Media's Flynn-Russia Narrative Quickly Collapsing as FBI Reportedly Clears Former National Security Adviser
The media narrative that recently ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was involved in nefarious -- nay, sinister and possibly treasonous!!! -- dealings in his December call with the Russian ambassador is quickly collapsing, as CNN reports that the FBI will not be pursuing any criminal investigation involving Flynn's phone call.
So too is the hype that the Trump campaign was riddled with contacts with Russian intelligence, as reported yesterday by The New York Times.
I addressed this story yesterday in my post-Flynn resignation roundup, noting that the screaming headline was undercut by the Times' own reporting that no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence had been found.
The New York Times got called out on its deceptive headline:
Now 24 hours later, the story continues to take some serious hits:
Nevertheless, the media continues to persist:
But the biggest story is that CNN is reporting not only that the FBI will decline to further investigate or prosecute the short-lived national security adviser, but that Flynn's FBI interview is being described as "cooperative and truthful":
Even the intelligence community is pushing back against the hype involving the Flynn call to the Russian ambassador:
And even the Russians, most likely presuming that the intercepted call transcript will eventually be made public, denied that the Obama sanctions were even discussed:
This comports with the interview Flynn gave to Richard Pollock at The Daily Caller just hours before his resignation:
Flynn insisted that he crossed no lines in his telephone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak: “If I did, believe me, the FBI would be down my throat, my clearances would be pulled. There were no lines crossed.”
Flynn said there was a brief discussion of the 35 Russian diplomats who were being expelled by Obama in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 campaign.
“It wasn’t about sanctions. It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out,” Flynn said. “So that’s what it turned out to be. It was basically, ‘Look, I know this happened. We’ll review everything.’ I never said anything such as, ‘We’re going to review sanctions,’ or anything like that.”
So there's still more reporting to come on that front. If and when the call transcript does emerge, as many believe it will, there may be many media outlets that will owe Flynn an apology. We'll have to wait and see if that's the case.
That leaves yet one more issue: the dangerous and highly illegal leaks of intercepted communications.
Congress is now getting in on the act:
On that issue, our own Michael Walsh dropped an important reminder.
Meanwhile, another explosive story from Shane Harris at the Wall Street Journal is now making the rounds claiming that intelligence agencies and officials are withholding information from the Trump administration.
But this story, too, is coming under fire from the intelligence community itself:
Others are saying that if Harris has been duped by his sources, he should reveal them:
Will these stories join the growing list of botched establishment media reporting since Trump's inauguration?