Today Reince Priebus had a very contentious interview the Chris Wallace on FoxNews Sunday. It’s theme was Wallace trying to bootstrap a very specific Trump complaint about false news stories being perpetrated by the media into a bizarre allegation that Trump was against a “free and independent press.” In fact, it is hard to see Wallace’s over-the-top commentary as anything more than the same rank tribalism that allowed the entire journalistic profession to cover the ass of an AP reporter who ran a demonstrably false story on Homeland Security on Friday. This is the whole interview.
There was actual news made though. Priebus took after, in particular, an anonymously sourced New York Times article that ran last week that claimed that several people, unnamed, in the Trump campaign were in constant contact with Russian intelligence sources.
WALLACE: Friday afternoon this is what he wrote: “The fake news media failing New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, CNN is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American people.” Reince, the President believes that a free and independent press is a threat to the country?
PRIEBUS: No, I think I think for the most part and I understand where he’s coming from. There are certain things that are happening in the news that just aren’t honest and we’re not talking about everyone Chris, we’re not talking about all news but we’re talking about something that I guess he’s termed as fake news. Let me give you an example. First of all, the new york times last week, put out an article with no direct sources that said that the Trump campaign had constant contacts with Russian spies. Basically, you know, treasonous type accusations. We have now all kinds of people looking into this. I can assure you, and I’ve been approved to say this, that the top levels of the intelligence community have assured me that story is not only inaccurate but it’s grossly overstated and it was wrong and there’s nothing to it. And so if i can say that the American people then what does it say about the story?
Priebus is completely correct. What you have is a major newspaper alleging with a complete absence of any kind of documentary evidence that the Trump campaign was in active collusion with Russian intelligence. This is not how a “free and independent press” operates. This is how the press operates when it has decided it is the opposition party and is acting as a wing of the Democrat party.
Priebus didn’t name sources but he might as well have. He’s obviously talking about the director of national intelligence, the director of the CIA, and the FBI director, either as a group or two or more of them.
This would explain the lack of triumphalism on the part of the Democrats after their meeting with James Comey on Friday, it would also explain why three House committees are now asking the FBI to investigate the leaks.