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A Proof of False News By Bruce Bennett
Here is a good “gotcha’ moment for Trump, in exposing the “false news” of the mainstream press:
“It all began on July 27 when CNN’s Bernstein shared a byline with former Barack Obama administration official and chief CNN national security correspondent Jim Sciutto, along with CNN researcher and producer Marshall Cohen, with the headline: “Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of 2016 Trump Tower meeting.” The fact that Bernstein–who along with Bob Woodward broke and chronicled the Watergate scandal that led to the eventual resignation of Richard Nixon from the presidency–was on the byline was significant, as it threw the weight and heft of his personal credibility behind the network’s story. In the piece, Bernstein, Sciutto, and Cohen used anonymous “sources” to claim that President Donald Trump’s now former personal attorney Michael Cohen was willing to undercut President Trump’s claims about the famed 2016 Trump Tower meeting that the president’s son Donald Trump, Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort had with a Russian attorney with links to the Kremlin. “Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN,” Bernstein, Sciutto, and Cohen wrote. “Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.”
In the second paragraph of the CNN piece, the famed Watergate reporter, along with the former Obama official and CNN researcher, wrote about the stakes at play here: Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017. The third paragraph goes on to allege even more against the president:
Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources. The fourth paragraph–again citing anonymous “sources”–claims that Cohen did not have any evidence like “audio recordings” to back up the claims attributed to the anonymous sources throughout the CNN article. But then the fifth paragraph makes yet another astounding claim: In Cohen’s congressional testimony, per these anonymous CNN “sources,” Cohen did not state in testimony before Congress that Trump himself had “advance knowledge”of the Russia Trump Tower meeting.
“Cohen privately testified last year to two Congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election,” Bernstein, Sciutto, and Cohen wrote. “A source familiar with Cohen’s House testimony said he did not testify that Trump had advance knowledge. Cohen’s claims weren’t mentioned in separate reports issued by Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.”
The CNN piece goes on in the next paragraph to note that Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, “declined to comment” for the article. It was revealed later by Davis himself that was not true–Davis was in fact an anonymous source for this CNN piece, as Davis admitted on Monday evening. But more importantly, the entire thesis of the entire story is entirely fake news–completely untrue—as revealed more than a week ago by Axios’ Jonathan Swan. CNN’s piece, it’s worth noting, was published before Cohen pled guilty to a number of charges–and before Manafort was convicted by a jury in a case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in Virginia. Manafort faces another trial in Washington, D.C., on related charges.
All of Manafort’s charges have nothing whatsoever to do with President Trump–they are in fact from conduct committed a decade ago, years before he joined the Trump campaign in the late spring of 2016. In Cohen’s case, most of the charges he pled guilty to have nothing to do with Trump–but two of them deal with a campaign finance violation related to a payment Cohen arranged to silence two women, Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels also known as Stephanie Clifford, who allege affairs they had with Trump. Six of the other eight charges Cohen pled guilty to in the case–which was handed off by Mueller’s team to the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York–had nothing to do with Trump.”
Even though CNN had assembled its big guns to take down President Trump, their pathetic story collapsed in a heap, being unable to find a source for the story. President Trump said that CNN’s “credibility is now gone,’ and “CNN is working frantically to find their ‘source.’ Look hard because it doesn’t exist.” Let us hope that more of the media giants, one by one if necessary, fall.