The NYT “Scoop” Appears To Be an Effort to Spin Opening an Investigation into Trump as an Erratic Act

I’d like to point out something strongly suggested by the stories based on gossiping about Andrew McCabe memos. These stories portray what people not at a meeting that took place just after Comey’s firing think happened at the meeting based off hearing about memos memorializing them. From the WaPo’s far more responsible version of the story, we know that Lisa Page was also present at the meeting.

Another official at the meeting, then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, wrote her own memo of the discussion which does not mention any talk of the 25th amendment, according to a second person who was familiar with her account.

And the WaPo’s version of the “wire” comment puts it in context, making it clear that Rosenstein was questioning how they could investigate the President.

That person said the wire comment came in response to McCabe’s own pushing for the Justice Department to open an investigation into the president. To that, Rosenstein responded with what this person described as a sarcastic comment along the lines of, “What do you want to do, Andy, wire the president?”

Now go back to earlier in the week, to the frothy right rehashing some texts Page and Peter Strzok sent, talking about opening an investigation into … someone, while Andrew McCabe was Acting Director. (Apologies for the Fox slurs about Page and Strzok.)

Text messages from disgraced FBI figures Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, discussing whether to open a “case” in a “formal chargeable way” after Director James Comey was fired, are under fresh scrutiny after Page told congressional investigators there was no evidence of Russian collusion at the time, according to three congressional sources.

Two hours after Comey’s termination became public on May 9, 2017, Strzok, a now-former FBI agent, texted Page, his then-colleague and lover: “We need to open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy is acting.”

“Andy” is a reference to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who temporarily took over the bureau until Christopher Wray was confirmed as director in August 2017.

Page, a former FBI attorney, replied to Strzok: “We need to lock in (redacted). In a formal chargeable way. Soon.”

Strzok concurred. “I agree. I’ve been pushing and I’ll reemphasize with Bill,” believed to be Bill Priestap, the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.

Finally, here’s the WaPo version of Michael Bromwich’s description of the memos.

McCabe’s lawyer, Michael Bromwich, said in a statement that his client “drafted memos to memorialize significant discussions he had with high level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions. When he was interviewed by the special counsel more than a year ago, he gave all of his memos — classified and unclassified — to the special counsel’s office. A set of those memos remained at the FBI at the time of his departure in late January 2018. He has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those memos.”

These are “significant memos” and went right to Mueller when he was appointed. The kind of memos that might back investigative decisions, such as whether to open an investigation into the President.

So what the NYT spin of the story is about is suggesting that at the moment when DOJ opened an investigation into the President, the guy who opened it was “acting erratically.” Presumably based off the third-hand opinions of people like Jim Jordan, who knows a bit about acting erratically. It’s also about whether a discussion of removing the President took place at the same meeting where a discussion of investigating him did.

Likely, the messages are muddled, because they always are when getting laundered through Jim Jordan’s feverish little mind.

Update: NYT has now updated their story with two details designed to rebut the more responsible reporting of other outlets. First, they cite their sources claiming — without having to explain — that Rosenstein spoke about recording the President on another occasion, with the suggestion that that time it wan’t sarcastic.

Mr. Rosenstein also mentioned the possibility of wearing a wire on at least one other occasion, the people said, though they did not provide details.

More remarkably, they include a paragraph that reveals their original story was inaccurate as to timing. To rebut WaPo’s report that Lisa Page’s version of events don’t include the reference to the 25th Amendment, the NYT has now decided there were “at least two meetings that took place on May 16” (but note the knowledge of their sources all appears to come from memos, not from witnessing the events).

At least two meetings took place on May 16 involving both Mr. McCabe and Mr. Rosenstein, the people familiar with the events of the day said. Mr. Rosenstein brought up the 25th Amendment during the first meeting of Justice Department officials, they said. He did not appear to talk about it at the second, according to a memo by one participant, Lisa Page, a lawyer who worked for Mr. McCabe at the time, that did not mention the topic.

Well, okay, maybe that’s true. But that utterly demolishes some key premises of the story as originally written. The story collapses the timing of all this, emphasizing that it happened just two weeks into the job.

Mr. Rosenstein was just two weeks into his job. He had begun overseeing the Russia investigation and played a key role in the president’s dismissal of Mr. Comey by writing a memo critical of his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But Mr. Rosenstein was caught off guard when Mr. Trump cited the memo in the firing, and he began telling people that hefeared he had been used.

