National Enquirer’s Serial Spy Novel: Featuring Hillary, Flynn, Assange, Pence, and Ryan

The claim that “Trump catches Russia’s White House spy” — clearly an attempt to smear Mike Flynn — actually got me to drop the $4.99 for a copy of the National Enquirer to read the hit job. And it’s actually more than a contrived effort to claim Flynn is a Russian spy: it’s a four-page spread, implicating Hillary and Mike Pence, too.

The story about Flynn is, instead, mostly a story about Jack Barsky, the former Russian spy who has gotten a lot of press of late tied to the release of his book. Just Thursday, CNN published an interview with him claiming, “What is clear is that email accounts of Democrat operatives were hacked and those hacks originated in Russia. Anything beyond that is pure speculation.” But amid a two-page story of Barsky’s life (as if the details of his life — and Barsky himself — were newly discovered), NE includes two quotes. A “national security intelligence source” warns of other Russian spies:

Jack Barsky is a Russian spy that was caught. But what is really frightening is that there are others out there like him embedded deep into Washington D.C. … Barsky being tracked down will greatly help the president smoke out other rats in his ranks.

And amid a four paragraph discussion of Mike Flynn, NE quotes an “administration source.”

The revelations [about Barsky] come as still-unfolding details continue to worm their way into the public eye about Trump’s own White House “turncoat” — now-ousted national security adviser and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn.

Flynn was booted from Trump’s cabinet after intercepted phone calls exposed how he had colluded with Russian officials — and then had the chutzpah to lie about it when questioned by Vice President Mike Pence.

“He was, in essence, the Russian spy in Trump’s midst,” said an administration source who spoke to The ENQUIRER on the condition of anonymity. “Trump was lucky to root him out when he did.”

The unfolding Russian spy drama will overshadow the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee hearing investigating alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Putin, source said.

Of course, Trump transition official Devin Nunes has already canceled the next hearing into ties between Trump’s campaign and Putin, but perhaps Trump plans on magnifying this hit job in upcoming days, replete with spooky language — “embedded,” “smoke out other rats,” “worm their way,” “turncoat,” “root him out,” — to shift the focus on disloyalty within the Trump Administration.

Which brings us to the other main story in this four-page spread.

It describes how “Trump crushe[d] Clinton coup” designed to install Mike Pence, purportedly revealed by Julian Assange in these two tweets (and some follow-up):

It treats Assange’s claims about his arch enemy as credible because, as a “Beltway insider sniffed … Assange is plugged in and has deep connections to Russian intelligence, along with similar networks around the world.”

The story cites a “White House insider” describing Trump giving Pence a loyalty oath.

President Trump called Pence into the Oval Office and forced him to take a lie detecter test to prove his loyalty. Pence swore he had nothing to do with Hillary and was being moved around like a chess piece in evil Hillary’s game!

After alleging Baywatch’s Pamela Anderson might be a cut-out and/or love interest for Assange, the story then turns on Paul Ryan, citing a quote first published in October, the audio of which was released by Breitbart the same day as the Assange tweets, March 14. The NE claimed that Hillary leaked the call to sow dissent before the health care vote.

The timing of the leak is not a coincidence. The call took place in October and leaked now — just as Ryan and Trump are working to muster support for the health care bill to replace Obamacare. Hillary’s people leaked it to drive a wedge between Trump and Ryan, undermine their efforts to reform health care and destroy the president!

In short, the second article is even more fevered than the one implicating Flynn.

Finally, in addition to a short piece attacking Chris Matthews, the spread includes a non-denial denial of Christopher Steele’s dossier, claiming it showed “Trump orgies” and “graphic sex involving hookers,” which is not precisely what pee gate claimed. It then dismisses the claims because “Trump neither drinks nor uses drugs,” as if that would rule out orgies.

Undoubtedly, all this was placed with the cooperation of the White House, if not direct quotes from Trump (which is something he has a history of doing). While the Flynn story has been viewed — particularly alongside unsubstantiated claims that Flynn is cooperating with the FBI — as an attempt to damage him for snitching, it almost certainly dates to earlier than more recent attacks on Flynn, and in conjunction with stories of loyalty oaths from Pence appears tame by comparison.

Trump wants to justify a witch hunt among the National Enquirer set. And at least thus far, Flynn and warnings of replacement by Pence are no more than the excuse for launching it.

14 replies
  1. SpaceLifeForm says:

    LOL.  Panic setting in.  When you can no longer control the ‘mainstream press’ to control the spin, and have to involve such a tried and true media outlet that will take pages (pages I tell you!) to get the narative out, you have lost.  Period.

    Marcy, thanks for wasting some beer money on this ‘story’.


