A reporter who won a Pulitzer for her role in perpetrating the Russia collusion hoax on the American people continued to lie about it in an article in Tuesday’s Washington Post.
Ellen Nakashima’s attempted hit piece on Trump appointee Michael Ellis included multiple falsehoods:
In March 2017, [Ellis] gained publicity for his involvement in a questionable episode involving [Devin] Nunes, who was given access at the White House to intelligence files that Nunes believed would buttress his baseless claims of the Obama administration spying on Trump Tower.
News reports stated that Ellis was among the White House officials who helped Nunes see the documents — reportedly late at night, earning the episode the nickname “the midnight run.”
More on “the midnight run” lie in a bit. Nakashima is intentionally misdescribing an episode early in Trump’s term when Rep. Devin Nunes’ investigation revealed rampant unmasking by Obama officials against Trump campaign and transition associates. That rampant unmasking was later admitted to by various Obama officials, up to and including National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Former Vice President Joe Biden would eventually be implicated in some of the unmasking.
Leaving all that aside, it’s a flat out lie that Nunes claimed Trump Tower specifically was spied on, much less that his accurate reports of rampant unmasking buttressed those claims. In fact, he said there was no evidence of spying on Trump Tower. And that was reported at the time of the rampant unmasking coming to light.
For instance, NPR wrote “House Intelligence Chair: No Evidence Of Alleged Trump Tower Wiretap.” The Associated Press reported that Nunes said, “Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No there never was,” and “There was no FISA warrant I am aware of to tap Trump Tower.”
The Guardian’s headline read, “House intelligence chiefs: we have seen no evidence for Trump’s wiretap claim.” The subhed was “Republican Devin Nunes says he does not believe there was ‘an actual tap of Trump Tower’ as committee leaders say they are still waiting for evidence.”
Even “Fusion” Natasha Bertrand, the reporter now with Politico who is known best as the vehicle used by Fusion GPS to funnel much of its false Russia collusion hoax to the public, admitted this:
“We don’t have any evidence that took place,” Nunes said. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”
Now back to the “Midnight Run” lie. Nakashima writes, “News reports stated that Ellis was among the White House officials who helped Nunes see the documents — reportedly late at night, earning the episode the nickname “the midnight run.”
This language copies the language used by Rep. Adam Schiff when he asked compliant reporters to mock and deride Nunes’ investigations. It is he, and he alone, who provided the false nickname of a “midnight run” that occurred in the “dead of night.” Tim Mak, then with the Daily Beast, wrote a story (using anonymous sources, if you can believe it) that repeated these false claims.
Yet, Devin Nunes himself debunked this story on the record and on air — on CNN, in fact — on March 27, 2017. You can watch Nunes himself explain — around the 4:00 mark on this video still on CNN’s YouTube page — that his visit to a national security staffer took place in the middle of the day, while the sun was out.
These intentional falsehoods from Nakashima, in direct contradiction of the factual record, are part of Big Media’s lengthy campaign against Nunes, who has repeatedly shown the media’s full-throated and award-winning participation in the Russia collusion hoax to be journalistically indefensible.
That campaign against Nunes by the media and Democrats began with his accurate announcement that the Obama administration had engaged in worrisome collection and distribution of information on the Trump team during the transition. He said the information contained little to no foreign intelligence and had no reason to be shared in intelligence reports to Obama officials, that Obama officials may have flouted legally required attempts to minimize and mask personal identifying information, and that the information collection had nothing to do with Russia. He said he was worried the behavior may have been technically legal but improperly handled.
Many in the media responded by downplaying or denigrating his news, distracting with process complaints or quickly thrown-together stories from anonymous sources with no evidence claiming more breathless wrongdoing with Russia. When it turned out that former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice herself had been involved in the unmasking, influential members of the press rushed to clear her of the charge in a manner one might expect from a defense attorney, but unbecoming for a media organization.
Rice actually denied any knowledge of what Nunes was talking about—which was, again, that he’d seen dozens of unmaskings of Trump affiliates that arose out of incidental collection during Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act surveillance, had nothing to do with Russia, contained little to no intelligence value, and had been disseminated throughout intelligence agencies.
“I know nothing about this,” Rice emphatically stated to Judy Woodruff in a March 22 PBS Newshour interview. “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.”
Well, it turned out that she testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that she knew everything about this. She admitted that she unmasked information on Trump affiliates that arose out of incidental FISA surveillance connections, and that these collections were unrelated to Russia.
But rather than cover this as, “Susan Rice completely contradicted herself when she said she knew nothing about unmasking,” CNN’s Manu Raju—a favorite and reliable leak recipient for Democrats in Congress (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, for example)— spun the news as totally ordinary and justified. Amazingly, Raju never mentioned Rice’s comments to Woodruff that she knew nothing about any Obama people unmasking Trump people.
The Washington Post and Ellen Nakashima may wish to rewrite history by lying about Nunes, mischaracterizing his actual history of investigation, and failing to correct demonstrably false reports. But it’s just another example of how they have destroyed their credibility and their ability to control the narrative in support of their political goals.