media collusion

April 8, 2019 – Nunes files $150M lawsuit against McClatchy, alleging conspiracy to derail Clinton, Russia probes

Liz Mair (Credit: MSNBC)

“House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes filed a $150 million lawsuit in Virginia state court against The McClatchy Company and others on Monday, alleging that one of the news agency’s reporters conspired with a political operative to derail Nunes’ oversight work into the Hillary Clinton campaign and Russian election interference.

Mackenzie Mays (Credit: Politico)

The filing, obtained by Fox News, came a day after Nunes, R-Calif., revealed he would send eight criminal referrals to the Justice Department this week concerning purported surveillance abuses by federal authorities during the Russia probe, false statements to Congress and other matters.

In March, Nunes filed a similar $250 million lawsuit alleging defamation against Twitter and one of its users, Republican consultant Liz Mair. In Monday’s complaint, Nunes again named Mair as a co-defendant, charging this time that she conspired with McClatchy reporter MacKenzie Mays to spread a variety of untruthful and misleading smears — including that Nunes “was involved with cocaine and underage prostitutes” — online and in print.” (Read more: Fox News, 4/08/2019)

March 25, 2019 – Glenn Greenwald on Russia collusion conspiracy: “this is the saddest media spectacle I have ever seen since I began practicing journalism”

“Offering one of the most scathing responses to the Mueller report summary released Sunday night, Glenn Greenwald, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and founding editor of the Intercept, appeared on Democracy Now! Monday, where he lambasted the mainstream press for helping to perpetuate the “total fraud” that was the Russia collusion narrative.

The Intercept editor, who lives in Brazil with his partner, has been one of the most consistent voices speaking out about the mainstream press’s indulgence in “Russia collusion” conspiracy porn, blaming Rachel Maddow and her ilk for helping to discredit the broader media by spewing alarmist propaganda about the Mueller probe, and getting their audience’s hopes up for a major reveal that might ultimately end with Trump being driven from office…possibly in handcuffs.

(…) “This is the saddest media spectacle I have ever seen since I began practicing journalism in 2005 and what makes it even sadder is to watch all the people who invested their journalistic credibility into what proved to be a complete and total fraud and scam continue to try and cling to some vestige of credibility by continuing to spin conspiracy theories that are even more reckless and more unhinged than those we’ve been subjected to for the past three years.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 3/25/2019)

March 20, 2019 – Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele and Dan Jones are running an elaborate media influence operation, pitching the Russia collusion and Trump impeachment narratives

Glenn Simpson (Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/The Associated Press)

“Key Democratic operatives and private investigators who tried to derail Donald Trump’s campaign by claiming he was a tool of the Kremlin have rebooted their operation since his election with a multimillion-dollar stealth campaign to persuade major media outlets and lawmakers that the president should be impeached.

The effort has successfully placed a series of questionable stories alleging secret back channels and meetings between Trump associates and Russian spies, while influencing related investigations and reports from Congress.

The operation’s nerve center is a Washington-based nonprofit called The Democracy Integrity Project, or TDIP. Among other activities, it pumps out daily “research” briefings to prominent Washington journalists, as well as congressional staffers, to keep the Russia “collusion” narrative alive.

TDIP is led by Daniel J. Jones, a former FBI investigator, Clinton administration volunteer and top staffer to California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. It employs the key opposition-research figures behind the salacious and unverified dossier: Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and ex-British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Its financial backers include the actor/director Rob Reiner and billionaire activist George Soros.

Christopher Steele (Credit: Victoria Jones/The Associated Press)

The project’s work has been largely shrouded in mystery. But a months-long examination by RealClearInvestigations, drawn from documents and more than a dozen interviews, found that the organization is running an elaborate media-influence operation that includes driving and shaping daily coverage of the Russia collusion theory, as well as pushing stories about Trump in the national media that attempt to tie the president or his associates to the Kremlin.

The group also feeds information to FBI and congressional investigators, and then tells reporters that authorities are investigating those leads. The tactic adds credibility to TDIP’s pitches, luring big media outlets to bite on stories. It mirrors the strategy federal authorities themselves deployed to secure FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign: citing published news reports of investigative details their informants had leaked to the media to bolster their wiretap requests.

