ABC Pushes Claim Trump Committed 'Treasonous' Act, Speculate Blackmail

During Monday’s edition of World News Tonight, ABC demonstrated what they really thought of President Trump when they pushed political accusations that he committed an act of treason during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And that’s not hyperbole. The on-screen headline ABC ran with stated it definitively: “Critics: Trump’s Press Conference ‘Treasonous’”. The over the top person they were elevating was Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan, who had unraveled on Twitter earlier that day. In his tweet, he angrily declared:

Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???

Before getting to Brennan’s smear, ABC chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas promoted a similar suggestion from failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “In the hours before the President meeting, Hillary Clinton tweeting: ‘Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?’” As they were wrapping up the segment, Thomas touted Clinton’s post-press conference answer of “now we know.”

It’s highly disturbing that they would push such an accusation and they were the only broadcast network irresponsible enough to actually do so. What made their elevation of such a theory even more troubling was that the punishments for treason include the death penalty.

 

 

In addition to pushing accusations of treason, ABC also pushed speculation that Russia had some sort of dirt on the President and was blackmailing him with it.

Again, they made their intentions plainly clear. As sensationalist anchor David Muir kicked off the entire program, one of his main questions included one about blackmail. “Tonight, what did they discuss and what was Putin asked as well? Does he have compromising material on President Trump,” he speculated.

Of all the questions they could have covered from the press conference, ABC chief foreign correspondent Terry Moran highlighted the one about allegations of blackmail (among others):

TERRY MORAN: Finally, a question about blackmail.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does the Russian government have compromising material on President Trump or his family?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: [Pauses then laughs]

Moran didn’t seem pleased with either leader’s reaction to the question. “Putin briskly waved off the question by saying only that he hasn't personally known Trump very long,” he summarized. “As for President Trump, he laughed it all off.

Clearly, ABC had little interest in the reporting the actual news here and was more attracted to the salacious elements of what was actually going on.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

 

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ABC
World News Tonight
July 16, 2018
6:31:57 PM Eastern [52 seconds]

DAVID MUIR: And good evening tonight from Helsinki where today, history was made. The reverberations were immediate. President Trump and his summit Vladimir Putin. And while on the world stage with President Putin standing right beside him, President Trump was asked, “Who do believe more, Russia or your own U.S. intelligence officials?” And it was how the question answered that question sent shock waves around the world. The President clearly appearing to choose Putin.

The question came after their face-to-face meeting just days after the U.S. indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials, by name, for systematically targeting hundreds of Americans working with the DNC or with Hillary Clinton's campaign. The President and Putin, just themselves meeting for two hours, longer than expected. Only their translators were right there in the room with them. Tonight, what did they discuss and what was Putin asked as well? Does he have compromising material on President Trump?

(…)

6:36:15 PM Eastern [34 seconds]

TERRY MORAN: Finally, a question about blackmail.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Does the Russian government have compromising material on President Trump or his family?

VLADIMIR PUTIN: [Pauses then laughs]

MORAN: Putin briskly waved off the question by saying only that he hasn't personally known Trump very long.

PUTIN [as translated by Moran]: I heard about that we allegedly collected compromising materials on Mr. Trump when he came to Moscow. Respected colleagues. When Mr. Trump came to Moscow, I don't even know he was there.

MORAN: As for President Trump, he laughed it all off.

(…)

6:40:04 PM Eastern [1 minute 3 seconds]

PIERRE THOMAS: In the hours before the President meeting, Hillary Clinton tweeting: “Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?” But tonight, when President Trump appeared to choose Putin over his own intelligence team, the reaction was swift.

(…)

THOMAS: And Former Obama CIA Director John Brennan, a fierce critic of Trump, tweeting: the press conference "Was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump's comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican patriots: Where are you?"

(…)

NBDaily Crime Foreign Policy Russia Conspiracy Theories Labeling Political Scandals Trump-Russia probe Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight Video David Muir Pierre Thomas Terry Moran Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

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