Jim Rutenberg has a great new article in the New York Times. He argues that President Trump’s press briefing are full of falsehoods. Falsehoods so great that:
The question is especially important for cable news, which should certainly think twice — or thrice — about airing the briefings before their content can be verified.
So, what are these great falsehoods?
During the White House briefings that followed Mr. Comey’s ouster on Tuesday, verifiably accurate information was hard to come by and confusion reigned. Mr. Trump’s deputy press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, laid out a sequence of events that unraveled like any seam I’ve ever tried to resew.
The first version of events was crystal clear: “It’s real simple here,” Ms. Sanders said on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC. People at the Justice Department, including the “deputy attorney general, a guy who has a stellar reputation,” she said, had “made a strong recommendation, the president followed it.”
And, that’s clearly false because:
If the memo didn’t undercut Ms. Huckabee’s version of events, the president’s own words did in his interview with Lester Holt of NBC News on Thursday: “I was going to fire Comey — my decision.”
The entire Morning Joe interview was about the timing. President Trump knew he was going to fire Comey. Ms. Sander’s stated that he decided when to do it when he got the recommendation from the deputy AG.
Heidi: Sarah, why the urgency? The IG had an investigation underway of how Comey handled the Clinton investigation. This was done with no replacement in hand and the justification, again, is for things that happened months and months ago. What happened within the last 24, 48 hours? Why the urgency to do this without even giving a heads up, as well, to the career staff at the FBI?
Ms. Sanders: Look, you have a new deputy attorney general in that position, he conducted a review.
Mr. Scarborough: But, Sarah, but, Sarah
Ms. Brzezinski: He’s got a great reputation, yeah
Mr. Scarborough: We have the same President of the United States, though, Sarah, that has been praising James Comey non-stop for what he did during the l… *inaudible*
Ms. Brzezinski: Last I checked he was in charge and he’s very important.
Mr. Scarborough: So, everybody’s talking.
Ms. Sanders: And, I think he showed that he’s in charge last night. I don’t think there’s any question about that.
Mr. Scarborough: No, but you keep talking about
Ms. Brzezinski: What changed?
Ms. Sanders: He received a recommendation and he made a decision and he made it quickly.
Also, you might notice that Ms. Brzezinski actually said one of the lines that Mr. Rutenberg attributed to Ms. Sanders.
He also falls back to the wonderful “lies” about the inauguration crowd. In a 1,000 word article he has two examples. Two. One of which is a gross mischaracterization of words that weren’t said.
Final note: I will use this as a time to call for an independent investigator into the death of Scarborough’s intern.