CNN’s “Lie Of The Day” on Wednesday was that President Trump told Lester Holt he fired James Comey because of the Russia investigation.
Simply put: Nothing remotely close to that ever happened.
Earlier in the day, President Trump tweeted this…
And then several times every hour throughout the day after that, CNN hosts and guests took turns insisting that President Trump already admitted to firing Comey over the Russia investigation.
Their alleged “proof” of this admission was President Trump’s interview with Lester Holt back in May 2017. During the interview, President Trump said…
“But regardless of recommendations I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story; it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.'”
This is how Jake Tapper, who claims to be an impartial journalist, characterized that excerpt: “He said Russia was foremost on his mind when he pulled the trigger.”
Do you see that anywhere in the quote from the interview? I don’t. I don’t see anything even close to that. But that’s how Tapper and everyone else at CNN spent the day characterizing the interview. From Tapper’s show “The Lead”…
It’s difficult to hear an allegedly impartial journalist like Jake Tapper use his platform to dishonestly snark — several times — about the President he claims he covers fairly. From the show intro where he childishly and sarcastically whines “if only a year ago” Trump told us why he fired Comey before going on to lie about the President’s words, to the opening of the segment where he mocks the President’s tweet, to the segment itself where he even more flagrantly mischaracterizes the President’s words. He then hands it off to allegedly impartial CNN journalist Sara Murray who proceeds to toe the anti-Trump line from a more passive aggressive posture that has her smiling while calling Trump a liar. And we don’t even need to keep listening to know that the other guest, pro-Comey sycophant and newly-minted CNN darling Josh Campbell, was going to ring the exact same lazy, dishonest bell.
It’s easily established that Tapper is badly mischaracterizing President Trump’s words: What Trump said in the excerpt CNN is using is nowhere close to an admission that while firing Comey, Russia was “foremost on his mind” as Tapper twice insisted.
But perhaps even more discrediting to CNN is the fact that the quote they’re using is in no way objectively evident of anything — except the fact that President Trump was aware of “the Trump/Russia thing” at the same time he fired Comey.
If I say “I was aware it was snowing outside when I decided to drive my car,” it doesn’t mean I decided to drive my car because it was snowing outside. But Tapper and the rest at CNN would have you believe otherwise. According to them, when President Trump says “I was aware of the Russia thing when I fired Comey,” to them it means he fired Comey because of the Russia thing. It’s lazy and it’s dishonest and it’s yet more proof that CNN is nothing more than an anti-Trump propaganda arm manufacturing fake news to support their partisan narrative.
This is also yet another good time to take the media to their logical conclusion: All day on CNN, their logical conclusion is that President Trump told Lester Holt that the reason he fired Jim Comey was the Russia investigation.
Think about that for a moment. Their claim is that Donald Trump, the President of the United States, was perfectly comfortable telling a mainstream media reporter during a live interview that he felt the best way to handle the Russia investigation was to fire the man in charge of it.
On what planet does anyone actually believe that President Trump would be stupid enough to think that would work, let alone admit to it during a live interview?
Well, sadly, it happens right here on planet earth — where swamp-dependent media like CNN promote that lie and their faithful resisters eat it up…
So we’ve got Tapper lying about Trump’s words, using a quote that he and his CNN cohorts were already using to lie about Trump’s words in separate-but-equal ways, all predicated on a logical conclusion that could charitably be described as batsh*t crazy.
And that’s not even the most damning part.
The most damning part requires you to hear the rest of Trump’s comments to Holt, which CNN conveniently choose to leave out because at CNN facts come last and words don’t matter.
In the very next breath after the portion of the interview that Tapper and the rest spent the day obsessing over, Holt asked Trump if he was angry at Comey about the Russia investigation. Trump’s reply…
“As far as I’m concerned, I want that thing [the Russia investigation] to be absolutely done properly. When I did this now I said ‘I probably maybe will confuse people. Maybe I’ll expand that — y’know — I’ll lengthen the time, because it should be over with.’ It should, in my opinion, it should’ve been over with a long time ago because all it is is an excuse. But I said to myself ‘I might even lengthen out the investigation but I have to do the right thing for the American people.'”
So there is President Trump stating clearly that he didn’t fire Comey over the Russia investigation, and that he knew firing him might make people think that was part of his reasoning, and that in doing so he might even end up drawing the investigation out even further. But he still felt Comey needed to go, so he fired him anyway.
There is President Trump stating clearly that while many might interpret the move as one intended to disrupt the Russia investigation, it’s not why he did it, and in fact he fired Comey knowing that doing so might only amplify and draw out the Russia investigation.
And it’s gut-wrenchingly poetic that he lamented the possibility that firing Comey “might confuse people,” given the preponderance of evidence that partisan hacks like Jake Tapper are working so hard and so dishonestly to do just that.
That’s four bulletproof arguments debunking CNN’s lie that President Trump admitted he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation.
- Jake Tapper flagrantly mischarterizing the President’s words; manufacturing fake news that turns “Yeah I was aware of it” into “Yeah it was the foremost thing I was thinking about.”
- Tapper and CNN mischaracterizing the Trump/Holt excerpt, insisting that it’s evidence of Trump firing Comey because of Russia when nothing in the quote they’re using even comes close to making that case.
- The logical conclusion of what they’re implying, which is that Trump thought firing Comey would end the Russia investigation and that it would be a good idea to tell the world that’s what he was thinking and that’s what he did.
- CNN choosing to deceive viewers and leave out the portion of Trump’s comments where he makes clear that he didn’t fire Comey over Russia, and if he was thinking about “the Trump/Russia thing” at all it was with the tough-but-necessary realization that firing Comey would probably only prolong that conversation.
But there they were — all smiles, all day, all over CNN — lying to themselves, each other, and their viewers…all in furtherance of their pro-swamp, pro-resistance, anti-Trump narrative.
The choice for CNN’s Lie Of The Day was a toss-up between the Trump/Comey story, and their catty hysteria over NeverTrump Nikki Haley‘s childish and inappropriate response to Larry Kudlow. But ultimately the Haley story lost out because it isn’t so much an actual lie as it is a story CNN is promoting to 1) amplify their anti-Trump narrative while 2) giving red tofu to their pro-resistance audience and 3) trying to stoke drama among any in Trump’s orbit.
And while that may sound like a pretty incendiary resume of dishonest and unfair journalistic aspirations, it’s unfortunately for journalism completely normal during any minute of any day on CNN.