[snip]

The president informed them of his plan to oust Mr. Comey. To the surprise of White House aides who were trying to talk the president out of it, Mr. Rosenstein embraced the idea, even offering to write the memo about the Clinton email inquiry. He turned it in shortly after.

A day later, Mr. Trump announced the firing, and White House aides released Mr. Rosenstein’s memo, labeling it the basis for Mr. Comey’s dismissal. Democrats sharply criticized Mr. Rosenstein, accusing him of helping to create a cover story for the president to rationalize the termination. [my emphasis]

All this suggests the response was a direct response to the Comey firing.

And while the story does note the meetings take place a week later, the update emphasizes the actual date.

A determined Mr. Rosenstein began telling associates that he would ultimately be “vindicated” for his role in the matter. One week after the firing, Mr. Rosenstein met with Mr. McCabe and at least four other senior Justice Department officials, in part to explain his role in the situation. [my emphasis]

The “wire the president” comment (and the 25th Amendment one, if it did happen as described) took place on May 16, almost a week later.

One week after the firing, Mr. Rosenstein met with Mr. McCabe and at least four other senior Justice Department officials, in part to explain his role in the situation.

In this update, the NYT also took out language about Rosenstein wondering about motive.

wondered whether Mr. Trump had motives beyond Mr. Comey’s treatment of Mrs. Clinton for ousting him, the people said.

By May 16, of course, Rosenstein wouldn’t have to wonder about Trump’s motives, because he had already gone on TV and explained what his motive was — it was to end the Russia investigation.

More troublingly, he had taken a meeting with Sergei Lavrov and Sergei Kislyak — the latter of whom was a key figure in any conspiracy investigation — without American press present at which he shared highly sensitive Israeli secrets. While the public didn’t know it yet, at the meeting Trump also said he fired Comey to ease the pressure on him.

More importantly, if there were two meetings — one on whether Trump was handling the FBI hiring properly, and one on whether to open an investigation into the President — then it means those different topics have a different meaning. One meeting was about whether Trump was capable of doing the job, the other was about whether he had broken the law.

Anyway, what we’re not getting is any real understanding of the real context of these comments.

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79 replies
  1. Trip says:

    Mike Schmidt’s face when asked about sources, very telling, on Nicole Wallace. OBVIOUSLY someone with an agenda. He had almost a half-smirk Mona Lisa smile.

     

     

  2. dw says:

    Sometimes I wonder whether the NYT actually wants Trump to remain in office as long as possible, so it can keep publishing its stupid Maggie and Mike scoops.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      Redline Mike seems a bit too in love with the idea of publishing things that would provoke a reaction from King Idiot.

    • Avattoir says:

      One would think among you 3, someone could come up with more convincing noms de blog. Also, that avoiding cycling thru in formation move? It needs work.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This is not the NYT doing its duty as journalists, it is the NYT abdicating it.

    To rebut the NYT on another point, the crazy time is not some pleasant past moment. It is just gearing up. And Rod Rosenstein is not the crazy guy. That’s the guy in the White House.

    • Trip says:

      They have been actively, and it would seem purposefully, egging Trump on to fire Mueller.

      I have to wonder if Kelly or Sessions contributed as sources, as a way of covering their own asses against the anonymous NYT op-ed (aside from the usual suspects like Jordan).

      • Tracy says:

        I agree on the egging on; a while back I noted that Schmidt said something on Nicole Wallace’s show like “The president just doesn’t have the guts to fire Mueller.” Duh – it’s constantly like waving a red cape at a (dumb, but crazed) raging bull.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      The framing of this story is inexcusable.

      There is an argument for saying that GOP sources are claiming this about Rosenstein, and then putting his rebuttal up front. Instead the Times claims this as proven fact, downplay the attenuated nature of their sources, and bury his denial.

      Any serious observer of Rosenstein would tell them this is nuts, but they offer no space to a serious observer to speak.

      And this is not just the reporters. Editors are responsible for validating the need for anonymity and the tenor of the story. No responsible editor would sign off on this story as it is written, but the NY Times Washington office is a cesspool. What a disaster.

    • jaag says:

      There is still something really weird about Rosenstein not recusing after writing/being duped into writing the Comey pretext.  I would love to hear the lawyers here discuss if they think he should have stayed on.

