The New York Times dropped a purported “bombshell” article Friday with the hope of blowing open the Trump/Russia collusion narrative once again, and while there was plenty of initial smoke, there doesn’t appear to be much, if any, fire.
In essence, that article asserted that the FBI — under the direction of then-Acting Director Andrew McCabe — had opened up an investigation into President Donald Trump after the firing of former Director James Comey.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wasted no time in responding to the latest anti-Trump hit piece from The Times, calling it “absurd” and derived solely from the allegations put forward by two fired FBI officials described separately as a “disgraced partisan hack” and a “known liar.”
Sanders strikes back
In response to the article from The Times, Sanders said, “This is absurd. James Comey was fired because he’s a disgraced partisan hack, and his Deputy Andrew McCabe, who was in charge at the time, is a known liar fired by the FBI.”
Sanders added, “Unlike President Obama, who let Russia and other foreign adversaries push America around, President Trump has actually been tough on Russia.”
.@PressSec responds to @nytimes report that the FBI opened an inquiry into whether Trump was secretly working on behalf of Russia: pic.twitter.com/sAzRn7TIMJ
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) January 12, 2019
National security and obstruction of justice
According to the “absurd” article from the Times, FBI officials were supposedly “concerned” by the firing of Comey and some of the president’s actions around that time, which compelled them to launch a dual counterintelligence and criminal inquiry into Trump.
“The inquiry carried explosive implications,” the Times wrote. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”
The article noted that the criminal aspect of the investigation dealt with the allegation that Trump’s termination of Comey constituted an “obstruction of justice,” a ludicrous notion that presupposes Trump’s firing of the FBI director would somehow bring an end to the entire Russia investigation ordeal — which obviously it didn’t, nor was it intended to.
Notably, the article from the Times also seemed to contradict itself or at least downplay its own explosive allegations, as it noted in the fifth paragraph that it was unclear if Mueller had followed up on that particular investigation launched by McCabe and revealed that some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation had questioned whether McCabe and others had overstepped their bounds in starting the inquiry to begin with.
Furthermore, the ninth paragraph seemingly undermined the entire premise of the story, in that it mentioned, “No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.”
This “bombshell” from The New York Times reeks of desperation by a struggling anti-Trump media outlet in coordination with disgraced former officials who are attempting to cover their tracks while ostensibly serving the public. It is indeed “absurd” to place any sort of stock in the words of “hacks” and “liars” like Comey and McCabe, and Sanders was right to dismiss the report as such.
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