However, it is not just Trump and some of his surrogates you see on TV and in the media and on Facebook and social media pushing false information. It is no less than the GOP.
Yes, the GOP.
Now keep in mind, the GOP is not the only political party that has pushed out nonsense and falsities about political matters. We are all aware of some of the revelations of wikileaks and the Democratic Party. And we are also well aware how Trump supporters and the GOP have ridiculed the Democrats for its own chicanery.
So, let’s see what the GOP is doing as it relates to false information being pushed, whether intentional or not
On Tuesday, James Clapper visited CNN and the discussion turned to the Russia investigation. The interview lasted over 13 minutes.
However, the GOP released this gem on twitter, lasting a full 1:04 minutes.
2/4 The former Intelligence Director Clapper literally said “I Saw No Direct Evidence Of Collusion” in the Trump administration. pic.twitter.com/yCzGlQ5Wsa— GOP (@GOP) May 31, 2017
The GOP and Trump and others are essentially saying that Trump is denying evidence of collusion, because he “sees no direct evidence” of collusion.
That is not what Clapper said Tuesday on CNN. Nor is this what Clapper has said in the past, despite the efforts made by Trump and the conservative media.
For example, take this recent article from Town Hall. Headlines scream out “Clapper: We Still Have No Evidence of Collusion Between The Trump Campaign And The Russians”
Addressing that topic specifically, the publication stated, “I also have to say that with specific respect to the issue of collusion, as I’ve said before, I’ve testified to this effect, i saw no direct evidence of political collusion between the campaign, the Trump campaign and the Russians," Clapper said. “
The video it submitted is exactly 1:02 minutes, and ends at the exact same point as the one being pushed by the GOP.
Either Town Hall is negligent in what it is stating in its headlines or it is intentionally misleading. Clapper did not say that at all, nor was that his intent, based upon his actual comments.
To see exactly what Clapper said, watch the entire interview but particularly at the 5:46 mark that immediately picked up after the segment that GOP and Town Hall have been so energetically promoting.
What did Clapper say?
First, he did say the words published on Town Hall, but, did said so much more that Town Hall and the GOP failed to publish, just as he has said in the past. He specifically said that he did not see the information that the FBI had, meaning the investigation content that is of issue in this entire counter-intelligence criminal investigation.
During the CNN interview, he said that the FBI has a special position in the government and that they “straddle both intelligence and law enforcement”.
Clapper further said during his term at the head of intelligence, he deferred to the FBI in terms of what he was told by them “especially involving US persons”.
Clapper has further said that to say that my statement “is a flat sta, denial of any collusion, tha…that’s not correct”
Specifically Clapper is affirmatively saying that he is not denying evidence of collusion. Any statement to that effect is not correct.
The former DNI head said the correct statement is that he was “not aware of that, that’s not to say there might not have been or there wasn’t evidence of it, but I could not say it at the time I left the government on the 20th of January”.
Clapper later said there was enough doubts that it was very important that the investigations, especially that of Bob Mueller play out to clear this up for once and for all.
This CNN statement is consistent with Clapper’s prior testimony before Senate intelligence that he did not know of an investigation by the FBI at the time he left government.
Why the GOP, Town Hall, (and some of those dedicated on social media to denounce the possible existence of collusion by the Trump administration with the Russians) want to push a false narrative, is only undermining the investigation itself and their own respective credibility.
As much as the GOP, Trump and others want the world to believe that Clapper said there was no evidence of collusion, perhaps those looking at those falsehoods should ask--Why can’t you get your facts right”?
Below is a part of the transcript that is on CNN, which link is here. Make sure you watch the relevant parts of the video which the GOP, Townhall and perhaps others, did or did not do when it promoted this false information.
CUOMO: All right, Joe Johns, so we see the president once again trying to tap down the significance of the Russian investigation. But I'll tell you who isn't laughing about these questions, the former director of national intelligence James Clapper. He says Russian interference is real. There is no question it was Russia and that these questions, which we called a cloud over the administration about who talked to the Russians and why, they matter, and we need to get to the bottom of them. Here is a taste.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: Are you 100 percent sure that Russia was behind the election meddling that you describe?
JAMES CLAPPER, FMR. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Absolutely. The evidence, which unfortunately we could not detail in our intelligence community assessment, was in my view overwhelming. And that is why the assessment that we did enjoyed such a high confidence level, and there is no doubt in my mind.
One other point, Chris, that I need to respond to is we could not make a call as to whether or not this interference actually affected the outcome of the election. We did not see any evidence of voter tallying, that is a mechanical process of counting votes in any of the 50 states. But we didn't have either the authority, the expertise, nor the capability to assess whether or not this interference actually affected the outcome of the election.
CUOMO: All right, just to be clear, you're saying you didn't look at that aspect, not that you looked but couldn't determine whether there was or was not an impact.
CLAPPER: That's right. We did not make that -- that's not within our authority --
CLAPPER: -- our expertise or capabilities, that's correct.
CUOMO: All right, so the idea that, hey, look, the Democrats are just front running this issue about Russian interference to explain what happened in the election, you are saying, no, there are legitimate questions. So from the -- if you're an American citizen, what do you want to know from the fruit of this investigation? What needs to come out of it?
CLAPPER: Well, I think what I indicated before is what was the intent of this dialogue? What was the content of the discussions? And we didn't know that, or at least I didn't when I left the government on the 20th of January. And so as long as these questions linger, as long as they hang over us like this, this is going to be a terrible distraction to getting anything done. And so the sooner there is clarity about this and transparency, the better for the country, for this administration, for both parties, and for the country at large.
CUOMO: All right, now, you're talking about the second head of this beast, which is the questions that go to communications and any potential collaboration or collusion with members of the Trump administration. The president, you know his position on this. And the reflection of that in the citizenry is this. Where's the proof? It's all unnamed sources. It's all leaks. Nothing has come out that shows any degree of essential wrongdoing or certainly criminality by anyone involved in the campaign, so there must be nothing there.
[08:10:11] CLAPPER: Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that. But I also have to say that with specific respect to the issue of collusion, as I have said before, I've testified to this effect, I saw no direct evidence of political collusion between the campaign and -- the Trump campaign and the Russians.
CUOMO: Now, clarify that point.
CLAPPER: That's not to say there wasn't any, but I just didn't see evidence of it before I left.
CUOMO: Now, the clarification matters because this is a big point when it comes to Clapper. He went on to say the FBI straddles intel and fact finding, right, and that they were doing that assembly of any potential evidence, anything that could become proof. So he's saying I didn't see it on the intel side and I wasn't running that part of the case.
CLAPPER: I don't know what they have.
CAMEROTA: Evidence versus intelligence, as we've learned from Phil Mudd who says those things are distinct.
CUOMO: Right. But what he said is the questions are real and matter based on what he's seen, very different to what the president of the United States is saying, trying to dismiss the whole inquiry.