      I sort of wonder if Trump wanted him to stay on only if he could have him stained and linked to the Comey firing. Trump thinks Rosenstein taking the bait means he is more maleable . I think Trumpis wrong inthat thinking, but that he thought it deeply when he asked rosensstein for the letter/memo on Comey’s shit.

  4. Thomas Paine says:

    New Yorkers support New Yorkers – even IDIOT MEGALOMANIAC New Yorkers.  Give me three reasons (besides decent pizza) why the world wouldn’t be a better place, if the Dutch had never found Hudson Bay and set up a trading post there.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        It is astonishingly bad.

        Rosenstein is a well known quantity to Lawfare. Buying the line that Rosenstein did this stuff is like buying the idea that Dick Cheney was secretly working with Bernie Sanders to block the Iraq War. It requires proof, not the word of people with an axe to grind.

      • TheraP says:

        I couldn’t make heads or tails of it myself! I thought it was just me. So thanks for the confirmation.

        (You have to wonder what its purpose was… It’s getting to be so tricky to parse not only meanings but purposes now. I worry about our future as a society. I think of Wittgenstein.)

          • TheraP says:

            That’s the causal explanation. I was thinking teleology. What are they trying to make me think?

            In either case, thanks!

            You guys are awesome propaganda police! Kudos!

            • Rayne says:

              It’s a two-fer: undermine the point+author of this post, and shift to a pro-Russian attack on Browder. Poor “NV” was just trying to do an honest day’s work; surprised they didn’t tack on, “But the orphans!” the way they tacked on “‘Ruskie business guy pays his bills’.”

              The other point of the comment was flooding the thread with crap to frustrate readers, particularly those on mobile devices who must scroll-scroll-scroll to get past to something meaningful related to post.

              • TheraP says:

                Wow!!!! When I first read that story it was only a few paragraphs long. No bullet points below! So what you read was something like a totally different thing from what I read. And thought I posted. If there’s a comment section, I never even knew that. Or saw it.

                My God! I hope this is believable!

  5. Trip says:

    BTW, aside from Kavanaugh news getting buried:
    Another Roger Stone associate meets with Mueller grand jury
    Jerome Corsi, who until recently served as the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for the controversial far-right news outlet Infowars, is one of at least 11 individuals associated with Stone who have been contacted by the special counsel.
    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/roger-stone-associate-meets-mueller-grand-jury/story?id=57995847

    [Link fixed – this is the kind of URL in which the ID is to the story and not the user./~Rayne]

      • Rayne says:

        I fixed the link for Trip, thanks for pointing it out. By the way you have two different usernames — Tracy and Tracy Lynn. Please use one name consistently so that community members get to know you. Thanks.

        • Tracy says:

          OK, this is really funny b/c both “Tracy Lynn” and myself (“Tracy”) have replied to Trip at almost the exact same time.

          Well, Tracy Lynn – I don’t know if sometimes you’ve used “Tracy” – but are you OK sticking with “Tracy Lynn” and I will stick w/ “Tracy”?

          Kind of amazing timing on that…

          • Trip says:

            Haha, this is funny. I thought you were doubling down on the link issue. Imagine if there were 4-5 Tracys. I’d start getting paranoid.

            • Tracy says:

              Yeah, like extra-trying to make my point, LOL!

              I hear ya, I had a weird moment there, too! LOL. I’ll have to keep an eye out, though I think Rayne’s doing pretty well over here. :-D

    • Tracy says:

      Hey, Trip, I get a “page unavailable” – but I did see a couple of weeks ago (CNN Politics reported), when Corsi was first supposed to testify for GJ, he instead went the day beforehand and spent hours with the OSC.

  6. Watson says:

    This is spin. It tries to stir sh*t about Rod Rosenstein, rather than viewing the account, if true, as additional evidence in the category already provided by Michael Wolff, Bob Woodward, and the author of the anonymous NYT op ed; i.e., people who see Trump behind the scenes think he’s incompetent and crazy.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Note to Chris Matthews: You’re only slightly behind Chuck Todd in the race to the bottom.

    Please rethink your framing.  You are not describing or advocating that Trump “clean house” at the DoJ.  You are describing a president who is desperate to obstruct an investigation into his own conduct.  One has nothing to do with the other.

  8. Trip says:

    Ari Melber is holding Schmidt’s feet to the fire. He is being evasive and seemingly not being completely honest about how he verified. He admitted it was from people “briefed”, but then tried to walk away from it not being someone ‘in the room’ or wouldn’t confirm either way. This reporting stinks.

