Larry C. Johnson: Did John Brennan’s CIA Create Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks?

Guest post by Larry C. Johnson

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report insists that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Russia’s military intelligence organization, the GRU, as part of a Russian plot to meddle in the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. But this is a lie.

Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Brennan’s CIA and this action by the CIA should be a target of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation. Let me explain why.

Let us start with the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment aka ICA. Only three agencies of the 17 in the U.S. intelligence community contributed to and coordinated on the ICA–the FBI, the CIA and NSA. In the preamble to the ICA, you can read the following explanation about methodology:

When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as “we assess” or “we judge,” they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment

To be clear, the phrase,“We assess”, is intel community jargon for “opinion”. If there was actual evidence or source material for a judgment the writer of the assessment would state, “According to a reliable source” or “knowledgeable source” or “documentary evidence.”

Pay close attention to what the analysts writing the ICA stated about the GRU and Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks:

We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets.

    • Guccifer 2.0, who claimed to be an independent Romanian hacker, made multiple contradictory statements and false claims about his likely Russian identity throughout the election. Press reporting suggests more than one person claiming to be Guccifer 2.0 interacted with journalists.
    • Content that we assess was taken from e-mail accounts targeted by the GRU in March 2016 appeared on DCLeaks.com starting in June.

We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks. Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity. Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.

Not one piece of corroborating intelligence. It is all based on opinion and strong belief. There was no human source report or electronic intercept pointing to a relationship between the GRU and the two alleged creations of the GRU–Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com.

Now consider the spin that Robert Mueller put on this opinion in his report on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mueller bluffs the unsuspecting reader into believing that it is a proven fact that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were Russian assets. But he is relying on a mere opinion from a handpicked group of intel analysts working under the direction of then CIA Director John Brennan.

Here’s Mueller’s take (I apologize for the lengthy quote but it is important that you read how the Mueller team presents this):

DCLeaks

“The GRU began planning the releases at least as early as April 19, 2016, when Unit 26165 registered the domain dcleaks.com through a service that anonymized the registrant.137 Unit 26165 paid for the registration using a pool of bitcoin that it had mined.138 The dcleaks.com landing page pointed to different tranches of stolen documents, arranged by victim or subject matter. Other dcleaks.com pages contained indexes of the stolen emails that were being released (bearing the sender, recipient, and date of the email). To control access and the timing of releases, pages were sometimes password-protected for a period of time and later made unrestricted to the public.


Starting in June 2016, the GRU posted stolen documents onto the website dcleaks.com, including documents stolen from a number of individuals associated with the Clinton Campaign. These documents appeared to have originated from personal email accounts (in particular, Google and Microsoft accounts), rather than the DNC and DCCC computer networks. DCLeaks victims included an advisor to the Clinton Campaign, a former DNC employee and Clinton Campaign employee, and four other campaign volunteers.139 The GRU released through dcleaks.com thousands of documents, including personal identifying and financial information, internal correspondence related to the“Clinton Campaign and prior political jobs, and fundraising files and information.140


GRU officers operated a Facebook page under the DCLeaks moniker, which they primarily used to promote releases of materials.141 The Facebook page was administered through a small number of preexisting GRU-controlled Facebook accounts.142


GRU officers also used the DCLeaks Facebook account, the Twitter account @dcleaks__, and the email account dcleaksproject@gmail.com to communicate privately with reporters and other U.S. persons. GRU officers using the DCLeaks persona gave certain reporters early access to archives of leaked files by sending them links and passwords to pages on the dcleaks.com website that had not yet become public. For example, on July 14, 2016, GRU officers operating under the DCLeaks persona sent a link and password for a non-public DCLeaks webpage to a U.S. reporter via the Facebook account.143 Similarly, on September 14, 2016, GRU officers sent reporters Twitter direct messages from @dcleaks_, with a password to another non-public part of the dcleaks.com website.144


The dcleaks.com website remained operational and public until March 2017.”

