It isn’t often that Donald Trump will offer praise to any TV news network other than his pals at Fox News. In fact, he generally denies that he ever watches anything else. His Twitter feed is filled with examples of his live-tweeting whatever he’s watching on Fox. But somehow he finds out what the others are saying about him and whines about it for days. That’s when he isn’t smearing them in Stalinist terms as “the enemy of the people.”
But on Tuesday Trump saw a segment on MSNBC that warmed his shriveled heart. Host Hallie Jackson was interviewing NBC News intelligence and national security reporter, Ken Dilanian, about the breaking news that the Senate Intelligence Committee had concluded that they had not found any “direct evidence” of Trump colluding with Russia. Trump was so gleeful upon hearing this that he dropped everything and posted the video on Twitter with these words: “Thank you to @MSNBC!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 12, 2019
There’s just one problem. Trump cut off the video while Dilanian was still talking. And what he had to say had a direct bearing on how Trump’s involvement with Russia should be perceived. For instance, Dilanian said that Democrats on the committee never thought they would find “a contract between Trump and Vlad saying ‘Hey, let’s collude.'” And what Dilanian said immediately after the point where Trump cut the video was this (video below):
“The disagreement comes, though, over that pattern of contacts that we’ve all seen and heard about over the last few years. More than a hundred contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russians. The Democrats say that those remain highly suspicious and that there’s a pattern here that still raises questions. […] And Robert Mueller still has yet to weigh in. And that’s a big question because Robert Mueller knows things that the Senate investigators do not have access to.”
You have to wonder if Trump would have still thanked MSNBC if he had the courage and honesty to present the full video in context. What’s more, Dilanian also tweeted that “The Senate intelligence committee has not found evidence exonerating Trump, either.” And that’s the heart of the matter. The Senate committee deliberately limited the scope of their investigation to avoid stepping on Mueller’s toes. So their conclusions are not what anyone would describe as, well, conclusive. But they still couldn’t clear Trump af anything, and the final word rests with Mueller.So Trump should not be planning his big exoneration party just yet. However, if he wants to thank MSNBC for anything, perhaps it should be for how they are killing Fox News in the ratings. Thanks indeed.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.