Five days a week, TDIP  emails a newsletter to influential Democrats and prominent Beltway journalists under the heading “TDIP Research” – which summarizes the latest “collusion” news, and offers “points of interest” to inspire fresh stories regarding President Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow.

Daniel J. Jones (Credit: The Guardian)

Recipients of the TDIP reports include staffers at the New York Times and Washington Post and investigative reporters at BuzzFeed, ProPublica and McClatchy, as well as news producers at CNN and MSNBC, according to a source familiar with the project’s email distribution list. Democratic aides on Capitol Hill also subscribe to the newsletter.

The briefings typically run several pages and include an “Executive Summary” and links to court documents and congressional testimony, letters and memos, as well as new articles and videos.

The Steele dossier and impeachment are common themes in the reports, which generally spin news events against Trump, copies of the newsletter obtained by RCI show. A March 13 TDIP bulletin, for instance, highlighted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s sentencing without informing readers that Special Counsel Robert Mueller closed the case without any collusion accusation against Manafort, who was punished for personal financial crimes.

A Feb. 12 briefing led with an NBC News exclusive report on the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s two-year Russia probe. But it misstated what the news was — that both Democrats and Republicans agreed with the conclusion that there was “no factual evidence of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia – claiming instead that Democrats “rejected” the conclusion.

“What’s significant about them is they’re totally one-sided,” said a veteran reporter with a major  newspaper who is plugged into the national security beat in Washington and insisted on anonymity. “It’s really just another way of adding fuel to the fire of the whole Russia collusion thing.”

Jones’ project doesn’t just spin the news. Its more ambitious goal is to make news by essentially continuing the Clinton-funded investigation into alleged Trump/Russia ties that began in 2016, and then sharing findings with news outlets, congressional investigators and federal agents.” (Read much more: RealClearInvestigations, 3/20/2019)

March 20, 2019 – The director of Ukraine’s anti-corruption bureau, Artem Sytnyk, admits to helping Clinton’s campaign by sabotaging Trump’s

Artem Sytnyk (Credit: BBC)

“The Blaze has released an audio recording that they recently obtained that appears to show Artem Sytnyk, Director of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, admitting that he tried to boost the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton by sabotaging then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.

The connection between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Ukrainian government was veteran Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa, “who had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration” and then “went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee,” Politico reported.

Chalupa was working directly with the Ukrainian embassy in the United States to raise concerns about Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and, according to Politico, she indicated that the Embassy was working “directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions.”

The Ukrainian embassy political officer who worked at the embassy at the time, Andrii Telizhenko, stated that the Ukrainians “were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa” and that “the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.

The Blaze highlighted an email from WikiLeaks from Chalupa to Louis Miranda at the DNC:

“Hey, a lot coming down the pipe. I spoke to a delegation of 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine last night at the Library of Congress, the Open World Society forum. They put me on the program to speak specifically about Paul Manafort. I invited Michael Isikoff, who I’ve been working with for the past few weeks, and connected him to the Ukrainians. More offline tomorrow, since there was a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in the next few weeks. Something I’m working on that you should be aware of.”

The Blaze then reported that Sytnyk, who eventually “was tried and convicted in Ukraine for interfering in the U.S. presidential election in 2016,” released a “black ledger” on Manafort during the 2016 presidential election that eventually led to Manafort’s downfall.

(Read more: The Daily Wire, 10/07/2019)

January 18, 2019 – Opinion: Buzzfeed, like Lawfare, has a role to play in Resistance operation

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“While the media banter relentlessly about their latest resistance angle du jour; it is perhaps a more beneficial discussion to remind and outline the larger strategy at play. Honing the political skills.

The baseline here is that everything the institutional-left does, is sequential and planned. This is what they do.  This is all they do.  None of the characters within the institutions of professional leftism create anything; build anything; have a life purpose for anything, other than organizing their efforts to exploit control of others via politics.  This is all they know how to do.  When you develop your skills to see their patterns you can then see the predictability behind it.

Prior Example: Former FBI Director James Comey briefs president-elect Trump on the two-page salacious dossier aspect; Former DNI James Clapper, knowing the briefing, then discusses the dossier briefing with CNN… this opens the door for the media who are waiting. Once the narrative door is opened, Buzzfeed enters and transmits the story of the unfounded and uncorroborated Steele Dossier. The key point to understand is that everything from the briefing, to Clapper, to CNN, to Buzzfeed, was scripted and planned. This is the pattern. As we have mentioned the pattern becomes predictable.