Guccifer 2.0

On June 14, 2016, the DNC and its cyber-response team announced the breach of the DNC network and suspected theft of DNC documents. In the statements, the cyber-response team alleged that Russian state-sponsored actors (which they referred to as “Fancy Bear”) were responsible for the breach.145 Apparently in response to that announcement, on June 15, 2016, GRU officers using the persona Guccifer 2.0 created a WordPress blog. In the hours leading up to the launch of that WordPress blog, GRU officers logged into a Moscow-based server used and managed by Unit 74455 and searched for a number of specific words and phrases in English, including “some hundred sheets,” “illuminati,” and “worldwide known.” Approximately two hours after the last of those searches, Guccifer 2.0 published its first post, attributing the DNC server hack to a lone Romanian hacker and using several of the unique English words and phrases that the GRU officers had searched for that day.146

That same day, June 15, 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress blog to begin releasing to the public documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC computer networks.

The Guccifer 2.0 persona ultimately released thousands of documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC in a series of blog posts between June 15, 2016 and October 18, 2016.147 Released documents included opposition research performed by the DNC (including a memorandum analyzing potential criticisms of candidate Trump), internal policy documents (such as recommendations on how to address politically sensitive issues), analyses of specific congressional races, and fundraising documents. Releases were organized around thematic issues, such as specific states (e.g., Florida and Pennsylvania) that were perceived as competitive in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.


Beginning in late June 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to release documents directly to reporters and other interested individuals. Specifically, on June 27, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to the news outlet The Smoking Gun offering to provide “exclusive access to some leaked emails linked [to] Hillary Clinton’s staff.”148 The GRU later sent the reporter a password and link to a locked portion of the dcleaks.com website that contained an archive of emails stolen by Unit 26165 from a Clinton Campaign volunteer in March 2016.149 “That the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website tends to indicate that both personas were operated by the same or a closely-related group of people.150

The GRU continued its release efforts through Guccifer 2.0 into August 2016. For example, on August 15, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a candidate for the U.S. Congress documents related to the candidate’s opponent.151 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona transferred approximately 2.5 gigabytes of Florida-related data stolen from the DCCC to a U.S. blogger covering Florida politics.152 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a U.S. reporter documents stolen from the DCCC pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement.153”

Wow. Sounds pretty convincing. The documents referencing communications by DCLeaks or Guccifer 2.0 with Wikileaks are real. What is not true is that these entities were GRU assets.

Trump Jr: ‘Adam Schiff Is Basically the Jussie Smollett of Congress on Steroids’

By Jeff Poor – Oct 3, 2019

During an appearance Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” first son Donald Trump, Jr. criticized House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for his handling of the early stages of the impeachment inquiry into his father, President Donald Trump.

Trump said had he “lied” as Schiff had, he would have wound up in jail for perjury.

“If I lied, even a little bit in front of those guys like Adam Schiff has lied to the American people, and in front of Congress the other day, they’d throw me in jail for perjury,” he said. “He’s done it over and over. He’s probably the person that magically leaked my emails and edited them, which was the big CNN bombshell which made it seem like I got the WikiLeaks stuff a week before as opposed to a week after.”

He went on to categorize the California Democrat as “Jussie Smollett of Congress on steroids,” referring to the disgraced “Empire” actor.

“I was in there for about nine hours, and magically when I got done at about 7:30 in the night, I go look at my Twitter feed to catch up on the news of the day,” the younger Trump said, “And starting at about the first bathroom break, CNN is live-tweeting essentially the contents of the hearing.”

“Adam Schiff has never been afraid of a microphone,” he added. “He’s never met a camera he didn’t love. And frankly, he’s never met a camera he didn’t lie to. Adam Schiff is basically the Jussie Smollett of Congress on steroids.”

NYT publisher declares Trump a threat to journalism; forgets to mention Obama’s war on whistleblowers and Julian Assange

CAP

By Danielle Ryan

The Trump administration is admonished as a threat to journalism worldwide in a new oped penned by New York Times publisher AG Sulzberger. It’s just a pity that in the 3,200-word screed, he found no time to mention Julian Assange.

Perhaps a worse sin than his purposeful omission of Assange’s pertinent case, though, is Sulzberger’s utterly disingenuous claim that before Donald Trump came along, the US government was “the world’s greatest champion of the free press.”

Readers who make it to the end of the piece would be none the wiser as to the fact that Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, waged a war on whistleblowers, prosecuting more of them than all previous US administrations combined and paving the way for Trump’s further attacks.

