“A few weeks after Donald Trump won the White House, senior officials inside the FBI had their latest heartburn about the news media’s coverage of a burgeoning Russia collusion controversy and the lingering Hillary Clinton email scandal.
The bureau had recently terminated its primary informant in the Russia probe, Christopher Steele, for leaking and several of its leads about Russia-Trump collusion were falling apart. And inaccurate stories about the two biggest scandals in Washington were cropping up everywhere, even when FBI officials tried to work with reporters.
“Yes, the headline is REALLY misleading,” then-FBI deputy counsel Lisa Page wrote a colleague in a text message concerning a New York Times article that day. The text message didn’t further identify the article but made clear the article was the result of a bureau overture to reporters that backfired.
Page’s colleague reported that another official who saw the headline had “really flipped out,” “but then he read the article and was like ‘what’s the point?’ Which is really a question that answers itself.”
“I’m glad it was so superficial,” the colleague added. “If they decide to start digging deep, we are screwed on trying to protect some of our stuff related to that case.”
Page wrote back saying the article likely was the result of an FBI overture that went awry. “My guess is we ‘suggested’ a good news story about the Bu. To remind people that we are still the good guys trying to keep America safe and not political operatives who sway elections,” she wrote. (Read more: Just the News, 3/07/2021) (Archive)