  2. SpaceLifeform says:

    OT: DoubleAgent (Software, not WetWare)

    [do not use Windows is your best start]

    The security firm pointed out that the attack is difficult to block since the malicious code is injected into the process even after a reboot of the system, a software update, or reinstallation of the targeted product.

    The DoubleAgent attack is said to work on all versions of Windows, including Windows 10, and any architecture. However, since the method relies on a legitimate tool, there is nothing Microsoft can do about it.

    Michael Engstler, co-founder and CTO of Cybellum, told SecurityWeek that DoubleAgent is ideal in the post-breach phase of an attack. “It’s the missing part for every malware to become an advanced persistent threat (APT),” he said.

  3. peasantparty says:



    There appears to be someone that is a name caller that prefers to slog up your site, rather than add to it.   It really is hard to read the comments and learn from their contributions. It even said you were a Propaganda site.   The personal attacks and name calling appears to worsen by the week.

    Just my two cents here, but I’m sure others feel the same.


    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      Rule #1: Ignore the trolls

      Whenever any website/blog starts reaching proper conclusions and/or providing useful information that lurkers can learn from, the paid trolls come out and try to poison the well, muddy the waters.

      Slashdot say 15 years ago was very useful. Now it is a cesspool of trolls, lots from TLAs, that get off-topic immediately. Plus they have a broken moderation system that allows the troll buddies from same TLA to upvote their buddies on completely distracting comments.

      Now, Bruce Schneier is dealing with the same issue except he has to do the moderation.

  4. scribe says:

    Well, don’t forget that the National Enquirer was one of the leading media outlets for the drive, back in the 90s, to destroy the Clinton presidency. They would run with anything – about the Clintons – regardless of journalistic standards like “dual sourcing” or anything else. They got a lot of criticism for their “lack of standards” but they sold a lot of papers. And their efforts bore fruit, as you might recall.
    One might be able to spin out a story tying the anthraxing of their offices – which took place at the same time as the NY Post and a couple Dem Senators got anthrax letters – to some harebrained Clinton revenge plot or something. That might fly, if people here hadn’t done a lot of nice takedown on the Official Story. But, still, the Nat Enq’s home offices had to be thoroughly decontaminated, demolished, and destroyed, the contamination was so great.
    This is gonna be fun to watch.

    • lefty665 says:

      You’re right, and it was the Enquirer that broke the John Edwards scandal. Every now and then they draw blood.

      The HQ building in Boca Raton that received an anthrax letter housed the Enquirer, World Weekly News, Globe and maybe some other pubs.  The guy who was killed was the inspiration for WWN and they shut down after the anthrax attack.  Hence my nostalgia for Bat Boy.  I still think the anthrax attacks smell like Cheney with a little Rove seasoning mixed in to scare the Dems into supporting the Patriot Act.

      Expect you’re right, Trump is going to move some Enquirers. It’ll put the excitement back in the checkout line at the grocery store.

      • Charles says:

        Na ga ha pin. NYDN:

        Industry insiders tell us Trump is “very close” with David Pecker, head of The National Enquirer and CEO and chairman of American Media, which means the outlet is unlikely to dig too deeply into his personal life as he campaigns.
        This is an about-face for the Enquirer, which broke scandals that spectacularly ended the presidential hopes of John Edwards and Gary Hart, among others.
        “Trump is a big friend of Pecker,” says our insider. “So no John Edwards-type investigations.”
        Our source says that with Trump “protected” by the tabloid, “Some of the staff are furious. Trump’s such fertile ground, and it drives them crazy to not only be staying away from it, but running puff pieces for him.”

        The right-wing media is even less truthful than the Soviet media was.

        • emptywheel says:

          Yeah, both you and scribe are right: I should have made the Pecker tie explicit. But it is definitely one of the reasons I assume this was delivered precisely as Trump wanted it.

  5. Mitchell says:

    Aw, y’all left out that Donald and Enquirer owner David Pecker are sort of tight friends. So there’s a whole additional layer to the Enquirer piece. Wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Lying’ King wasn’t one of the anonymous sources — hence the detachment from reality.

  6. klynn says:

    “Trump is a big friend of Pecker,” says our insider. “So no John Edwards-type investigations.”Our source says that with Trump “protected” by the tabloid, “Some of the staff are furious. Trump’s such fertile ground, and it drives them crazy to not only be staying away from it, but running puff pieces for him.” 

    Let me suggest the staffers that are furious go as a group to another news organization and ask to work as an investigative team on the Trump-Russia story. I bet they would have success. Plus, the sidebar of a whole group of writers for NE quitting because Trump was “protected” by the tabloid could be the best news story yet. Love the idea of writers being “the story.”  Let’s hope one of them reads here and gets smart to this suggestion.

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