Assange’s name may be appearing less frequently in the news these days, but Sulzberger will be well aware that the Australian whistleblower and WikiLeaks co-founder is still a prisoner at London’s top security Belmarsh Prison, despite the fact that his sentence for skipping bail is up.

Though he was due for release on September 22, a court ruled that Assange must stay in prison until his extradition hearing next year, citing his “history of absconding.” In other words, the whistleblower who exposed US war crimes managed to evade persecution by US authorities once before — and the British government is determined not to let that happen again.

Sulzberger knows all this but consciously chose to ignore it in favor of anecdotes about the heroism of the Times’ own reporters around the world and the Trump administration’s reluctance to stand up for journalists, American and otherwise. Some of the stories he tells are indeed worrying and deserve to be told — but let’s be clear: No defense of the free press is sincere and complete without a strong and unambiguous defense of Julian Assange.

Nonetheless, the piece was praised by mainstream journalists on Twitter. “A call to arms,” said NYT columnist Jim Rutenberg. “The best analysis” of the damage Trump has done to the free press, said Brazilian journalist Rosental Alves. “A powerful defense,” of journalism, declared Gannett CNY editor Jeffrey Platsky.

But Sulzberger’s things-were-great-and-then-Trump-happened tone is typical of the overly simplified manner in which US media elites have been framing the Trump presidency from the outset. From targeting whistleblowers, to deporting migrants, to turning a blind eye to Saudi atrocities in Yemen — if Obama did it, it was fine, admirable and initiated without malice. If Trump does it, it’s unacceptable, reprehensible and rooted in evil — even if there is little meaningful difference in outcomes.

Without a hint of Assange-related irony, Sulzberger warns that governments around the world are targeting journalists who have been “exposing uncomfortable truths and holding power to account.” The current administration has “retreated from our country’s historical role as a defender of the free press,” he continues, throwing in a quote from the late Senator John McCain — chief senate warmonger and friend to Ukrainian neo-Nazis and Syrian terrorists, who the intrepid muckrakers over at the Washington Post once lauded for his ability to “make journalists love him.” 

Truly explosive stuff; someone find these risk-takers a free cell at Belmarsh immediately.

Back at home, Trump’s attacks on the media have served to “undermine” the public’s faith in journalists, Sulzberger argues, noting that the president has tweeted about“fake news” 600 times since taking office. There is no denying that Trump has undermined the public’s already waning faith in the free press by labelling all reporting which displeases him as “fake.”

Yet, what Sulzberger fails to acknowledge is how the media has been so helpful to him in this regard. Times editor Dean Baquet admitted recently that three years of Russiagate coverage which essentially amounted to nothing had left the paper of record “flat-footed.” Trump, of course, took full advantage of the genuinely abysmal coverage of his presidency.

Concluding, Sulzberger assures the reader that he has raised his concerns with Trump personally, to no avail, and warns that threatening to prosecute journalists for doing their jobs gives repressive leaders around the world “implicit license” to do the same. Someone should remind him that if Trump bears responsibility here, he rightfully shares it with Obama.

As for those repressive leaders, they need look no further than Assange — and when they examine his case, they’ll be emboldened further, knowing that even his fellow journalists failed to stand up and loudly advocate for him.

Seth Rich Murder Update: FBI Claims They Didn’t Investigate but NSA Claims Can’t Disclose Files Due to Matter of National Security

By Joe Hoft – August 20, 2019

We first reported in late July that Texas businessman Ed Butowsky filed a lawsuit where he outed reporter Ellen Ratner as his source for information on Seth Rich. The DNC operative was murdered in the summer of 2016 in Washington DC. His murder was never solved. According to the lawsuit Seth Rich provided WikiLeaks the DNC emails before the 2016 election, not Russia.

This totally destroys the FBI and Mueller’s claims that Russians hacked the DNC to obtain these emails.

Butowsky claims in his lawsuit:

Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange told her that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron, were responsible for releasing the DNC emails to Wikileaks. Ms. Rattner said Mr. Assange wanted the information relayed to Seth’s parents, as it might explain the motive for Seth’s murder.