    I don’t trust Schmidt.

    • Rayne says:

      Schmidt was on NPR, too. I haven’t had a chance to pull that interview back up. Seems really odd he is making such a big media tour for this report, like he has to make sure it sticks.

      • Trip says:

        You have to watch his expressions, Rayne. Something ain’t right. He looks like a guy caught in a big lie. But why?

        • Bob Conyers says:

          David Simon is ripping in to Haberman right now on Twitter.

          Simon has followed Rosenstein for a long time due to Rosenstein’s extensive work in Baltimore, and Simon knows journalism due to his tenure at the Baltimore Sun.

          Simon is calling this garbage. And he is rightly noting exactly how it stinks, from the lede to the sourcing to the emphasis and the burying of contradictory information. He is giving no quarter, nor should he.

          @AoDespair

  9. Anura says:

    I’m so sick of this shit. If we treated journalism as if the objective was to inform the readers, then this type of shit would get called out by everyone and it wouldn’t fly. Instead, we get a shitton of glorified reality show presenters who care more about the ratings than how accurate their narratives are, and even the ones who seem to make an effort to present the facts turn a blind eye to the corruption in journalism itself and don’t call out the bullshit; what do they think they are cops tasked with policing themselves?

    • TheraP says:

      Journalism “on the couch.” And even the psychoanalysts are stumped!

      My elderly mind is so wearied of this nonstop propaganda.

      I recall back in 2003. The runnup to the Iraq attack. We had a subscription to the Times. And the Wall Street Journal had offered 3 months free. So why not? Then… I’m reading with amazement as the WSJ begins to sound more sane on this war run-up than the Times!

      And now it’s happening again. Different story – same paper. Hair on Fire!

  10. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    Chuck Todd — he’s such a feckless Chuck.

    Chris Matthews— I had the last of him when he said something along the lines of “real men” stay back and fight for Syria, they don’t flee with their families.

    Erin Burnett—I listen to her instead (CNN) because I know that her conservative tendencies are put to the test every night she reports on these TEA-banging bigots, barons, and Bannons.

  11. Tracy Lynn says:

    Thank you, @Rayne, for fixing the ABC link. Also, @Tracy, I’m totally good with being Tracy Lynn. I couldn’t remember what name I’d used or even when I’d used it, then when I saw the name Tracy was already taken, I thought Tracy Lynn would be better, anyway.

  12. orionATL says:

    the nytimes is overtly following paul manafort’s skilled teaching for propagandists – “plant some stink on tymo”

    as mansfort aided the campaign of the pro-russian ukranian demagogue yanukovitch discredit his elected opponent yulia tymoshenko:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bada-bing-bada-boom-paul-manaforts-attempt-to-smear-a-jailed-ukrainian-politician/2018/09/14/c5ac93b6-b837-11e8-a2c5-3187f427e253_story.html?

    manafort got a huge reward for his help.

    so what reward has the nytimes been promised for planting stink on deputy attorney general rod rosenstein? or is today’s clumsy smeaar of dag rosenstein the characteristically lickspittle nytimes making up to power for this big article yesterday:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/09/20/us/politics/russia-interference-election-trump-clinton.html?

    fair and balanced, compadres.

    • dimmsdale says:

      I’m going to advance a half-baked theory, entirely my own, that the editorial leadership at the Times is thoroughly enjoying being a Playa here, throwing its weight around with thinly sourced pap, whether it leads to the downfall of democracy or not. It was a pleasure to see Mr. Simon (a real reporter, as we know) hand MAGA Haberman her ass on Twitter today.

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Wow, the NYT looks bad in this mess.  I’m a subscriber (appeasing my mother’s ghost), but the very idea that a NYT reporter could end up being pwned in a way that (1) defames Rosenstein, and (2) risks handing Trump a temporary misunderstanding that would give him an opening to fire Mueller makes the NYT complicit.  What an absolute disaster.

        I would not want to be in Michael Schmidt’s skin.  Sweet Jesus, what a fucking landmine.

