One of the tendencies of liberal “fact checkers” is to grant that a fact they don’t like is true, but then to try to dismiss its truth by making excuses and adding “context.” They’re offering “alternative facts.” They’re adding spin control.
Let’s take their objections to a March 18 tweet by President Trump: “Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!”
Now see how the Washington Post "Fact Checker" Glenn Kessler grants Trump his point, that Mueller’s team is stuffed with Democrats (and Hillary donors):
Mueller is a registered Republican, as is Rosenstein, who appointed him. Publicly available voter registration information shows that 13 of the 17 members of Mueller’s team have previously registered as Democrats, while four had no affiliation or their affiliation could not be found, The Washington Post reported.
Nine of the 17 made political donations to Democrats, their contributions totaling more than $57,000. The majority came from one person, who also contributed to Republicans. Six donated to Clinton.
Rosenstein isn't on the "Mueller team," and Mueller -- the "registered Republican" -- packed his team with Democrats, which suggests the registration doesn't mean a whole lot. If Trump had run for the Republican nomination and packed his team with Democrats, would that mean his team wasn't Democrats?
So the tweet is True, right? Kessler used no "Pinocchio" rating, since he was picking through a bunch of tweets, but the headline was "Fact-checking Trump’s error-filled tweetstorm about the Mueller probe."
Here's how the "fact checkers" like Kessler try to change the subject from the relevant facts:
Federal regulations prohibit the Justice Department from considering the political affiliation or political contributions of career appointees, including those appointed to the special counsel’s office. So Mueller is legally prohibited from considering the political affiliations of the people he has hired.
It’s worth noting that Trump was big donor to Democrats, including seven times to Hillary Clinton, before he decided to run for the Republican presidential nomination. Trump switched his party registration at least five times; he was a registered Democrat from 2001 to 2009.
Let's hope Kessler was smiling as he wrote this. "Hey, Trump gave to Hillary, too!"
Who in Washington doesn't consider (or at least know) the political affiliations of who they hire? How do you prove someone didn't consider political affiliations? If Mueller is the strategic genius that every liberal journalist wants you to believe, shouldn't he have assembled a team more bipartisan in appearance? The answer is Yes, but the "fact checkers" here are trying to distract their readers from those pro-Trumpish narratives. If Trump fans believe them, they must be "fake news"?
Kessler was not alone in this tactic: granting the fact that the Mueller team is a pile of Democrats, then trying to make excuses. PolitiFact called this tweet "Half True" -- because there can't be "zero Republicans" on his team because Mueller is a registered Republican. They even claimed "office support personnel" might be Republicans. Can you hear the stretch?
We have rated this "fact-check" by the Washington Post as Deeply Distorted. For similar analyses, please visit our Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers site.