On November 9 2016 Ellen Ratner admitted publicly that she met with Julian Assange for three hours the Saturday before the 2016 election. According to Ratner, Julian Assange told her the leaks were not from the Russians, they were from an internal source from the Hillary Campaign.

We later reported that Butowsky and his attorney, Ty Clevenger, requested and obtained documents from the FBI related to their case which we were able to analyze.

According to the duo, they obtained the transcript from former FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki where he states that the Obama White House was the entity that was pushing the Russia conspiracy as early as October 2016 –

Screen Shot 2019-08-20 at 11.19.05 AM

Rybicki was corrupt cop James Comey’s Chief of staff –

Clevenger stated in a post online that –

Newly released documents from the FBI suggest that the Obama White House pushed intelligence agencies to publicly blame the Russians for email leaks from the Democratic National Committee to Wikileaks.

This afternoon I received an undated (and heavily redacted) transcript of an interview of James Rybicki, former chief of staff to former FBI Director James Comey, that includes this excerpt: “So we understand that at some point in October of 2016, there was, I guess, a desire by the White House to make some kind of statement about Russia’s…” and then the next page is omitted.

The comment is made by an unidentified prosecutor from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel or “OSC,” not to be confused with the office of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller (the OSC is a permanent office that investigates Hatch Act violations, and Mr. Comey was under investigation for trying to influence the 2016 Presidential election).

Roger Stone’s Indictment

Trump friend Roger Stone is facing charges from the Mueller gang that are based on this key question – who provided the DNC the Podesta emails to WikiLeaks?

The corrupt FBI and Mueller team claim the emails were hacked but neither entity inspected the DNC server which was supposedly hacked. They have provided no proof of this.

The DNC instead hired a firm Crowdstrike, with connections to Mueller and former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who provided a redacted report to the FBI and Mueller stating the emails were hacked by Russia.

Former NSA whistleblower Bill Binney claims he has evidence the DNC emails were not hacked but copied most likely on to a flashdrive or something similar.

Now This…

When Ty Clevenger requested documents from the FBI related to any investigation into the death of Seth Rich, they replied that they never investigated Seth Rich and they don’t even have any records on him –

But when documents were requested from the NSA, they replied that they won’t release their records regarding Seth Rich because it’s a matter of national security –

USC 552(b)(1) states:  This section does not apply to matters that are—

(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and (B) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;

So the FBI never investigated the Seth Rich murder even though the NSA said the case was a matter of national security?

This too does not pass the smell test.

Hat tip D. Manny

Hacked Emails: Hillary Campaign Monitored News about Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton

The New York Times pointed to a seeming discrepancy between former President Bill Clinton’s claim that he “took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane” between 2002 and 2003 and reports of flightlogs showing many more trips on the disgraced financier’s private jet during that time period.

By Aaron Klein

NEW YORK — Hacked emails previously published by WikiLeaks show members of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign staff routinely monitored the news media for associations between Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein.

A separate cache of emails show Democratic National Committee staff internally circulating stories and social media postings tying Epstein to Clinton.

Emails captured during the hack of the Gmail account of John Podesta, chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, show campaign staff forwarding news articles associating Epstein with Bill Clinton.

One email sent to Podesta from Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, contained a January 2015 BuzzFeed article titled, “Plenty Of Innuendo, But No Hard Evidence Of New Clinton Sex Scandal.” The subtitle was, “Much-discussed documents in Jeffrey Epstein affair don’t live up to the hype.”

“Good,” Flournoy replied.

A February 5, 2015 email to campaign staff titled, “HRC Clips” singled out a column published in the small Times-Picayune newspaper, a local New Orleans limited publication.

The piece tied Clinton to Epstein, relating:

There’s a story going around the tabloids and the trashier parts of the mainstream media that could spell trouble for the presumed Democratic frontrunner in 2016. It concerns a certain (as he would be listed on Louisiana ballots) William “Bill” Clinton.

The story involves Clinton palling around with the very shady (and very rich) Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein, a convicted pedophile who would later donate somewhere between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Presidential Library, reportedly flew with Clinton and a couple of babes to visit the Sultan of Brunei back in 2002.

News clips about Epstein and Bill Clinton from numerous other days were also circulated among campaign staff, the emails show.

