Okay, which media reports should I believe?
Should I believe the media reports from October of 2016, such as The New York Times claiming that Trump was under investigation, the January 2017 report from The Times saying the Trump campaign was “wiretapped,” the months of mockery over the idea that the Trump campaign was wiretapped or the latest reports saying that yes, the Trump campaign was wiretapped?
It gets so confusing.
Now CNN is once again claiming that the Trump campaign was wiretapped despite emphatic reports carried by CNN, Bloomberg, Newsweek, USA Today, and countless others all claiming there was no proof of a wiretap at all.
But now there is breathless reporting that Trump’s campaign was wiretapped, specifically former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The latest round of media hysteria on Trump being under surveillance, or not, again centres around Russia and links between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. According to CNN, Manafort was under surveillance over his work with the former government of Ukraine. That surveillance was discontinued but a new warrant from the secretive FISA court was issued during the campaign.
“The FBI surveillance teams, under a new FISA warrant, began monitoring Manafort again, sources tell CNN.
The court that oversees government snooping under FISA operates in secret, the surveillance so intrusive that the existence of the warrants only rarely become public.”
This is almost exactly what was reported last fall by several media outlets and carried as if gospel until Donald Trump tweeted on March 4, 2017 about the wiretap reports.
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
So let’s go back to the beginning.
Last October The New York Times reported that Trump advisors were being investigated for links to Russia.
“For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.”
On the very same day, Slate ran a piece about servers in the Trump campaign connecting to and communicating with Russia.
Next was Heat Street, a now defunct libertarian political website that was shut down this past summer. A week after The Times story, Heat Street ran a story with a headline that screamed.
EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia
Notice the mention of FISA warrant? Here is what the story went on to say.
“Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.”
Alright, we are starting to see a pattern here of media outlets reporting on connections, investigations and even warrants. Other media outlets picked up on this, broadcasters repeated the stories.
It continued for months without the media ever pushing back on it, instead they pushed the story.
On January 11, 2017 The Guardian, the left wing stalwart of the British media, reported on the Trump dossier, the one filled with salacious and unproved allegations about Trump and his activities. Well into the story The Guardian dropped this nugget about the FISA court.
“The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The Fisa court turned down the application asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.”
The mainstream media continued on this theme that Trump was not only under investigation but that his campaign had been wiretapped even up to inauguration day. On January 12, 2017, BBC reported that there were three attempts to get a FISA warrant.
“Lawyers from the National Security Division in the Department of Justice then drew up an application. They took it to the secret US court that deals with intelligence, the Fisa court, named after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They wanted permission to intercept the electronic records from two Russian banks.
Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were rejected again. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on 15 October, three weeks before election day.”
On January 19, 2017, the day before inauguration, The New York Times reported on wiretapping citing anonymous sources.
“One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.”
Those wiretapped communications “provided to the White House” would mean it was all shared with the Obama White House.
Now remember, we have The New York Times, BBC, Slate, The Guardian and many more reporting from late 2016 through early 2017 that Donald Trump and/or his campaign had been wiretapped. It was never questioned.
Then on March 4, 2017 Trump puts out a series of tweets after reading a Breitbart summary of a Mark Levin radio show that documents many of the media stories I have laid out above.
Suddenly, all the media outlets that have been reporting on all of this develop amnesia and began mocking Trump and his tweets while simultaneously running stories trying to prove their old reporting wrong.
As I showed with the links above, just two weeks ago, media outlet after media outlet ran stories claiming there was no wiretapping of Trump.
The claim all night Monday is that there was no wiretapping of Trump personally, just Manafort, maybe others in his campaign.
The claims of FISA court warrants that were previously reported, then mocked are now back.
So which story is the truth?
If mainstream media outlets wonder why trust in them is falling, this is a very good, perhaps the best example.