Well, it’s not as alliterative as saying it about Fox News. But check this out.
Recall as you read it that CNN claimed earlier today that Trump had been briefed by the intelligence community on memos alleging that the Trump campaign had communicated with Russia about damaging information the Russians had against him. The implication by CNN was that the allegations might indeed be true, although unsubstantiated as yet (and, if true, would certainly be important), and that that’s why the intelligence community had bothered to do the briefing.
Checking just now on the CNN story (which has been updated since earlier today), it still makes claims such as this:
The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump…
Some of the memos were circulating as far back as last summer. What has changed since then is that US intelligence agencies have now checked out the former British intelligence operative and his vast network throughout Europe and find him and his sources to be credible enough to include some of the information in the presentations to the President and President-elect a few days ago.
On the same day that the President-elect was briefed by the intelligence community, the top four Congressional leaders, and chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate intelligence committees — the so-called “Gang of Eight” — were also provided a summary of the memos regarding Mr. Trump, according to law enforcement, intelligence and administration sources.
The two-page summary was written without the detailed specifics and information about sources and methods included in the memos by the former British intelligence official. That said, the synopsis was considered so sensitive it was not included in the classified report about Russian hacking that was more widely distributed, but rather in an annex only shared at the most senior levels of the government: President Obama, the President-elect, and the eight Congressional leaders.
Sounds very much as though they are saying that these allegations were both very serious and very credible, and that Trump was told in some detail about them.
But—well—not exactly, according to another “senior official” who has spoken to NBC news [emphasis mine[:
While multiple officials say the summary [of the charges against Trump] was included in the material prepared for the briefers, the senior official told NBC News that the briefing was oral and no actual documents were left with the Trump team in New York. During the briefing, the president-elect was not briefed on the contents of the summary .
“Intel and law enforcement officials agree that none of the investigations have found any conclusive or direct link between Trump and the Russian government period,” the senior official said.
According to the senior official, the two-page summary about the unsubstantiated material made available to the briefers was to provide context, should they need it, to draw the distinction for Trump between analyzed intelligence and unvetted “disinformation.”
The briefers also had available to them unvetted “disinformation” about the Clinton Foundation, although that was not orally shared with Trump.
Nor with us.
Now, of course, it might be NBC and its informant “senior official” who’ve gotten it wrong. In a contest between the veracity of CNN or NBC I really don’t know which I’d choose; maybe “neither”?
[Hat tip: Ace.]