One email titled “2016 GOP HIT on HRC” was widely circulated among Clinton’s campaign staff and DNC officials.  The missive contained the text of a Fox News articletitled, “Flight logs show Bill Clinton flew on sex offender’s jet much more than previously known.”

Numerous emails from various campaign and DNC staff forwarded tweets from high profile Republicans promoting the Fox News article, including tweets on the Epstein and Clinton story sent out by Trump spokesman Sean Spicer and Republican National Committee staffer and future White House Spokesperson Raj Shah.

Bill Clinton has long maintained an association with Epstein. Last week, the former president’s office issued a statement claiming that he “knows nothing” about Epstein’s alleged crimes involving sex trafficking and minors.

The statement in question, tweeted by Clinton’s press secretary Angel Ureña, says: “President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York.”

This after the controversial financier pleaded not guilty last week to sex-trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court. In the case, Epstein allegedly “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes” in New York, Palm Beach, and other locations. The indictment also charges that Epstein paid some of his alleged victims to recruit more underage girls.  Today, Epstein was denied bail in the case and is set to remain in jail pending the trial.

Last week, this reporter documented a list of six major problems with Clinton’s full statement on Epstein.

Below, in no particular order, is that list again.
1 – Clinton’s statement claims a “total of four trips” on Epstein’s private jet amid widespread reports of many more trips.

One portion of Clinton’s statement, via his spokesperson, reads:

In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation.

The statement failed to mention documentation reportedly evidencing many more trips with Epstein on the financier’s airplane.

Fox News previously reported flight records show that from 2001 to 2003 Clinton took at least 26 trips aboard Epstein’s jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express.”

Newsweek reported on a previous Gawker story exposing flight logs showing numerous private airplane trips that Clinton allegedly took with Epstein. One flight reportedly included a softcore porn actress while other trips were allegedly shared with women listed on flight manifests without their full names.

Newsweek reported:

In 2015, Gawker released the flight logbooks for Epstein’s Gulfstream and the Lolita Express 727. Bill Clinton is among the prominent people listed in the flight logs, having took several trips on the Lolita Express with a softcore porn actress listed under “massages” in Epstein’s address book, also published by Gawker. Clinton shared eleven flights aboard the Lolita Express with Maxwell and Epstein’s former assistant Sarah Kellen, who has been accused in court filings of recruiting young girls, acting as a pimp on Epstein’s behalf. On multiple flights, additional women, listed in the flight logs by their first name or the simple descriptor “female,” joined Clinton aboard Epstein’s plane.

2 – Clinton’s statement leaves out that the former president was reportedly on the airplane with Epstein himself.

The statement that “in 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane” seems to imply that Clinton utilized the airplane itself but conspicuously fails to mention whether Epstein was onboard. According to numerous reports, Clinton was a frequent flyer on the pervert’s private airplane, traveling with Epstein and unidentified women numerous times.

Epstein’s fleet reportedly included a Boeing 727-200 passenger jet that normally seats nearly 200 but was modified for private use. Fox News reported Epstein’s plane was “outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.”

3 – Clinton’s statement claims that his Secret Service detail was present “on every leg of every trip” with Epstein. Yet numerous reports allege that Clinton ditched his assigned Secret Service agents on some flights.

His office’s statement reads:

In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation. Staff, supporters of the Foundation, and his Secret Service detail traveled on every leg of every trip.

Fox News reported records show Clinton “apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights,” since no agents names appeared on the manifest

Investigative journalist Conchita Sarnoff, executive director of Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking, stated, “I know from the pilot logs and these are pilot logs that you know were written by different pilots and at different times that Clinton went, he was a guest of Epstein’s 27 times.” She added that “many of those times Clinton had his Secret Service with him and many times he did not.”

4 – Clinton’s statement does not mention that some of the trips reportedly encompassed multiple legs with several other possible flights.

Once again, the statement about the airplane trips reads, “In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epstein’s airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia, and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation.”

The Asia trip alone, which flight records show occurred between May 22 and May 25, 2002, was reportedly a five-leg trip.

According to Fox News, flight records show Clinton flying to such destinations as “Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, China, Brunei, London, New York, the Azores, Belgium, Norway, Russia and Africa.”