  13. orionATL says:

    “…Update: NYT has now updated their story with two details designed to rebut the more responsible reporting of other outlets. First, they cite their sources claiming — without having to explain — that Rosenstein spoke about recording the President on another occasion, with the suggestion that that time it wan’t sarcastic…”

    the nytimes updated its damaging story in response to theknowledge that another credible newspaper (wapo) had included facts that challenged some critical facts in the original nytimes story in a major way. this is all you need to know to understand that the nytimes knows full well that its story is planted, manipulative timesshit from those sources.

    central to this conclusion is that the times’ sources read the wapo facts and then changed their story to counter the new wapo facts. most of us realize this as a classic case of human lying.

    thus i infer that the nytimes sources are most certainly lying. the nytimes, faced with this behavior of its sources, does not retract, but rather doubles down on their veracity. therefore i must conclude that the nytimes is facilitating a gross, damaging lie.  disgraceful behavior in my view.

    from now on, the nytimes will be on the defensive. and fairly so. they really do need to be hunted to ground by their mefia brethern for this monstrous dissembling.

    what will cjr say?

  14. Lit3Bolt says:

    The Onion:

    “NYT Announces Anonymous Source As New Editor-In-Chief”

    Hey NYT, hire the Onion’s headline writers.  Seems they can call out in a single sentence and be accurate and ethical at the same time.

  15. Bay State Librul says:

    “There is some seriously wicked maneuvering going on here and it will come to a bad end.” Charlie Pierce

    So, the Tragedy of Trump continues.
    One writer speaking of King Lear remarks, “while other tragedies depict their characters experiencing a measure of joy before the onset of their misery, King Lear offers no such relief. From beginning to end, all of its figures suffer, and all attempt various strategies to escape their sufferings– some hardening their hearts, others engaging in orgies of violence, many devoting themselves to alleviating the suffering of others, Lear himself raging against his own pain until his sanity cracks….”

    Trump has lost his mind….

  16. Trip says:

    Fox News (from what I read, I can’t stomach viewing) has floated a conspiracy theory that this story is a set-up/trap to hurt Trump. I’m not buying that, but the claim of the source being McCabe, I guess, is possible. If he plans on filing a lawsuit of wrongful termination or whatever lawyer-speak title-thingy it would fall under, it might make sense.

    I’m surmising if this is the case, his attorneys would want to demonstrate some kind of incompetence or irrationality of the powers that be who canned him. In other words, his firing was entirely reactionary, by an emotionally keyed up superior? I suppose it could also be revenge, as in “I got taken down, and you’re going with me”?

    It still wouldn’t absolve the NYT of what seems like highly irresponsible reporting, especially if based on only one disgruntled source, completely downplaying contrary statements by sources who attended the meeting.

    Anyone have thoughts on this?

    • Bob Conyers says:

      I think Fox is putting a fake spin on a real concern. I don’t buy McCabe as a significant source — this is too convoluted for a guy trying to restore his reputation. But I do think Fox gets how this could backfire, and they put McCabe’s name on it because they get how he plugs in to Trump’s paranoia.

      I suspect this is a piece of evidence, along with signs of Trump reducing his tweets, that people close to him are recognizing that he’s in more danger now.

      • TheraP says:

        “Fake Spin” on “a real concern”

        Makes my head spin!

        Things are getting to a point where – if we have to mistrust every word and every report and every spin on “word” and “reporter” and on and on – in some type of Russian Doll suspicion trail…

        Where does this leave the average person? Let alone the well-intentioned intelligent reader, trying to parse and doubt everything including his or her own instincts, feelings and conclusions?

        I fear that’s what they’re after. Total confusion and mind-numbing. … I’m sitting here with my hands/fingers holding my forehead. As if unconsciously trying to protect my frontal lobes. Like: “Get a grip!”

        I can only imagine Dr. Ford – if this is what’s happening to me. (I’m gonna go take my walk. Clear my head.)

        I’ve decided this whole Rosenstein thing is a shiny object. That clears my head!

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          I fear that’s what they’re after. Total confusion and mind-numbing. … I’m sitting here with my hands/fingers holding my forehead. As if unconsciously trying to protect my frontal lobes. Like: “Get a grip!”

          That’s exactly what they’re after.  It’s an epic disinformation campaign.

          A confused creature, like a deer in headlights, is easy to overpower and outwit.  Friendly reminder: all mammals can go into ‘shock’, which can be lifesaving in some circumstances, but deadly in others.  Too much information, or conflicting information, overwhelms the nervous system and is a form of ‘shock’.  I know people who no longer watch  news because ‘they don’t know what to believe anymore’: game, set, match to Putin on that score.  They are no longer able to manage the amount and confusion of the information they encounter in a given day: they only trust ‘people they know’, which made Facebook phenomenally powerful in 2016.

