- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 8, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

James Comey, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, slid in a short and simple statement that was level in tone but nonetheless shocking in content.

He called a widely cited story from The New York Times that painted President Donald Trump in a negative light as fake news — without actually calling it fake news.

Poor Democrats.

Now they have to chalk up another failure in their widely loved, widely used campaign aimed at showing Trump’s team colluded with Russia to steal the election. A few more failures like that and Democrats will soon have to admit — gasp — Trump actually and legally won the White House.

Here’s what transpired.

Sen. James Risch from Idaho asked Comey if he recalled an article from The New York Times, published Feb. 14, titled “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.”

Comey’s response? Yep.

So let’s just circle back a moment and look at some of the text of that particular article, as noted by CNS News.

“Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials,” The New York Times reported.

The story goes on to talk about how law enforcement officials “intercepted the communications” right around the time they were learning the extents of Russian hacks into the Democratic National Committee.

“The intelligence agencies,” the report continued, “then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.”

Interestingly, the article then goes on to clarify that officials “had seen no evidence of such cooperation,” of such alleged collusion. But supposedly, these intel and law enforcement officials were alarmed just the same, in part because of Trump’s too-friendly public comments about Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

A casual reader of this New York Times report might get the idea U.S. intel was looking at Trump with wary eyes, doing more than just whispering about possible Russia-Team Trump election collusion, but prepping for an all-out investigation — yes?

And a casual political watcher might then find the Democratic accusation of Trump’s collusion with Russia to steal the election from Hillary Clinton as based in law enforcement fact — yes?

Well, hold those thoughts.

And fast-forward to the present, and to Risch’s line of questioning to Comey — a line that included the senator reminding that the ex-FBI chief’s previous public response to that New York Times story had been to seek “out both Republicans and Democrat senators to tell them that, hey, I don’t know where this is coming from, but this is not factual.”

Ready for the thud? Now comes Risch’s all-courts press for Comey to go on the record about his thoughts of this story, for all of America’s ears.

“So the American people can understand this,” Risch said Thursday, to Comey, “that report by The New York Times was not true. Is that a fair statement?”

Comey’s response: “In the main, it was not true.”

Can you say fake news?

And then came the knife twist: “The challenge — and I’m not picking on reporters — about writing stories about classified information is that people talking about it often don’t really know what is going on. And those of us who actually know what’s going on aren’t talking about it. And we don’t call the press to say, hey, you got that thing wrong about this sensitive topic. We just have to leave it there,” Comey said.

So let’s recap.

The New York Times put out a story more than suggesting intel and law enforcement officials supposedly knew Trump-tied associates had engaged in repeated conversations with Russians.

The New York Times also suggested intel and law enforcement officials were concerned about these supposed conversations because Trump just seemed too dang friendly with the Russian president.

The New York Times story was widely used by the left to press forward the mantra Trump stole the election from Clinton, largely by colluding with Russia.

But those particular points of The New York Times story are false. Fabrications. Fake news.

Talk about a travesty of truth. This is why the media has such low rankings with the American people. The mainstream media is all too willing to use whatever means at its disposal, even lies and false narratives, to take down Trump — to further its cries for impeachment and new leadership — all because of a snit fit their heir apparent candidate, Clinton, didn’t actually win the White House.

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