The U.S. Mainstream Media is Out of Control
There is no Evidence That Trump Colluded With the Russians

While Trump has been busy gathering the world’s support to drive out terrorism, controversy is swirling in Washington over whether his campaign team colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

But what are these allegations based on? Is there any evidence to support them?

It’s very hard to get accurate information on this issue from the U.S. media. Media outlets in the U.S. are just as partisan as U.S. politicians, and their reporting is heavily influenced by these biases.

Further, most mainstream media outlets in the U.S. support liberal politicians and openly hate Donald Trump. These media outlets would like nothing more than to see President Trump impeached and removed from office. Their goal is to bring the President down.
The bias of these media outlets is so strong that, right up to the night of the U.S. election, they were reporting with certainty that Hillary Clinton was going to win. The whole world, which relies on this reporting, was poised for a Clinton victory. It was only when the actual results started coming in that people realised that Trump would win. Their hatred for Trump is so strong that they can’t see clearly what is actually happening.

It’s no wonder that many in the U.S. media have all but concluded that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to interfere in the U.S. elections. Like an out-of-control game of Chinese whispers, these rumours circulate widely and end up being considered true.

It’s hard to believe that so much hysteria could be whipped up without any evidence to support the allegations. But that is exactly what has happened in this situation.

While intelligence agencies have expressed concerns that have given rise to further investigations, no evidence has come to light that collusion actually occurred.

Key intelligence officials have confirmed that no evidence exists, as have Democratic members of congressional committees that are investigating the situation. Let’s take a look at what they have said:

  • On 5 March 2017, James Clapper, director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, said in an interview on Meet the Press: “We did not include any evidence in our report, and I say “our” – that’s NSA, FBI and CIA with my office, the Director of National Intelligence – that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. There was no evidence of that included in our report”. When asked more specifically whether any such evidence exists, he said “Not to my knowledge.” At a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on 8 May 2017 he was asked if that was still accurate and answered “It is”.
  • On 7 May 2017, Senator Joe Manchin, who is a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was asked whether he had seen anything that suggested any collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign. He said “There’s an awful lot of smoke there, let’s put it that way, people that might have said they are involved. To what extent they were involved, to what extent the President might have known about these people or whatever, there’s nothing there from that standpoint that we have seen directly linking our President to any of that.”
  • On 18 May 2017, Senator Feinstein, who is the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, confirmed during an interview on CNN that she had not seen any evidence of conclusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
  • On 23 May 2017 John Brennan, who was the CIA Director during the Obama administration, testified before the House Intelligence Committee. He said: “I don’t know whether or not such “collusion” existed. I don’t know. But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the Bureau to determine whether or not US persons were actively conspiring, concluding with Russian officials.”

President Trump himself has also stated clearly that he had no involvement with the Russians during his campaign.

Congressional investigations are ongoing, and the Justice Department have now appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate the Russia situation.

So we can expect the mainstream U.S. media to continue its feeding frenzy for some time, and it will likely intensify as more information comes to light.

All the while, the positive actions of the Trump administration barely see the light of day in the mainstream media as they are engulfed by the drama in Washington.


The Media is Letting the Leakers off the Hook

The situation with Michael Flynn, former National Security Advisor to President Trump, illustrates yet another example of the extreme media bias playing out in the U.S.

On 29 December 2016, President Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and imposed other sanctions after it was determined that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election. At the time, Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador about the situation, which is a normal thing for an incoming National Security Advisor to do.

Vice President Pence was later asked during a television show whether Flynn had discussed the Russian sanctions in that conversation and the Vice President said Flynn had told him the sanctions were not discussed. Soon after, a transcript of Flynn’s call was leaked to the Washington Post by U.S. intelligence agencies. The transcript was created from secret recordings of the call. It showed that Flynn had in fact discussed the sanctions during the call. It was therefore determined that Flynn had misled the Vice President and the President asked Flynn to resign.

While it is by no means desirable for a National Security Advisor to mislead the Vice President on issues like this, the bigger issue is how the transcript of Flynn’s call with the Russian ambassador became public. The recording of the phone call was made during secret intelligence gathering activities and should never have been disclosed to the press by U.S. intelligence agencies.

The U.S. Espionage Act prohibits the disclosure of information concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States. The leaking of this information to the press was therefore highly illegal.

But there has been little media coverage of the fact that the transcript of Flynn’s phone call was leaked illegally. Why is that? Why is the mainstream media not calling for an investigation into the intelligence agencies that are putting U.S. national security at risk by disclosing secret intelligence information?

Fixated on its mission to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency, the mainstream media is ignoring these important details. They do not want attention distracted from the narrative of the Russian scandal. If people start talking about the illegality of the leaks it will water down their attacks on Trump and deter future leakers. Therefore these issues are not coming to light and the leaks are continuing.

The fact that information like this is so readily leaked by U.S. intelligence agencies is a huge national security issue for the U.S. It also impinges on the constitutional privacy rights of U.S. citizens. It should not be left unaddressed.

We saw the serious consequences of this recently after U.S. intelligence agencies leaked photographs of the Manchester bombing to the New York Times. Those photographs had been shared by U.K. intelligence agencies under intelligence sharing arrangements between the two countries. Quite rightly, the U.K. was furious with the U.S. because the disclosure of the information could have impinged on the investigation into the incident.

Not only did the leaking of these photographs put the investigation into the Manchester bombing at risk, it also put at risk the intelligence sharing arrangements between the U.S. and the U.K.. These arrangements are vital to U.S. national security. If the U.K. can’t trust U.S. intelligence agencies to keep information secret they will stop sharing their intelligence.

The consequences of leaking intelligence information are serious and it should not be allowed to happen. There should be investigations into all leaks that have occurred and those responsible should be prosecuted. Trump needs to send a clear message that leaking secret intelligence information is not acceptable and those who do it will be caught and brought to justice. (Sean Melbourne)

The U.S. Mainstream Media is Out of Control
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