Another bombshell in the Russian hacking case dropped: U.S. intelligence officials now believe that Vladimir Putin was personally involved in Russia’s hacking of the U.S. presidential election in order to elect Donald Trump. But The Kelly File ignored that news and focused, instead, on the intelligence community’s refusal to cooperate with Rep. Devin Nunes, who just happens to be a member of the Trump transition team, with his attempt to make an end run around a Senate inquiry into the hacking.
From NBC News (with added emphasis):
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.
Now the U.S has solid information tying Putin to the operation, the intelligence officials say. Their use of the term “high confidence” implies that the intelligence is nearly incontrovertible.
The Kelly File did its part Wednesday night by ignoring the big news about Putin. Instead, its big news was that the intelligence community had refused to appear before the House Intelligence Committee.
Right out of the box, Kelly prodded guest Rep. Peter King (R-NY) to go after the intelligence community. “So what does it tell you that these agencies have refused Congress’ demand that they show up and share the intel?”
That’s a bit of a distortion because the agencies have refused Nunes' request, not to show up to Congress in general. And there’s a reason, which “straight news anchor” Kelly never got around to explaining: They didn’t want to give Nunes a sneak preview of their work so that he could get a head start on discrediting them. Nunes who, to repeat, is a member of the Trump transition team, wants his House Intelligence Committee, which he chairs, to conduct the only Congressional inquiry into Russian hacking. In other words, he doesn’t want his less-Trump-friendly colleagues in the Senate, such as John McCain, to conduct a separate investigation.
The Intelligence Community (IC) cited its ongoing review, requested by President Obama, as the reason it is refusing to appear before Nunes’ committee now. From The Hill:
“Once the review is complete in the coming weeks, the Intelligence Community stands ready to brief Congress — and will make those findings available to the public consistent with protecting intelligence sources and methods,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said in a statement.
But instead of clarifying, King went along with the distortion and called the IC’s decision “absolutely disgraceful.” He complained that Congress had received no information about any Russian attempt to help Trump or Clinton.
That’s another distortion. According to the Washington Post, Obama held a “secret briefing for congressional leaders” in September with “a group that includes House and Senate leaders, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of both chambers’ committees on intelligence and homeland security.” In other words, including Nunes. Obama wanted to go public but was stymied by the Republicans. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell threatened the White House that “he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.”
None of that was mentioned here. King went on to misleadingly say, “There is no consensus opinion” and he claimed that the House Intelligence Committee was “told nothing” about this.
Worse, King said, “It’s almost as if people in the intelligence community are carrying out a disinformation campaign against the president-elect of the United States.” Either that, or someone in the House or Senate is “leaking false information,” he claimed.
Instead of questioning the gaslighting, Kelly helped put King's talking points into a neat (deplorable) basket. She sounded like a trial attorney summing up her client's testimony:
KELLY: So you’re telling me that when the Washington Post … citing anonymous sources saying that the CIA has determined Russia interfered in the election with the purpose of helping Trump’s campaign, that was the first you heard of it, from the Washington Post, and now this would be your next and best attempt to get the CIA to come before you and you have oversight responsibility over them, to tell you what they know, and you’ve been refused.
King replied, “Absolutely, absolutely refused.”
To her credit, Kelly did forcefully challenge King as he repeated his suggestion, a little more explicitly now, that the intelligence community is out to get Trump with a campaign of disinformation. “That’s quite an accusation,” she said, noting that intelligence agents risk their lives to protect us. “Do you go too far in accusing them of intentionally engaging in a disinformation campaign?” she asked.
But she never pointed out that there is very little doubt about Russia trying to elect Trump. As Bloomberg’s national security columnist Eli Lake told Fox News without challenge last week, “You don’t need the CIA” to know that. “There’s a lot of people who are just cyber security who know this very well.”
And with all that fog about the intelligence community’s integrity, nobody got around to talking about Putin’s role.
Watch the smokescreen below, from the December 14, 2016 The Kelly File.
- edit * I should have written: (which, should be noticed, were only undertaken in close counts where Hillary lost, and NOT in close counts where Hillary won (e.g. NH)) — this shows that the recount effort was not for ‘fairness’ but to try to obtain a different result
Russia interfering in our election is of historic significance so Fox News is pissing in the wind fighting the story long-term. Short-term? Certainly their hero Trump will swiftly move to crush this information upon assuming office but we’ll see if he can stop the leaks.
There’s no doubt narcissist Der Furor is going to run a cult of personality administration and anyone refusing to kiss his ass will be purged and personally destroyed. Let’s see how far Hair Hitler goes with the CIA.