When The Washington Post ran a story Monday claiming that President Donald Trump had leaked classified information about the Islamic State group to Russia, the media lit up like a Christmas tree.
“Finally!” an exhausted Salon.com editor no doubt exclaimed to himself through a mouthful of organic pho. “Here’s the thing we can pretend to be outraged about for the next month!” Thus began a flood of strongly worded screeds from what’s become known as the “blue feed,” accusing the president of everything from treason to really, really bad treason.
Never mind, of course, that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster insisted the president’s discussions with the Russians were “wholly appropriate” and that the “president in no way compromised any sources or methods in the course of this conversation,” according to Fox News. The die was cast in the liberal media — and an email from John Podesta may explain why.
As you may know, the bulk of John Podesta’s email from his time with Hillary Clinton’s campaign is now in the hands of WikiLeaks for, um, certain reasons. Now, one of the messages he sent about how the left should try and capitalize on leakers is being re-examined:
The message is from the period before Clinton announced her presidential campaign. In it, he says, “I’m definitely for making an example of a suspected leaker whether or not we have any real basis for it.”
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The original email had to do with leaks within the Clinton campaign. However, the idea of “making an example of a suspected leaker” even if they hadn’t done anything is definitely an ominous one.
While the quote has been seized upon by a few conspiracy theorists in the case of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, it has a deeper significance — to the Clinton people and their cohort on the left, accusing people of things they didn’t really do is just another implement in the political toolbox.
As The Federalist noted, three major WaPo “scoops” from the Trump White House that had been obtained by that method — the alleged threat of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to resign, an allegation that James Comey had requested more resources for the Department of Justice’s investigation into Trump’s Russia links, and a story that Steve Bannon had confronted DHS chief Gen. John Kelly — were all later denied.
That’s to be expected, but perhaps less expected is just who denied them — namely, Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, the Department of Justice and Gen. Kelly, respectively. If there was ever a time for a government official to issue a non-denial denial or simply keep quiet, those stories certainly would have fit the bill — if they were true.
Either Trump is really good at making people lie in a very public fashion or those rapscallion anonymous source types done did the media wrong again. You make the call. I think you can tell which side I’m leaning toward.
We don’t know exactly what Trump said at the White House to his Russian visitors. That puts us in the same boat as the denizens of The Washington Post and the rest of our nation’s media establishment, who are relying on the word of anonymous sources versus the word of the White House, who insist that “the premise of that (Washington Post) article is false.”
What we do know is that this story is short on specific details. We also know that it comes at a time when the left is doing everything in its power to delegitimize the Trump White House. Given those factors, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at Podesta’s thoughts on “making an example of a suspected leaker.”