When Fox correspondent John Roberts suggested people “connect some of the dots” between House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ attempt to validate Donald Trump’s wiretap lie and the White House, Roberts “forgot” to mention the dots that also link Fox News to the Trump rehab effort.
Right-wing media figures are claiming that House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) statement that President Donald Trump’s transition aides were surveilled “vindicates” Trump and prove he “was right” about his unfounded claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. But Nunes’ report—that Trump aides were caught in “incidental collection” while surveilling other targets—was already widely suspected, and Nunes himself admitted it does not prove Trump’s false claim is correct. Multiple current and former government officials have said Trump’s claim is false.
Last night, The O’Reilly Factor’s “No Spin Zone” once again looked more like a “Trump Spin Zone.” First, host Bill O’Reilly used his Talking Points commentary to paint Trump (probably the biggest liar ever to hold public office) as a truth teller and President Barack Obama as a lawbreaker. This, as evidence mounts of disturbing ties and collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
But last night, O’Reilly opened his show with the following (transcript excerpt via Media Matters, with my emphases added):
O’REILLY: Congressman Devin Nunes of California said that someone gave him evidence that intelligence agencies under President Obama did pick up electronic surveillance on members of the Trump transition team and put that so-called “incidental information” into intelligence reports. That might be illegal.
So, when President Trump tweeted that he was tapped by President Obama, he might not have been far off.
O’Reilly immediately followed that commentary with a friendly chat with Republican Congressman Peter King. Clearly, O’Reilly’s goal was not just to validate Trump’s lie but to do his milkshake BFF an even bigger solid: trying to deflect attention away from Trump’s possible treason and make President Obama the big suspect.
O’REILLY: Bottom line, Congressman. Would I be wrong in saying that the Obama administration surveilled the Trump transition team?
KING: I would say you’re, from all I know, you’re at least 99 ½% accurate and probably 100%.
O’REILLY: That’s a huge, huge story.
KING: It is, absolutely it’s a big story. I hope the media gives it the -
O’REILLY: Well, you’re not gonna, you’re gonna have, on the –
KING: Well, it’s up to you, it’s up to you, Bill.
Just two week ago, O’Reilly argued that the Trump-Russia story was “starting to dive now, big time.” He never revealed that he’s doing his best to make that happen.
Watch O’Reilly in the Trump Spin Zone below, from the March 22, 2017 The O’Reilly Factor.
*Obsessed and unrepentant IRA supporter and fundraiser who liked to drink with killers in Irish pubs and was actually banned from entering Britain on the grounds that he was a terrorism danger.
We need a special prosecutor more than ever.
The actual truth will continue emerging, regardless of the Right’s frantic attempt to distract everyone. But it was a nice try.
This doesn’t just smell like desperation – it IS desperation. The actual headlines yesterday revealed the Pence White House is apparently in full panic mode. Having Nunes run out and do something like this is not a particularly reassuring sign for them.
My instincts say that people inside the Trump group may well be consulting their attorneys. This should get interesting once people begin to jump ship.