This predictability is how CTH was able to state in December 2018 that Michael Cohen would most likely be the centerpiece of the first ‘impeachment’ block; and from knowing how the script rolls, CTH was able to predict the exact timing (Thursday after Superbowl, 2/7/19); and the exact committee (Cummings, House Oversight); for the first hearing that will exploit Michael Cohen.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

The current Buzzfeed claims being widely promoted today are all part of that pre-scheduled ‘impeachment’ process.  When we approach the term “impeachment” we are not discussing it as the technical and legal approach for removal of a President; but rather the political use of the process to damage President Donald Trump.

Professional political Democrats would not be using “impeachment” in the constitutional sense of the process; but rather weaponizing the process –as a tool itself– to: •target the executive office; •diminish the presidency (“isolate”/”marginalize”, Alinsky rules); •and position themselves for 2020.

Optics and innuendo are key elements, tools per se’, in the Alinsky narrative engineering process.  That’s why Pelosi, Schumer and the democrat machine are going bananas about getting a raw Mueller report and not a version from AG Barr {explained here}.

From Pelosi’s rules, we now know Elijah Cummings will deliver the schedule for impeachment hearings before his deadline on April 15th. We also know from the outline of the process they are following, the next likely witness to be subpoenaed, and to grab the media headlines will be Donald Trump Jr.

That’s where Adam Schiff (HPSCI) and Jerry Nadler (Judiciary) come in with the technical hearings to begin the ‘impeachment’ specifics.  However, they need a predicate to get from Michael Cohen to Donald Trump Jr.

So, knowing they need a baseline predicate…. How do you get from Michael Cohen to Donald Trump Jr?  A = You use the Trump Tower Moscow narrative….  See the map?

Elijah Cummings needs a reference point to take Cohen toward DT-Jr, that’s where Buzzfeed comes in.  Is there any factual basis for the claims within the Buzzfeed report?  No, but that’s not what they need… they need “innuendo” to investigate.

“President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” (link)

The article is fraught with flawed assumptions and flat-out nonsense; even claiming emails and documents (unseen by the authors) to support the foundation of the article.  Note that no-one else in media is validating this claim. However, that doesn’t matter…. what matters is the ‘claim that needs to be investigated’.  Did President Trump direct Michael Cohen to lie to congress; no, that’s silly.

In the aftermath of the SSCI (Mark Warner) drum-beating a false story about Trump Tower Moscow as evidence of ‘possible’ influence over Trump….. Did Cohen participate in writing a brief set of talking points for the Trump organization to clear up this false and malicious political narrative?  Probably.  Most large organizations do that to share with top executives so everyone has the same set of facts to deal with.

Is that document the electronic evidence (emails) inferred, skewed, and manipulated within the Buzzfeed report?…  I’d wager B.I.N.G.O.

All of it is a nothing-burger, but that doesn’t technically matter for the needs of the ‘resistance’; what they need is a tenuously valid innuendo trail they can exploit with Michael Cohen on February 7th, that will allow Elijah Cummings to pass that specific aspect to Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler.

See how that works?

(Conservative Treehouse, 1/18/2019) (Republished with permission)

July 21, 2018 – The FISA applications reveal the DOJ used news outlets to establish probable cause

“The FISA applications further exposed the extent to which the DOJ relied on unverified media reports to support their request for court-ordered electronic surveillance of Page. Contrary to Democrat claims that the applications’ reliance on a Yahoo News article was passing, the FISA documents detailed the Yahoo News article’s assertion that a “well-placed Western intelligence source,” told the news organization that Page met with the Russian agents in July.

Just as statements from unverified “sub-sources” could not establish probable cause, unverified newspaper articles could not either. The DOJ, however, did not limit itself to repeating the Yahoo News article’s claims, which the public later learned had also originated from Steele. The FISA application also cited two other media reports.

One was apparently Josh Rogin’s Washington Post opinion article, which reported claims that Trump campaign members “worked behind the scenes to make sure [the GOP]’s platform would not call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces.” The DOJ also relied on an article from August 2016—likely the Michael Crowley Politico piece—that “opined that while the reason for [Trump’s] shift [in Russian policy] was not clear, [Trump]’s more conciliatory words, which contradict [the GOP]’s official platform, follow [Trump]’s recent association with several people sympathetic to Russian influence in Ukraine, including foreign policy advisor Carter Page.”

