TAKES AIM AT “FAKE MEDIA”
by Sharon Rondeau
In regard to the latter, Trump did not specify in what way “The Fake Media is working overtime today!”
However, the two later tweets shown above appear to refer to a question asked by CBS News’s Major Garrett on Thursday’s press briefing, which was given by Chief Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Garrett’s questioning begins at 37:24 in the video, courtesy of theconservativetreehouse.com.
During the exchange, Garrett suggested that the White House’s version of why FBI Director James Comey was fired on Tuesday had evolved from its original statement provided that day showing that Trump said he relied on the findings of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who supported Comey’s dismissal.
Just prior to Thursday’s press briefing, part of an interview between Trump and NBC’s Lester Holt showed Trump stating that regardless of the view of the Attorney General’s office, he was “going to fire him (Comey) anyway.”
“It was a quick-moving process,” Sanders said, although conceding that her understanding of the events leading up to and directly after Comey’s firing had improved following a personal conversation she had with Trump in its aftermath.
“By that standard, should reporters and the country essentially wait for a pronouncement from the president before believing that which is stated on his behalf by the White House Communications staff?” Garrett asked.
Sanders countered with, “Look, Major, I’m not going to get into back-and-forth that we have to have like a direct quote every single time. In this process, I gave you the best information I had at the moment. I still don’t think that it contradicts the president’s decision. You guys want to get lost in the process.”
Garrett nevertheless disagreed with Sanders’s characterization, “with all respect.”
On Thursday night, Trump asserted that there is no substance to the claims that his campaign “colluded” with the Russian government to win the election.
He further suggested that the U.S. had become a laughingstock to the Russians as a result of Democrats’ contention of ties between his campaign and Moscow:
In a fifth and perhaps the most surprising statement issued within an hour’s time, Trump suggested that three conversations referenced in his dismissal letter to Comey wherein he reportedly asked Comey if he personally was “under investigation” on the Russia matter could have been recorded.
On Wednesday evening, Fox News’s Catherine Herridge stated that one of the reasons Trump fired Comey was that he had not yet revealed the names of intelligence community personnel who requested the “unmasking” of U.S. citizens during their analysis of intelligence reports.
The revelation that Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, had spoken to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak about sanctions imposed on that country by Trump’s predecessor led to Flynn’s resignation just 24 days after he began, as Flynn had told Vice President Mike Pence that he had not broached the topic of sanctions with Kislyak.
Since Comey was dismissed, the mainstream media has circulated at least two allegedly untrue story lines: that Comey had requested more “resources” of the Justice Department for the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation; and that Rosenstein had threatened to resign on Tuesday night after approximately two weeks in his position following his confirmation by the Senate.
Both during the campaign and after his inauguration, Trump has criticized the mainstream media for publishing and broadcasting “fake news.”
Update, 9:15 a.m. EDT:
In a tweet issued after this article went to press, Trump referred to the Russia “collusion” investigation as a “witch hunt,” referencing Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: