Radio host Rush Limbaugh excoriated CNN’s Jake Tapper and BuzzFeed on Wednesday for a “coordinated” attack on President-elect Donald Trump.
Reporting Tuesday night on “State of the Union” that Russia may possess compromising information on Mr. Trump — followed shortly thereafter by the release of an unverified intelligence dossier by BuzzFeed — was no coincidence to the man behind the “golden EIB microphone.” Mr. Limbaugh told listeners on Wednesday that CNN’s Jake Tapper knew what would happen, but acted anyway because “the normal techniques” for destroying Republicans “bounce off of Trump.”
“There’s a coordinated effort,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “CNN reports on the existence of the report but they don’t detail it. Jake Tapper, who wants to be known as one of the most highly respected journalists in the world, decides to start vomiting this stuff — but he doesn’t get into details. That’s a signal for BuzzFeed to go ahead and release and publish all 35 pages. And BuzzFeed does so while telling everybody that none of it has been verified.”
The conservative said that media outlets have been trying since before Election Day to verify the reports, but held off because “not a single shred” of evidence warranted coverage.
Mr. Tapper tried to distance CNN from any connection with BuzzFeed on Wednesday by saying BuzzFeed’s reporting was “irresponsible.”
“I can understand why President-elect Trump would be upset about that,” the CNN host said. “I would be upset, too. It is why we did not publish it and why we did not detail anything specific from it. That’s not what we do. We’re in the business of sussing out what is true and what is false.”
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Mr. Limbaugh went on to say that CNN’s coverage was in line with a kind of reporting that seeks to cast a pall over a man’s character through outlandish but unverified charges.
“What we have here, folks, is a variation on, ‘Yeah, we have no evidence, but the seriousness of the charge demands an investigation,’” Mr. Limbaugh said. “We first heard that or I first became familiar with it during the Clarence Thomas, Anita Hill hearings. Actually, no. I first heard about it when they alleged that George H. W. Bush flew on an SR-71 in the summer of 1980 to meet with the Iranians in Paris to arrange for the hostages to remain captive until after the election to facilitate the election of Reagan.”
“Gary Sick, a University of Columbia professor, wrote an entire book on this,” the host continued. “It was a total lie. It was total fake. It was total made up. And Tom Foley, the Speaker of the House — Democrat — at time, said, ‘Well, the seriousness of this charge, even though there’s no evidence, mandates that we conduct an investigation.’ And it’s the same thing here. This is a variation of that.”
Mr. Trump did not mince words with CNN’s Jim Acosta on the subject during a press conference in New York. He called the network a “terrible organization” and “fake news” before accepting questions from other reporters.
“I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out,” Mr. Trump Wednesday. “I think it’s a disgrace.”