WSJ’s Strassel Destroys Stacked Anti-Trump Panel on ‘Meet the Press’ With Facts

The liberal network shows were all busy Sunday morning pushing accusations and speculation about President Trump and his adviser Jared Kushner. Their discussion was driven by more anonymous sources telling The Washington Post that Kushner tried to set up a backchannel discussion between Trump and the Russians to talk about Syria. CNN even accused the action of being “treasonous.” The hysteria was also present on NBC’s Meet the Press, but theirs was shattered by The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel after she introduced facts to the discussion.

“I think we are having a discussion that is absolutely divorced from reality this week. It is astonishing,” she quipped as she reminded them of how then candidate Obama (not President-elect Obama) set up a highly covert back channel with the Iranians:

Let me set the scene for you: It’s 2008, we are having an election and candidate Obama, he’s not even president elect, sends William Miller over to Iran to establish a backchannel, and let the Iranians know should he win the election they will have friendlier terms. Okay? So this is a private citizen going to foreign soil, obviously in order to evade U.S. intelligence monitoring and establishing a backchannel with a sworn enemy of the United States who was actively disrupting our efforts in the military in the Middle East.

Joining Strassel on the panel was MSNBC’s loony Joy Reid who’s normally wildly triggered by anything outside of her worldview. She lived up to expectations and completely dismissed Obama’s back channeling with the radical Iranians. “In October, the collective judgment of the 17 intelligence agencies had been: Russia had been taking active measures to interfere with our elections. Quite a difference. We don’t think that Iran was doing that,” she argued.

Reid then leaned on more anonymously sourced claims and raised questions about Kushner trying to negotiate business deals with the Russians for Trump. But Strassel deflated Reid’s enthusiasm, noting that “we don’t know the answers to any of those questions because what we’re getting here are half leaks and anonymously by sources.”

“You have to follow the money, you have to follow the meetings, the lies, the attempts to derail this investigation,” loudly exclaimed former conservative talk show host turned token anti-Trump Republican, Charlie Sykes. He seemed to have conveniently forgotten how acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey had previously testified to Congress that there had been no attempts made to interfere with the investigation.

After Strassel had noted that perhaps the Trump transition didn’t want Obama officials listening into those conversations, Reid jumped to the defense of Obama’s administration. “Are you telling me that the now elected Trump administration did not trust John Brennan that somehow these straight arrow guys in our intelligence services were going to now work to actively undermine, are they now seeing them as some sort of dissidents,” she wondered.

Strassel again ripped Reid’s “these straight arrow guys” argument to tatters with the facts, this time about the unconstitutional actions of Obama’s NSA:

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One of the most interesting pieces of news that actually came out this week, was the FISA court revelation that they said that the Obama administration had been actively engaged in abusing fourth amendment protections by unmasking people’s identities on a routine basis, which they did not acknowledge to the court. And which they said, brought up major, major concerns. So maybe you wouldn’t trust that team in fact.

This is the first time that story had made its way onto any network news program. They and the liberal cable channels seem to be having a total blackout since Wednesday.

“Who said that? Who is the source of that information,” demanded Reid frantically. “The FISA court,” Strassel calmly responded. Reid’s only reaction was to blurt out the tired and untrue line that FISA warrants were hard to get. Strassel called Reid’s nonsense out, saying: “You are not talking about what I just mentioned.”

Moderator Chuck Todd saved Reid some of the embarrassment by cutting off discussion and going to a commercial.

The showing by Strassel demonstrates how the liberal media is constantly craving news stories that are damaging to the Trump administration, no matter the facts behind them. In their minds, Trump is guilty beyond doubt and they’re itchy for a conviction despite the public evidence or lack thereof. 

Transcript below:

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NBC
Meet the Press
May 28, 2017
11:10:00 AM Eastern

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: I think we are having a discussion that is absolutely divorced from reality this week. It is astonishing. Let me set the scene for you:

It’s 2008, we are having an election and candidate Obama, he’s not even president elect, sends William Miller over to Iran to establish a backchannel, and let the Iranians know should he win the election they will have friendlier terms. Okay? So this is a private citizen going to foreign soil, obviously in order to evade U.S. intelligence monitoring and establishing a backchannel with a sworn enemy of the United States who was actively disrupting our efforts in the military in the Middle East.

So, is that bad judgment? Is that a bad thing that happened? Backchannels are completely normal, they happen all the time. Reagan did them, Obama did them, everyone did. So, I am not quite sure why, supposedly having at least the President is now elected setting up a backchannel with the Russians, it is somehow out of bounds.

JOY REID: Well, here is one key difference. In October, months before this latest meeting and it was 18 separate contacts that we know of between the Trump Campaign and Russia, our primary adversary in the world.

STRASSEL: And a major super power.

REID: In October, the collective judgment of the 17 intelligence agencies had been: Russia had been taking active measures to interfere with our elections. Quite a difference. We don’t think that Iran was doing that. So we know that was happening in October. So in December, the now President-Elect decides he's going to name Jim Mattis his secretary of defense. But he doesn’t open a backchannel, he sends his real estate developer son-in-law supposedly-- or the real estate development son-in-law decides to open this backchannel.

REID: Then, if it is a channel about opening up negotiations in terms of something realistic-- in terms of something about foreign policy. Why are they also back-channeling with a bank? A Kremlin-connected Russian bank and why is the Reuters report saying that part of the discussion was a possibility of opening up opportunities for financing for Trump-related – Trump-related—

STRASSEL: But we don’t know the answers to any of those questions because what we’re getting here are half leaks and anonymously by sources.

[Crosstalk]

CHARLIE SYKES: You have to follow the money, you have to follow the meetings, the lies,—

STRASSEL: And we don’t have any of that information.

SYKES: --the attempts to derail this investigation! Don't have any of that information. And the reality here is Jared Kushner and the Trump administrations apparently trusted the Russians more than the intelligence community. Look, how could this not be suspicious?

STRASSEL: Why would you trust—I’m sorry, by the way. We can’t forget that the intelligence services and also the Defense Department were being run by the Obama administration. They had plenty of reasons not to want administrations.

REID: In December, the election was over. In this country, we have a continuity of government, we hand over peaceful power from one party to another all the time and have done so for more than 240 years. Are you telling me that the now elected Trump administration did not trust John Brennan that somehow these straight arrow guys in our intelligence services were going to now work to actively undermine, are they now seeing them as some sort of dissidents? [Crosstalk] That has never happened in the history of the United States.

STRASSEL:  One of the most interesting pieces of news that actually came out this week, was the FISA court revelation that they said that the Obama administration had been actively engaged in abusing fourth amendment protections by unmasking people’s identities on a routine basis, which they did not acknowledge to the court. And which they said, brought up major, major concerns. So maybe you wouldn’t trust that team in fact.

REID: Who said that? Who is the source of that information?

STRASSEL: The FISA court.

REID Do you know how difficult it is to get a FISA warrant against an American citizen—an American person.

STRASSEL: You are not talking about what I just mentioned.

 


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CyberAlerts Foreign Policy Russia Government Agencies Media Bias Debate Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Double Standards Labeling Political Scandals NBC Meet the Press Video Kim Strassel Joy Reid Chuck Todd Donald Trump Jared Kushner Charlie Sykes