You’ll want to sit down for this one.
Apparently, that “bombshell” report that Donald Trump had nefariously offered Julian Assange a pardon to cover up for Russian hacking of the DNC was absolute garbage. I know, I know, it’s shocking and totally unexpected that our news media could make such a “mistake.”
Here’s the original report, which incredibly has not been corrected yet by the astute, totally credible The Daily Beast.
LONDON—A lawyer for Julian Assange has claimed in court that President Donald Trump offered to pardon Assange if the WikiLeaks founder agreed to help cover up Russia’s involvement in hacking emails from the Democratic National Committee.
Assange’s lawyers said on Wednesday that former Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher offered Assange the deal in 2017, a year after emails that damaged Hillary Clinton in the presidential race had been published. WikiLeaks posted the stolen DNC emails after they were hacked by Russian operatives.
Yeah, well except that’s a totally false claim. Dana Rohrabacher himself actually had to correct the misinformation, noting that he had never discussed the matter with Donald Trump and was acting alone. He also never promised a pardon, only that if information was delivered, he’d request one.
BOMBSHELL: Trump Offered Pardon For Wikileaks COVER UP
24 hours later
Correction: Ex Congressman Requested information on Wikileaks Source in exchange he would try to ask President for pardon. Nothing ended up happening.https://t.co/UQVedAaVxL
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) February 20, 2020
Of course, even in the face of the original report being exposed as fake news, the media are continuing to do their best to spin it. Here’s Aaron Blake over at The Washington Post still getting it wrong.
This isn't accurate either. He promised Assange he would "petition" the President for a pardon in exchange for such evidence. It was an offer to make a request. https://t.co/Qd88vhyHod
— (((AG))) (@AGHamilton29) February 20, 2020
Meanwhile, Michael Isikoff, famous for helping build a back-slapping circle for the Steele Dossier (i.e. Yahoo News claims something via sources, the source is actually the dossier, but others claim Yahoo News is independently confirming the dossier), decided to write an article on the matter. In it, he does get around to telling the truth, but decides to wait for five paragraphs to do so. The headline is also meant to get the reader to assume Trump was involved. Again, he wasn’t, and it’s been proven he wasn’t.
Isikoff waits 5 paragraphs to note that Rohrabacher also said that he didn't talk to Trump about a pardon for Assange, which is what all the headlines yesterday were saying. https://t.co/1FqyY13SqL
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) February 20, 2020
This story never made sense in the first place. Why would Trump need to bribe Assange to do what he was already doing, which is shill for Russia? Further, a pardon from Trump would do nothing to help Assange escape his other legal problems. Apparently, critical thinking isn’t something they teach in journalism school.
Once again, the media ran with another absolutely garbage Russia collusion story, not bothering to confirm it and not bothering to even get a comment from the person at the center of it (Rohrabacher). And once again, we’ll see no corrections, no apologies, and no introspection. They’ll just move on to the next hoax. But don’t you dare question their value and credibility.