There are two fundamental problems with this portion of the FISA application. First, as the Washington Examiner’s Byron York explained, the GOP platform narrative the Washington Post and Politico pushed was extremely misleading. Second, when I asked Page whether he participated in the GOP Russia platform debate, the former Trump advisor responded with an emphatic “NEVER,” and shared this excerpt from his defamation lawsuit against a media conglomerate:

Plaintiff, Dr. Page arrived on Delta flight 5353 at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport at 1:36 p.m. on July 18, 2016, the same day that the Washington Post published the following report: ‘Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russia stance on Ukraine’. (Delta Air Lines flight confirmation attached as Exhibit 19(a)) Dr. Page played no role whatsoever in the drafting of the 2016 Republican party platform.

The FISA applications create the false impression that Page was involved with the GOP platform debate. The DOJ then used that misleading inference to support its claim that Page was a foreign agent.” (Read more: The Federalist, 7/23/2019)  (Archive)

February 15, 2017 – McCabe tells Priebus the NYT Russia and Trump campaign story is a “bunch of BS”

CNN framed a story of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asking the FBI to rebuke an earlier story, based on anonymous leaks, of Trump campaign contacts with Russia.  According to the agenda, CNN wanted to make it look like the administration was pressuring the FBI to provide the White House political cover.

However, the truth behind the entire episode shows an entirely different story than the false narrative created by CNN.

On February 15th while discussing another issue FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe asked Reince for 5 minutes alone after the meeting.  At the one-on-one McCabe told Priebus the New York Times Russia and Trump campaign story was a “bunch of BS”.

Andrew McCabe (l) and Reince Preibus (Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

Priebus asked McCabe if McCabe would be able to say that publicly.  McCabe said he would check.  Later, McCabe called back and said he couldn’t issue a statement about it. (See Screengrab)

reince-preibus-mccabe

So the entire construct by CNN of the White House (via Priebus) trying to pressure the FBI is complete nonsense. Very Fake News…aka a false narrative.  It was the FBI who approached Priebus and wanted to clear the record.

Priebus is simply asking the FBI to make the same disclosure public that they were making to him in private.   Reince Priebus is asking for transparency, for truth, for openness.

President Trump goes to twitter to call out two issues. First, the media constructing fake news:

However, perhaps more important, it’s the leaks within the FBI, to CNN which aid in the construction of the false narrative, that are now becoming more concerning to President Trump.

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 2/24/2017)

January 10, 2017 – Strzok seeks to capitalize on news reports about dossier, text message suggests

Peter Strzok (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“A newly revealed text message suggests that former FBI official Peter Strzok sought to capitalize on news reports in January 2017 that President Donald Trump had been briefed about allegations in the infamous Steele dossier.

Strzok wanted to use a CNN report related to the dossier as a reason to interview witnesses as part of the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government, according to the text message.

“Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out,” Strzok, a former FBI counterintelligence official, texted to FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Jan. 10, 2017.

“Hey let me know when you can talk. We’re discussing whether, now that this is out, we use it as a pretext to go interview some people,” continued Strzok, according to a CNN report published Friday.

Just before Strzok sent the message, CNN had reported that top government officials, including then-FBI Director James Comey, briefed then-President-Elect Trump on Jan. 6, 2017 about some of the salacious allegations in the dossier, which was authored by former British spy Christopher Steele and financed by Democrats.

Hours after CNN reported about the briefing, BuzzFeed News published the unverified dossier in full.

It is not clear why Strzok needed the CNN report as a pretext to conduct interviews.

Strzok took part in some of those interviews as the FBI’s lead investigator on the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. He and another FBI agent interviewed then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017. Flynn has since pleaded guilty to lying in that interview about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.” (Read more: The Daily Caller, 9/14/2018)

January 10, 2017 – A Lisa Page email shows direct evidence of investigative leaking and bias – IG Horowitz later finds no bias

Within the small group conducting the 2016 FBI investigation of the Trump campaign, the Steele Dossier was called “Crown Material“.  A name relating to Christopher Steele’s British intelligence position. [James Comey testimony to congress]

The “Crown Material” has become more interesting recently against the backdrop of U.S. Attorney John Durham seeking the documents and communication from former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Director James Comey [SEE HERE] where John Brennan wanted the Crown Material (Steele Dossier) included the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment.

