The move-the-goalposts crowd now defending the Obama administration's pre- and post-election surveillance of Donald Trump and his associates continues to cling to the notion that it was all done in connection with possible Russian influence during the presidential election campaign and that nation's alleged subsequent attempts to influence the new administration during its transition. If that's the case, then why has Fox News reported at least twice in the past week that reports resulting from this surveillance often had "nothing to do with national security or an investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election" (Friday, via the network's Adam Housley and Malia Zimmerman) and were "not related to Moscow" (Wednesday, via Catherine Herridge and Pamela K. Browne)?
As an intelligence surveillance scandal involving Donald Trump threatens to turn back on Susan Rice and the Obama White House, New York Times reporters Maggie Haberman and Matthew Rosenberg ran interference for the previous Democratic administration in Thursday’s edition with “Trump, Offering No Evidence, Suggests Rice Committed a Crime.” The text box: “A president’s attack on an ex-national security adviser is roundly rejected.” Newsbuster Curtis Houck caught the paper’s snarky headlines when the piece was first posted (and had its headline subsequently “improved” with that precious “offering no evidence” clause) on Wednesday, and the end result in print Thursday was equally in lock-step with Democratic talking points and a profound incuriosity about what Rice may have done.
As though it was a running theme for MSNBC on Wednesday night, multiple expert panelists acted as though they couldn’t understand why the public has trust issues with former UN Ambassador Susan Rice. “And one thing [President Donald Trump] said in the interview that is true, Susan Rice is not a particularly polished public performer,” declared New York Times journalist Glenn Thrush on Chris Matthews’ Hardball.
Ken Dilanian, intelligence and national security reporter for NBC News, posted Tuesday on the emerging controversy over the “unmasking,” by President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice, of the identities of Trump associates whose names were originally redacted in intelligence reports. The title to Dilanian’s piece, “What Is Unmasking, and Did Susan Rice Do Anything Wrong?” made it safe to assume that Dilanian’s answer would be “Of course she didn’t!”
On Tuesday’s edition of Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews and MSNBC political analyst/Mother Jones D.C. bureau chief David Corn were unglued over the Susan Rice “unmasking” controversy, suggesting that it was racist and sexist for these accusations to be leveled at the former National Security Adviser because she’s never done anything wrong.
Appearing on the Tuesday edition of the Fox Business Network’s After the Bell, Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell didn’t mince words when it came to the liberal media’s scant coverage of the Susan Rice “unmasking” story, ruling “CNN has been on a jihad” against outlet that have dared cover it.
The Jeffrey Zucker-led CNN continued to make a fool of itself on Tuesday, downplaying the Susan Rice story of leaking/unmasking of intelligence dispatches as if it were the Zika virus. Hilariously, it’s attracted significant attention from not only the Fox News Channel but MSNBC. NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell led her eponymous MSNBC program at noon Eastern with a 16-and-a-half-minute exclusive sit-down with Rice, featuring some tough questions but little in the way of follow-up or pushback.
The wagon-circling campaign to protect Obama administration and intelligence community officials who spied on Donald Trump and his transition team during his presidential campaign and post-victory transition is moving into hyperdrive. On Monday, CNN's Don Lemon proclaimed that "there is no evidence whatsoever" supporting Donald Trump's claim about having been "spied on illegally" (note the inclusion of the word "illegally," which is crucial), and declared that he would not "aid and abet the people who are trying to misinform you."
On Tuesday, CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo sidestepped reports that Barack Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have abused her authority in unmasking intelligence reports regarding communication between President Donald Trump's transition team and Russia. Instead, he blasted outlets like Fox News: "President Trump wants you to believe he is the victim of a 'crooked scheme,' his words. There is no evidence of any wrongdoing. In fact if anything, the NSA asking for identities was foreign players. The White House blasting the press for not reporting on another fake scandal being peddled by right-wing media."
After ABC and NBC’s evening news broadcasts Monday night completely ignored a morning report revealing former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice requested classified intelligence of Trump associates,“dozens of times,” the networks finally did their job Tuesday morning, giving it the bare minimum of coverage. However, all three networks were quick to take sides and defend the Obama Administration’s actions.
So desperate to discredit a bombshell Bloomberg report that former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice sought to unmask Trump transition officials caught up in intelligence surveillance, on Monday afternoon, MSNBC host Katy Tur outrageously suggested that simply reporting on the story was helping Russia “undermine our democratic institutions.”
A Wednesday Fox & Friends segment exposed the glaring double standard the establishment press has shown in its treatment of California Representative Devin Nunes's visit to the White House grounds, i.e., not the White Houe itself, to view intelligence information. Meanwhile, hundreds of visits to actual high-up White House officials and to the President himself during the Obama administration, including many by the Russian ambassador himself, as well as people who would appear to have had underhanded reasons for visiting, got little or no notice.