Here is the latest thrust in the increasingly desperate effort to tie the Trump administration to Russia in some nefarious way.
Excerpted from Ellen Nakashima, Greg Entous and Greg Miller’s article in today’s Washington Post (which rivals the New York Times for its all-out effort to destroy the Trump administration. The bold print is mine:
Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.
Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.
The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.
The White House disclosed the meeting only in March, playing down its significance. But people familiar with the matter say the FBI now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest.
Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate — a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team.
Neither the meeting nor the communications of Americans involved were under U.S. surveillance, officials said.
The White House declined to comment. Robert Kelner, a lawyer for Flynn, declined to comment. The Russian Embassy did not respond to requests for comment.
Russia at times feeds false information into communication streams it suspects are monitored as a way of sowing misinformation and confusion among U.S. analysts. But officials said that it’s unclear what Kislyak would have had to gain by falsely characterizing his contacts with Kushner to Moscow, particularly at a time when the Kremlin still saw the prospect of dramatically improved relations with Trump.
Well, there it is. The smoking gun, guaranteed to bring down the Trump White House, complete with that ominous graphic of the Russian Ambassador’s contact with key members of the administration.
Heck, President Trump might as well turn in the keys to the Oval Office right now, and skulk back to his nearest golf resort.
-The entire extent of this “revelation” is the attempt to create a secure communication channel between the two countries. Uh…similar communications channels are set up with other major countries as well, for exactly the same reason: to establish “secret” – i.e. non public – avenues through which those governments can communicate. In other words, standard operating procedure.
-The meeting is not some new discovery by the Washington Post. As the article admits, it was made public by the Trump administration almost three months ago. Obviously, therefore, there was no secret that it took place – which leads to the question of why it would be reported at all now, let alone with the article’s “we got ’em” tonality;
-As per every one of these hit pieces, there is not one specific source. All we have is “according to US officials”, “reportedly” and “officials said”. Not one name; not one way to determine whether any of this, even if it were significant, had any credibility.
-And all this is before we get to the fact that the meeting took place in December, almost a month after the election – which therefore means that it could not possibly have had anything to do with media’s unceasing accusations of Russian collusion to toss the election to Trump. How do you affect the results of an election that has already taken place?
So what we have here is another hate-Trump extravaganza, apropos of nothing, which will thrill like-minded Trump haters (and they certainly cluster in places like the Washington Post’s readership)….at the cost of making the Post look smaller and less reliable as a news source. That’s quite a price to pay.
Well, at least it won’t hurt the public’s image of news media in general. Given the current levels, how could it?