- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2017

Radio host Rush Limbaugh says regular intelligence leaks are being used by the media as ammunition in a “political assassination” campaign against President Trump.

High-profile but anonymous leaks of classified information to The New York Times, The Washington Post and others have convinced the man behind “the golden EIB microphone” that a political hit job is underway to destroy the president.

Mr. Limbaugh says caveats embedded within reporting on the president’s private conversations with world leaders, along with his associates’ possible connections to Russia, demonstrate an underlying agenda.

“Every day, four o’clock to 5:30 in the afternoon, there is a new blockbuster … and if you read the entire story, you will find that the details suggested by the headline and the early reporting in the story actually cannot be backed up,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “It’s the most amazing thing.”

“There’s an allegation about Trump and the Russians or whatever,” the host continued. “At the end of the story, they basically say, ‘But we can’t confirm any of this. Nobody has any solid evidence to confirm.’ Well, then why do the story in the first place? … It’s all happening under the guise of journalism, under the pretext that it’s journalism and reporting of news, but it isn’t. This is not journalism. This is political and character assassination.”

The host cited a New York Times piece from Wednesday — “Top Russian officials discussed how to influence Trump aides last summer” — to buttress his point.

Multiple sources told the newspaper that Russia desired to shape Mr. Trump’s opinions by leveraging Paul Manafort and retired Gen. Michael T. Flynn. The Times’ author eventually noted that Russia’s plans may not have materialized.

“It is unclear, however, whether Russian officials actually tried to directly influence Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn,” the newspaper reported. “Both have denied any collusion with the Russian government on the campaign to disrupt the election.”

“Well, then what the hell is this story?” Mr. Limbaugh asked. “Another way of translating this: We have no idea if what our headline says ever happened. Despite the fact that our headline asserts that it did happen, we just don’t know … Why is there even a story? Because it’s a political assassination.”

The president released a statement on Thursday saying the Justice Department will launch an investigation into ongoing leaks and prosecute suspects “to the fullest extent of the law.”

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