5 – Clinton denies traveling to Epstein’s so-called Orgy Island. One Epstein accuser disputes that claim.

Clinton’s statement says the ex-president has “never been to Little St. James Island, Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico, or his residence in Florida.”

Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre claimed in an affidavit that she saw Clinton on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her claim has not been corroborated.

6 – Clinton has a long history of credibility issues regarding claims about his mistreatment of women.

Clinton famously claimed of Monica Lewinsky, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” but was later impeached by the House of Representatives for lying under oath about this relationship with the White House intern. He also denied credible sexual assault accusations from Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey, among others.

 

Impeccable record, good with email: Why shouldn’t Hillary Clinton give speech on cyber security?

CAP

She’s only just learnt that you can use separate emails for work and home, but Hillary Clinton is to deliver a keynote address at the Cyber Defense Summit. RT looks at the expertise offered by the ex-presidential candidate.

CAP

She might make grandma jokes about “wiping” her server with a cloth, but as RT’s Igor Zhdanov notes, there are few people in the world so adept at deleting information, that is potentially of state importance, off a server that even the FBI had no clue about.

And she would have managed to keep multi-million-dollar-earning Wall Street speeches a secret from the world, if it were not for the dastardly Wikileaks. So, there is a cautionary tale she can tell there.

And for the encore Clinton could explain how she cracked the Kremlin’s plan to meddle in the 2016 election and swing the result to Donald Trump, and then infiltrated the media to present her as a somewhat sore loser.

https://www.rt.com/usa/460978-clinton-cyber-security-email/

Nolte: Top 51 Fake News ‘Bombshells’ the Media Spread About RussiaGate Collusion Hoax Hall of Shame

An audience member holds a fake news sign during a President Donald Trump campaign rally in Washington Township, Mich., Saturday, April 28, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

By John Nolte

Here are the top 51 pieces of fake news the establishment media spread about the Russia Collusion Hoax over the past two years, and I describe this list as the Top 51 because there is a behemoth of an iceberg lurking below.

Since the release of the Mueller Report last week, which — despite two years, $30 million, and a team of rabidly partisan left-wing investigators — found exactly zero crimes of Russia collusion or obstruction associated with President Trump and his campaign, one of the most bizarre results has been watching the media pat themselves on the back for the stories they believe they got correct.

Imagine that. Imagine your industry is so broken and corrupt that all you have left is to point to what you believe you did right. This is like watching an airline pilot brag about the times he didn’t crash, a district attorney point to the people he prosecuted who were not innocent — or in the words of comedian Chris Rock, a parent boast about taking care of his kids.

You’re supposed to take care of your kids!

And the media are supposed to get stories correct.

But here is the media forced to brag on when they didn’t crash the plane, when they did take care of the kids, which tells you something is horribly, terribly, ridiculously wrong.

Hey, here are some examples of when we didn’t mislead the country with disinformation!

CAP

Check out this one below. Here you have a reporter forced to focus on the “highlights” of her outlet’s reporting because the Washington Post got so much wrong she was able to quickly cobble together a list of those times the Post did not mislead its readers:

CAP

While a list of what the media might have gotten correct is fairly easy to put together, no one will ever be able to grasp the tsunami of fake news Americans were buried under for over two years.

The list below of 51 might sound like a lot, but it is a drop in the ocean when you recall the thousands and thousands of hours CNN, MSNBC, Meet the Press, This Week, PBS NewsHour, State of the Union, Good Morning AmericaReliable Sources, and the Today Show devoted to anchors and pundits pushing the hoax that Trump colluded with Russia.

Not to mention, millions and millions of establishment media tweets and Facebook posts.

Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Shepard Smith, Andrew Napolitano, Joe Scarborough, Chris Hayes, Chuck Todd, Joy Reid, Chris Matthews, Jake Tapper, Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, Brian Stelter, Erin Burnett, et al.,  are alone responsible for thousands and thousands and thousands of hours of lies and conspiracy-mongering.

This list of 51 doesn’t count the half-million — half-MILLION — Russia collusion stories published over the past two years, almost all of which were premised on the idea that Trump did, indeed, collude with a foreign power to steal the 2016 presidential election.