          Meanwhile, wasn’t Fox’s owner Murdock’s ex-wife (Wendy Deng?) seen with Putin at some point in the last two years?  And didn’t Ivanka meet up with Wendy…?   What’s noise, and what’s information?  What’s gossip and what’s collusion?  Are you paralyzed yet…?  (If not, we have tabloids!  Internet videos! Alex Jones!  We have Hannity!)

          Alas, deer in headlights are not adept at assessing China and Korea’s business activities in Africa, nor the daily construction progress of the New Silk Road.  Nor are they very smart about whatever is going on in Syria, or other parts of the MidEast – maybe they trust Bibi Netanyahu and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to call the shots.

          Game. Set. Match to whoever wants to lead US foreign policy by the nose, for their own ambitions.

          Meanwhile, McConnell, the GOP Senate, and Paul Ryan sit around with their heads up their collective asses.  And Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan proliferate disinformation.  Some of which, the NYT publishes.  Unbelievable.

          I am getting a bit tired of blaming Putin for everything, however.  Nothing in the US is going to really get better until we collectively look in the mirror and ask WTF happened, and why.  And then clean up some of our media conglomerates, and get back to local media ownership.  Blaming Putin for the fact that we let Sinclair (or Fox) hoover up the vast majority of US city news outlets is just crybaby whining; it’s our job to figure things out and clean up this sh!t.

          To do that, we probably need a lot more walks in nature to clear out our heads.  Or a nice, long set of laps in a pool.  Or raking leaves.  Calming, restorative, healthy things ;-)

          • Rayne says:

            There isn’t necessarily much daylight between Putin and the US Christo-fascist right-wing. Putin just happened to co-opt the work the Christo-fascists had already done, like hyper-gerrymandering and the rise of Murdoch’s Fox network. All of this damage needs to be teased apart and repaired; it’s just easier to do it without foreign influence.

            Do ask yourself why white nationalist David Duke moved to Moscow for nearly a decade.

            • Bob Conyers says:

              I’m not sure “co-opt” captures the dynamic — I think there is a lot of work on the right to seek out interested parties throughout the world.

              In other words, there may not be a lot of maneuvering or subterfuge by Putin, just haggling over the price.

              • Rayne says:

                If the party’s elites and electeds weren’t aware that their donor the NRA had been “acquired” I think co-opt is appropriate. We still don’t know what other entities were “acquired” with dark money from offshore.

                The group — nebulous, informally organized — that wasn’t co-opted: white nationalists intersecting with the NRA and the GOP. The broader public isn’t aware of their efforts because most don’t poke around four/chan, eight/chan*, or the dark web.

                *(both spelled out like so for a reason)

  17. Lulymay says:

    This is exactly why this blog is my “go to” for serious, rational discussion on this whole Trump et al boondoggle.  The truth has no place where ratings, sales and political ambitions are on the menu.

    I haven’t wasted a dime on a newspaper for eons and can’t stomach the empty heads that present themselves as journalists but are primarily news readers of someone else’s created teleprompter.

    There! I feel better already! Not an American, by the way, just someone extremely concerned for the future of America’s citizens.

  18. orionATL says:

    can someone tell me just exactly why it would be a firing offense if a top law enforcement official were to suggest wearing a recorder to a meeting with the president – or to actually wear one?

    have our editors, reporters, and important-enough-to-be-commenters begun to loose their fukin’ minds in the verbal droole oozing from this demagogue’s mouth. are they internalizing and genuflecting to his authoritarian disposition.

    so what if rubenstein, coney, wray, sessions, pompeo, or mattis were to “wear a wire?

    what is wrong with these idiot reporters, sources, and commentators.

    who is this president? osiris?

    who are we? his fukin’ slaves?

    get it straight. the bastard is our president, our servant.

  19. Reader_21 says:

    Schmidt brings the bs hard—esp for the NYT Daily: for example, explaining the Strozk saga recently to a gullible host, he failed to mention that what made him so leery of a trump presidency, was because of what he’d seen in his professional capacity, as one of our top counterintelligence experts, especially on Russia! Never.mentioned.it. I couldn’t believe it—still can’t. Stunningly irresponsible. Then, back on Feb 1, when Nunes was pulling his own subterfuge, and again on NYT Daily to the bothsiderism host, I noted this:

    Today’s NYT Daily is extraordinary, with Mike Schmidt—while he’s always been a practitioner of bothsiderism par excellence, today was amazing, most especially for what it left out. No mention of many material items re why Nunes was so problematic to lead any “investigation” (ie., role in transition, role in WH escapades re “unmasking”, forced recusal due to ethics committee investigation), while many material omissions on other side as well. It is truly something.

