of Yahoo news in September of 2016 in violation of — of rules to do so as an FBI source by talking to the media before the FISA application and that he should have been already fired at the time of the first application for FISA. You see some Republican commentary, but you are going to see a lot of Trump supporters and perhaps from Republicans more broadly to start using this to rally around the notion that too much has been made of this. There are some, you know, chinks in the armor here. That’s how they would see it.

(....)

MIKE ROGERS: But again, we're not seeing the whole thing and that’s why I think —

BORGER: Well, we’re also not — we’re also not seeing — we’re not seeing what they received. We're not seeing what the judge received as, yes, we got this, we got this, we got this information, we got that information. What see here is something that I think is become portrayed as quite nefarious in its own way, that the FBI know, according to this, that they had a biased source here important source in Steele, and that they hid it. They're effectively saying they kept it a secret, and that as a result, they were — Steele, who was trafficking in what may have been bad information. So you have these two charges, which are nefarious when you think about it, against the FBI, but what we don't know is the rest of the information that the judge — that the judge had. 

(....)

BORGER: Can I just point out something that my colleague Shimon has just texted to me which I think is an important point and you can probably speak to this and his point is informants are not always as clear as the snow that, you know —

ROGERS: Just the opposite.

BORGER: — just the opposite. So you want to say, well, Steele was dealing with Democrats or was paid by Democrats. I mean, you can get good information from sources who come at you with a — with a bias one way or another, can't you? So —

ROGERS: Oh, that's the whole nature of these things. 

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: And if you’re confirming that information.

ROGERS: Remember, you're actually — if you're paying an informant to give you information in a criminal organization, trust me, that person is committing or has committed crimes prior to that in order to get there. So their veracity is always a little bit in question. That's why you would filter in other aspects of this, which they don't tell you that information. 

BORGER: Exactly. 

HENDERSON: And we don’t know about them from them.

BORGER: Exactly, so I think that's a good point. 

NB Daily Surveillance Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats #ReleaseTheMemo FBI CNN Inside Politics Video David Chalian Evan Perez Gloria Borger Devin Nunes
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