However, there’s a coded email from Lisa Page, on January 10th, 2017, that might prove to be even more valuable for Mr. Durham as he investigates a possible conspiracy therein:

SOURCE: Page 365 of pdf

Note the highlighted box text in the email from Peter Strzok to members of the small group.

CNN update – Per Rich, CNN to publish C material today betweeen 4 and 5″

The “C material” is a reference to “Crown Material”, and when put into context of the date and email participants this tells a remarkably explosive story.

FBI lawyer Lisa Page is forwarding an origination email from Peter Strzok and informing the FBI small group: Peter Strzok, Bill Priestap, Jonathan Moffa and Jennifer Boone, that “We have lots of details from [Mike] Kortan” for a briefing at 3:45 pm on January 10th.

“Kortan” is FBI Asst. Director of Media Comms Michael Kortan, who appears in multiple emails and text messages coordinating communication with the small group media allies.

However, for the context of this specific email, Peter Strzok has initiated contact with CNN to leak a story… and Strzok is informing the group that CNN will publish the “C Material”, or a story predicated on the Steele Dossier, on January 10th, 2017, between 4 and 5 pm.   That is Jake Tappers’ hour for broadcast.

What “C Material” did FBI Agent Peter Strzok leak to CNN, that FBI Spokesperson Mike Kortan confirmed for the FBI?

Here’s the January 10th, 2017, story from Tapper.  WATCH:

There is no doubt the FBI small group shared the information about the Steele Dossier with the CNN stenographers in a collaborative effort to generate the illusion of enhanced credibility for the Steele Dossier; a document they knew was demonstrably fraudulent, yet they relied upon it for the Carter Page FISA application.

That would be a clear “conspiracy”.

I find it curious that IG Horowitz could not find this email in his latest investigation.

Additionally, the Lisa Page FBI email, highlighting an internal “conspiracy”, becomes even more interesting when overlaying the third conspiracy referral previously mentioned by Devin Nunes:

The third conspiracy referral is less specific and pertains to evidence collected that shows a small group of government officials engaged in “global classified intelligence leaks” to the U.S. media and other entities and/or persons. (link)

My hunch is that email from Lisa Page is part of the evidence Nunes collected to show how the FBI manufactured “global classified intelligence leaks” to U.S. media.

(Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/20/2019) (Archive)

December 13, 2016 – Christopher Steele gives his final report to Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Paul Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger, left, and House Speaker Paul  Ryan. (Credit: Tom Williams/Roll Call)

(…) “In his testimony, Comey again pushed the fiction that Republicans opposed to Trump first paid for the dossier. Congressional Republicans are right that Comey is trying to muddy the waters—the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded Steele’s work.

But credit Comey for underscoring, and maybe not accidentally, a larger truth—the operation that sought to defraud the American voter had bipartisan support all along. Court documents released in December show that Steele gave his final report to Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s chief of staff, Jonathan Burks.

How is it possible that so many people knew and said nothing? Everyone knows it’s impossible to sustain a real conspiracy that size. People in the know talk and the press makes it public. But they did talk—all the time. But the conversations, implicit confessions, of FBI agents and other U.S. officials were hidden by colleagues who classified their talk, or deleted it, like FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s text messages.

The press didn’t report it because the press is part of the operation, the indispensable part. None of it would have been possible, and it certainly wouldn’t have lasted for two years, had the media not linked arms with spies, cops, and lawyers to relay a story first spun by Clinton operatives.

Starting with a relatively small group consisting of Steele, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, and senior FBI, DOJ, CIA, and State Department officials, the dossier operation gained momentum and adherents, senior officials across the political spectrum, a large part of the press corps, then the many millions of Americans it wound into a frenzied madness. Thus, much of the dossier operation was improvised.

But the core component appears to be the result of a carefully constructed plan requiring technical and legal know-how. Interviews with current and former U.S. officials provide fresh insight into how Clinton-funded operatives and senior law enforcement figures orchestrated a media campaign and weaponized the dossier to obtain the October 21, 2016 warrant on Page.” (Read more: The Federalist, 1/02/2019)