  20. Tom in AZ says:

    Listened to the Ari Melber show in my truck yesterday (via siriusxm) while driving and working, and I thought Michael Schmidt was lying just from the tone of his voice.

    Ari’s shout out to Marcy was cool, and well deserved as always. I am here daily for many years now, even if rarely commenting. We also have rugby in common, and I have a mental image of Marcy bearing down at a dead run on a hapless tool, helplessly waiting on a hanging kick to come down with him knowing Marcy is going to be arriving at the same time at full speed. Smiling as she drills him.

    • bmaz says:

      Tom, were you the commenter here years ago that was at one point up in north eastern AZ and working with a state university project??

      I almost do not think so, and that there may have been two similarly named folks. At any rate, we know who you are, and please comment more often.

  21. orionATL says:

    what did the nytimes have in mind with its story on depty attny general rosenstein?

    fortunately the times has confessed in a story by peter baker:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/22/us/politics/trump-25th-amendment.html?

    it’s all because of that anonympous op-ed (“opportunity editorial”). the lede is buried in para 6.

    “…The disclosure of Mr. Rosenstein’s comments by The New York Times followed an essay written by an unnamed senior administration official for The Times’s opinion pages saying that “given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment,” but “no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis.”…”

    you see, it was that anonymous wh staffer (which the times graciously gave space to).

    but there’s more in para 7 and 8:

    omarosa manigault newman’s and robert woodward’s books contributed to make the times’ editors go crazy and plant some stink on rosenstein (see paras 7 and 8).

    got it?

    • Trip says:

      It occurred to me that they were actually trying to lay attribution of the anonymous op-ed at Rosenstein’s feet without directly coming out and saying it, at one point. Or, on the other hand, they were making his statements, sarcastic or earnest, as the genesis for a staff-wide approach to ‘shielding the country against Trump’s lunacy’ (which isn’t any shield at all).

      Still, Schmidt’s cagey responses to sourcing looks questionable. Thus far, before the article, the Mike and Maggie sourcing has been almost exclusively Trump and pro-Trump elements in the WH. Since that has been their pipeline, it’s difficult to imagine that this is some sudden deviation.

      The initial reactions to it, including Wittes’ almost gleeful confirmation that the response from Rosenstein had proven he said it (without analysis of tone or actual intent), might hint at McCabe.
      He kind of cleaned up his reaction in later interviews, but the first reaction was likely his most emotionally honest response; being that he was thrust into the spotlight to begin with for being a staunch Comey defender (who was angry about the firing).

      After his promotion of Kavanaugh and the walk back upon discovery of old emails between the two, he just comes across much more like a subversive GOP operative (my opinion only), attempting neutrality.

      At any rate, the promotional tour of Schmidt’s article (on every single cable news slot), and his obstinance or arrogance in allowing any critique of intent, still lingers as a surreal moment.

  22. debra says:

    I too am one who found Schmidt’s demeanor “odd”. In fact, when this story first broke, I had to rewind the video because I thought that I misunderstood what the NYT was reporting. The NYT has a piece that could possibly give trump justification for firing Rosenstein and weaponizes trump’s claim that the Investigation is a “witch hunt” by the Deep State? Hard to imagine the “failing” NYT was in trump’s corner, for once. However, if true, I applaud the NYT for its unbiased journalism. Still there is that “odd” Schmidt behavior. If Maggie is on the byline, I need to see if Mags acts “odd” as well during an interview on CNN or MSNBC, then I will really wonder what the heck is going on! At this point, I am slightly “confused” about this story.

  23. Reader_21 says:

    Mike and Maggie are working to undermine the Mueller investigation—and have been for some time. Given all we know, that conclusion is inescapable—Occams Razor applies. During the 2015-2016 campaign, she wrote about Donald’s mob ties—the worst-kept secret in NY, and most especially at the NYT—a grand total of zero times. Not a mention. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Guess how many times she mentioned emails, and/Or Benghazi, about Hillary? 92. 92–0. That’s beyond a coincidence.

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