On Friday, Adam Housley at Fox News delivered bombshell news that a "very well-known, very high up, very senior (person) in the intelligence world" not in the FBI had engaged in "the unmasking of the names of American citizens" in the course of surveillance surfacing "members of the Trump administration" that had nothing to do with Russia ... or foreign intelligence of any kind."
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Sunday morning's Fox & Friends, Clayton Morris reported that the Big Three broadcast networks, CNN and MSNBC had, to that point, devoted absolutely no coverage to what Housley reported, despite granting heavy play to a Thursday New York Times story which Housley's sources insist is wrong. Since then, they have all covered it, but, barely. ABC and NBC ignored it until Tuesday morning. CBS offered defensive coverage.
Housley teased his report early Friday morning in two tweets (here and here; HT Twitchy):
In an appearance later that day on Fox, he delivered the goods.
Here is a transcript of his report (the original video was blocked sometime Monday afternoon by YouTube at Fox's request; bolds are mine throughout this post):
HARRIS FAULKNER, FOX NEWS: We are getting some brand-new details on that visit to the White House Devin Nunes made, where he saw that information from a source on the surveillance that caught members of the Trump administration, as well as how the names were unmasked — the unmasking of the names of American citizens.
Adam Housley joins us now from Los Angeles. Adam, you've been working on this this morning. What can you tell us?
ADAM HOUSLEY, FOX NEWS: Yeah Harris, we've been spoken to by a number of sources in the last couple of days. And it really came to a crescendo this morning because of a report yesterday that apparently outed two of Nunes's sources.
Our sources who have direct knowledge of what took place were upset, because those two individuals they say had nothing to do with the outing of this information.
So let's go through what some of the headlines are.
First of all, we've found and we've learned that the surveillance that led to to the unmasking was started way before President Trump was even the GOP nominee. So basically, they started the surveillance to all this at some point earlier last year. The person who did the unmasking I'm told is very well-known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence world, and is not in the FBI.
Also, this led to other surveillance which led to multiple names being unmasked. Again, these are people who are private citizens in the United States. This had nothing to do with Russia I'm told, or foreign intelligence of any kind. We're also told that the people who helped Devin Nunes navigate were the two individuals that the stories reported yesterday about, but they were not his sources. It was a navigation situation.
And the reason why they had to navigate, I'm told, is that Nunes learned about this unmasking back and that this was taking place back in January — before Trump's tweet, before he met with the President — and it took obviously a number of weeks to try to figure out a way for him to see this intelligence, because the agencies were stonewalling, we're told, to allow him and others to see it.
Now this is all coming from folks that are in these agencies and frustrated with the politics that's taking place in these agencies.
We're told that the main issue here is not only the unmasking of the names, but the spreading of names for political purposes that have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with hurting and embarrassing the Trump administration and his team.
Also, Nunes we're said, knew about this existence again way before, back in January, before the Trump tweet. Fox also learned that an individual with direct knowledge that after Nunes had been approached by his source, the agencies basically would not allow him in at all.
Now remind you, there's only we're told there are only two places he could have seen this information. The first place is where the source worked. Clearly, that would have been an outing. The second place, we're told, is at a location on the White House grounds. Now remind you, the White House is not just the White House that we all see. There is the old Executive Office Building, where you can also access after-hours and get to the same type of highly sensitive information.
So as you can tell, Harris, a lot of information coming out here. We're starting to get much more details on this as the intelligence community really is battling within itself on this, but it seems like there may be a couple of agencies involved here. And there are a number of people now, we're being told, that names are being unmasked, again private citizens within the U.S. This is unprecedented, Harris.
FAULKNER: Yeah, and I know from some of the information that we've been reading today. There's two locations, either the source's computers or on the White House grounds' computers. And so when you ask questions about why Nunes would have met there, you're starting to get some real clarification.
The "stories" from other media outlets to which Housley referred originated at the New York Times on Thursday, in a report headlined "2 White House Officials Helped Give Nunes Intelligence Reports." Three Times reporters claim that these sources "disclosed the reports." As seen above, based on what Housley says he's been told, those people involved only helped "navigate," i.e., connect, Nunes to the actual source or, conceivably, sources. There's clearly a big difference.
It's hard to understate the significance of what Housley reported, which needs no further elaboration.
Key transcript excerpts:
... CLAYTON MORRIS, FOX NEWS: So I went through all the major news stations yesterday to see if they had any coverage of what our own Adam Housley and the network was reporting yesterday.
ABBY HUNTSMAN, FOX NEWS: What did you find?
... MORRIS: I couldn't find anything.
ABBY HUNTSMAN: Does that really surprise you both, though, because we've been covering his campaign, and now his presidency for a long time now, and it seems like the mainstream media, either they want to cover the negative parts of the story, or they don't cover it at all.
MORRIS: Well they're not staffing people on purpose. You know, on purpose that they're not staffing people to go after this story. This story breaks yesterday, or on Friday. put a couple of reporters on it, put a couple of investigative reporters on it. Nothing.
PETE HEGSETH, FOX NEWS: So a blockbuster report from Adam Housley on Fox News. The President tweets about it. And then you went last night to your clippings and through all the news that you were watching. And this is how much coverage the mainstream, leftstream legacy media gave this brand new reporting. Take a look on the screen right now:
CNN - no coverage. MSNBC - Zippee. CBS, NBC, ABC - Zip, zilch, nothing.
... MORRIS: And then how much coverage though did they actually give to the Representative Nunes coverage last week, when we learned that he had met with two individuals that perhaps got this information?
HEGSETH: It was wrong, by the way.
MORRIS: The New York Times reported.
HEGSETH: Right. The New York Times got it wrong.
MORRIS: Yeah, this is how much the mainstream media reported on their coverage:
CNN, 23 segments, and at least 10 segments, MSNBC. And by the way, when that New York Times story broke, which was inaccurate, I got a push alert on my phone from the New York Times app, saying (paraphrased), "Breaking News: Representative Nunes had two sources from the administration giving him information about this" ...
Housley's reporting has received substantial subsequent support.
Sunday evening, blogger Mike Cernovich — the same "provocateur" CBS News's Scott Pelley confronted with unusual intensity yet failed to rattle in a recent episode of 60 Minutes — reported that "Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, has been identified as the official who requested unmasking of incoming Trump officials."
Even though he subsequently confirmed Rice's unmasking involvement Monday morning, Bloomberg's Eli Lake still insists that "Rice's requests to unmask the names of Trump transition officials does not vindicate Trump's own tweets from March 4 in which he accused Obama of illegally tapping Trump Tower."
Good heavens. Everything but the "Trump Tower" part is inches short of being established fact, and Trump spent the majority of his time there during the transition. If that's the last "Trump was lying" fig leaf, the outgoing Obama administration's defenses would appear to be getting mighty thin.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.