This list cannot begin to count the countless times these 51 fake stories were repeated as fact throughout other news outlets, social media, and thousands upon thousands of cumulative broadcast hours.

What’s more, this list of 51 can’t begin to count the countless examples of fake news launched against Trump that have nothing to do with Russia — desperate and deliberate lies involving fish food and ice cream scoops…

Before we begin, credit where it’s due. This list would not have been possible without the lists already compiled by Sharyl AttkissonGlenn Greenwald, and Sohrab Ahmari.

  1. New York magazine, McClatchy:

Michael Cohen went to  Prague.

  1. BuzzFeed:

Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie, and Mueller has emails proving it.

  1. The New York Times:

Paul Manafort passed polling information to Kremlin.

  1. Axios:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein forced out.

  1. NBC News:

Federal investigators wiretapped Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, have recordings of Trump.

  1. Associated Press:

Phony Russia dossier was initially funded by Republican group.

  1. ABC News:

Donald Trump directed Flynn to make contact with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign

  1. Talking Points Memo:

Russian social media company provided documents to Senate about communications with Trump official.

  1. CNN:

Donald Trump Jr. conspired with WikiLeaks.

  1. Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal:

Robert Mueller subpoenaed Trump’s Deutsche Bank records.

  1. ABC News:

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort worked with Russia intelligence-connected official as late as December 2017.

  1. The New York Times:

Trump Deputy National Security adviser K.T. McFarland lied about another official’s contacts with Russians.

  1. CNN:

Trump’s campaign was never wiretapped.

  1. NBC News:

Manafort notes from Russian meeting refer to political contributions.

  1. The New York Times:

Seventeen intelligence agencies concur Russia hacked the 2016 presidential race.

  1. CNN:

Congress investigating Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.

  1. The New York Times:

Former FBI Director James Comey says Attorney General Jeff Sessions told him not to call Russia probe an investigation but “a matter.”

  1. CNN:

James Comey will testify he never told Trump he was not under investigation.

  1. NBC News:

Putin admits he has compromising information about Trump.

  1. Politico, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, AP, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal:

Trump fired Comey after Comey asked for additional resources for the Russia investigation.

  1. The New York Times:

Numerous contacts between Trump campaign staff and “senior Russian intelligence officials.”

  1. MSNBC:

Among others, a Trump family member will be indicted on February 8.

  1. The Guardian:

Paul Manafort visited WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange on three occasions.

  1. The Washington Post:

Trump campaign changed GOP platform on Ukraine.

  1. The Atlantic:

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied about meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

  1. McClatchy:

Michael Cohen really did visit Prague.

  1. CNN:

Trump is lying when he calls Russia dossier “phony.”

  1. Fortune:

RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN and C-SPAN “confirmed” it had been hacked.

  1. USA Today, MSNBC, Associated Press:

Russia’s hacked the election systems of 21 American states.

  1. The Washington Post, ABC News, CNN:

Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont.

  1. The Washington Post:

“More than 200 websites” were “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season.”

  1. NBC News, MSNBC:

Russia is the main suspect in the sonic attacks that sickened 26 U.S. diplomats.

  1. Slate:

Trump created a secret Internet server to covertly communicate with a Russian bank.

  1. CNN:

Donald Trump knew in advance of the Trump Tower meeting.

  1. CNN:

Mueller Report will show Trump “has helped” Putin “destabilize” the United States.

  1. NBC:

Russia supports Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI).

    1. CNN:

Sessions failed to disclose meetings he had with the Russian ambassador.

  1. Vox:

“There’s actually lots of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.”

  1. The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPRReutersthe Guardian, USA Today, CNN, BuzzFeed:

Trump revealed classified information to Russians.

  1. The Washington Post:

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said Russia paid Trump.

  1. Fox News:

Mueller can show Trump campaign “had a connection to Russian intelligence.”

  1. MSNBC:

“Rudy Giuliani just told America that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.”

  1. The Washington Post:

Evidence suggests Trump could be a Russian “asset.”

  1. NBC:

Russians began hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails on the day Donald Trump joked about it in July 2016.

  1. Mic.com:

Russia spy visited Trump’s Oval Office.

