Unbelievably, even after fired FBI Director James Comey told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee last week that a February 14 story The New York Times ran implying “collusion” between Team Trump and “The Russians” was dead wrong, the paper still won’t make the necessary corrections.
Proving, once more, that in the Age of President Donald J. Trump, unsourced allegations, suppositions and innuendo can be substituted for factual reporting, so long as it is damaging to the current occupant of the White House or his staff.
During Comey’s much-anticipated testimony on Thursday, he was asked by a member of the intelligence panel about a Times report that claimed in its headline, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.”
In the story it was reported that:
Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.
The Times said no evidence had yet been found to substantiate the claims, but nevertheless went on to report further details about the alleged contacts and resultant investigation. (RELATED: Americans aren’t fooled: 2/3 say ‘mainstream media’ is fake news)
There’s just one major problem with the report, per Comey himself, who ought to know: None of it was true.
“In the main,” the story “was not true,” Comey testified, adding that after the news broke, he found it so troubling that he made an inquiry within the U.S. intelligence community to make sure he hadn’t missed something.
Later, in response to a second question about the veracity of the Times report from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla.:
“Would it be fair to characterize that story is almost entirely wrong?” said Cotton.
“Yes,” Comey said.
Upon hearing Comey’s testimony, the Times claimed it would ‘look into’ his statements and ‘report’ back:
“We are looking into James Comey’s statements, and we will report back with more information as soon as we can,” the paper tweeted.
However, after doing some further checking, which didn’t take long, the Times issued a statement in which the paper said it would stick by its initial story:
The New York Times has published an examination of Mr. Comey’s statements today, which reviews our previous coverage and found no evidence that any prior reporting was inaccurate. In fact, subsequent reporting by The Times and other media outlets has verified our reporting as the story makes clear.
Neither the FBI, nor Mr. Comey would comment or elaborate on what Mr. Comey believes to be incorrect. Should they provide more information, we would review that as well.
In other words, it doesn’t matter what the former FBI director says during sworn testimony, in which he is under penalty of perjury if he makes false statements. Nope; the Trump hate is too strong at the Times, so even fake news stories will stand if they cast a negative light on the Trump administration.
Remember when Trump suggested that he may attempt to hold the media legally liable for slanderous reporting and false accusations? Remember the outrage among the media and the political punditry class? This kind of garbage from the Times is precisely what Trump was talking about — a story that has been directly refuted by the former head of the FBI doesn’t even earn a correction from the “news” paper that published it. The Times should be held legally liable for it.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.