  1. CNN:

Phony Russia dossier has been “corroborated.”

  1. NPR:

Donald Trump Jr. lied under oath about Trump Tower deal in Moscow.

  1. NBC, The Hill, New York Daily News:

Russia successfully hacked voting systems in a number of states.

  1. CNN:

Trump is “bonkers” for claiming Hillary Clinton behind Russia dossier.

  1. CNN:

“Every intelligence expert, both under the Obama administration and under the Trump administration,” agrees with the assessment that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

  1. BBC:

Ukrainian president “authorized” an illegal payment of $400,000 to Michael Cohen for additional face time during a June 2017 meeting with President Trump.

MSM defends ‘extremely accurate’ Russiagate coverage despite Mueller report

CAP

Even with the ‘Russian collusion’ narrative buried by the Mueller report, some mainstream journalists have come out to claim their anti-Trump coverage was backed up by the report. Were they reading a different report?

The Mueller report, CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz said on Thursday, “really corroborated a lot of the good journalism that was done” during the last two years.

“One of my main conclusions from the #MuellerReport so far is that the vast majority of *reporting* on Trump and Russia was extremely accurate,” GQ magazine’s Julia Ioffe chimed in.

CAP

Prokupecz is not entirely wrong. Both CNN and Mueller’s team shared an obsession with chronicling every last inconsequential encounter between anyone connected to candidate Trump and anyone remotely connected to Russia, no matter how peripheral. From handshakes at the Republican National Convention to missed calls and unanswered emails, Mueller’s report is completely absent of bombshells, but heavy on humdrum contacts.

When it came to examining these tidbits, however, they were often completely wrong.

Both Mueller and the media focused heavily on the infamous Trump Tower meeting, during which Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner met with a Russian delegation to discuss US/Russian relations, and potentially damaging information to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The meeting was, as Kushner told Manafort, a “waste of time,” and no information was provided.

Not to CNN, who reported the “collusion bombshell” that President Trump knew about the meeting in advance, accompanying the headline with the lede: “holy crap.” Of course, the source for the article was none other than former Trump lawyer and convicted perjurer Michael Cohen, but that didn’t stop CNN from suggesting that Cohen’s word could “be the biggest step to date in proving real collusion,” and finishing with the poetic and barf-inducing: “Where have you gone Robert Mueller? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.”

Well, Mueller was investigating, and found “no documentary evidence” that Trump knew about the meeting or its “Russian connection.” Sorry CNN.

CAP

And it wasn’t just Trump tower. CNN claimed that Trump Jr. was given “advanced access” to the WikiLeaks archive of leaked Democratic Party emails in 2016. Mueller’s report proved this to be false, and even at the time CNN issued a retraction. A year later, three CNN employees resigned over a false story about an alleged investigation into “a Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials.”

CAP

CNN was far from the only outlet to cry collusion where Mueller found none. Buzzfeed famously broke the scoop earlier this year that Trump had directly instructed Cohen to lie to Congress about shelved plans to build a Trump Tower property in Moscow. Buzzfeed’s lie was so egregious that Mueller himself spoke out and denied it, three months before the report landed.

As the media peddled conspiracy after conspiracy about Trump and Russia, Mueller’s team combed through federal statutes, looking for a way to make something stick. They ultimately failed to “establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

CNN had circled the wagons ever since Attorney General William Barr released a summary of the report’s main findings late last month, with host Jake Tapper claiming “I don’t know anybody that got anything wrong” in the network’s two years of puffing from the collusion crack pipe.

“We never stated that there was conspiracy/collusion,” Tapper tweeted at the time. “Yes some others did.”

CAP

CNN certainly dropped enough “collusion bombshells,” and regularly featured guests who swore up and down that collusion had taken place. Tapper himself seemed happy to send his Twitter followers to articles claiming the same, including one from the Washington Post entitled “bungled collusion is still collusion.”

CAP

Now, several weeks and a full report later, the business end of that crack pipe is still hot to the touch. After a panel discussion attacking Attorney General Barr for his “excessive” pronouncement that there was “no collusion,” CNN’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin drew his own conclusion, tweeting that Trump’s frustration with the investigation against him was somehow “evidence of guilt.”

CAP

Never change, CNN.

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