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Devin Nunes Tweeted: The Leakers and Their Recipients Have Been Found


Devin Nunes, Californian congressman and one of the leading voices in the Republican side who’s questioned the whole Russia-stole-the-election-and-gave-it-to-Donald-Trump line of thought, sent out a curious tweet just recently that suggests the Democrats may have some answers to give.

He wrote: “The leakers and their recipients have been found …”

And in the tweet, he linked to a story from The Federalist, which spoke of the media battle to take down Trump.

Here’s the tweet:

Media Fight For Democrats In Washington Leak Wars

Reporters are hostile to even the notion of Republican leaks, but remarkably incurious about the actual Democratic deluge of leaks.

And here’s more from the Federalist:

The New York Times published a story on March 1, based on anonymous sources, claiming that Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., had met with House Speaker Paul Ryan to blame Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., for leaking texts between Mark Warner and the attorney for a Russian oligarch connected to the author of the salacious and unverified dossier the FBI used to secure a wiretap against a Trump campaign affiliate.

It was a weird story for many reasons. For one, it was the first time the paper had even mentioned these encrypted texts, despite their newsworthiness and the dramatic twist they gave parts of the Russia investigation.

For another, the story was denied publicly by Burr, who told CNN that the account was simply wrong.

For another, it turned out that no members on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence had even seen the texts, according to Nunes and others on the committee.

But the weirdest part about the story is that The New York Times is a frequent recipient of actual leaks from House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee. On Feb. 27, Democrats on the committee leaked Hope Hicks’ testimony directly to The New York Times. In fact, Nicholas Fandos, the very same reporter on the anonymously sourced story about House Republicans supposedly leaking, received a leak from Democrats on the committee, which he immediately published under the headline, “Hope Hicks Acknowledges She Sometimes Tells White Lies for Trump.”

Fandos ran with the spin given to him by Schiff and his staff.

WASHINGTON — Hope Hicks, the White House communications director, told House investigators on Tuesday that her work for President Trump, who has a reputation for exaggerations and outright falsehoods, had occasionally required her to tell white lies.

But after extended consultation with her lawyers, she insisted that she had not lied about matters material to the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible links to Trump associates, according to three people familiar with her testimony.

The exchange came during more than eight hours of private testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Ms. Hicks declined to answer similar questions about other figures from the Trump campaign or the White House.

The story is based on three anonymous Democrats who serve on or work for the committee. A Republican who serves on the committee spoke publicly about this top news that Fandos carried directly from Democrats’ spin room to the pages of the New York Times. In fact, he said that the latest — of dozens upon dozens — of leaks from House Democrats was the last straw for him, not just because it was yet another leak but because it was spun so falsely.

“We’ve gotten to the point now where we’re literally bringing people in for nine hours just so the Democrats can leak to the press,” said Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla.

Later reports revealed that Hicks hadn’t testified about anything dramatic but had occasionally said her boss was in a meeting when he was actually just otherwise preoccupied. Now, maybe that’s treason and worthy of breathless New York Times coverage and a day-long general media freakout. But if it is, that media will have nothing else to write about for decades and thousands of dead Washington, D.C., press secretaries will soon be swinging from the gallows, all hanged for treason and high crimes. Schiff, who if he didn’t leak the testimony himself, oversees the Democrats who did, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that it was “unfair” that the Hicks testimony had been leaked. Really.

Jack Langer, spokesman for Rep. Devin Nunes, who chairs the committee, found the whole thing Kafkaesque, according to one of the Fandos stories:

“The New York Times, a prominent purveyor of leaks, is highlighting anonymous sources leaking information that accuses Republicans of leaking information,” he said. “I’m not sure if this coverage could possibly get more absurd.”

It is a weird thing to watch the media uncritically receive and regurgitate dozens of leaks — all of them out of context, some of them downright false — from Rep. Adam Schiff and his team and then write up that the other side is leaking. This is particularly bizarre given the general lack of leaks coming from House Permanent Select Committee Republicans. At the very least it’s worth noting that there were no leaks from Intelligence Committee Republicans about their 4-page memo alleging FISA abuses, even as the agencies and Democrats on the committee put out anticipatory leaks to cushion the blow from that memo. In fact, they leaked to … Nicholas Fandos.

Here are four other examples of serious, if deceptive, leaks from Schiff and the Democrats he oversees.

1) Selective Leak Of Stone-Wikileaks Texts
I’m not sure how much of this is sloppy and credulous reporting vs. sloppy leaking by Team Schiff, but last week Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic wrote about a leak from Democrats on the Intelligence Committee of direct Twitter messages between Wikileaks and former Trump advisor Roger Stone. The actual texts depicted Wikileaks telling Stone to stop falsely claiming that they’d been communicating. Bertrand framed it exactly the opposite — that the texts actually provided smoking gun proof that Wikileaks and Roger Stone were plotting to steal an election. The headline and subhed announce, “Roger Stone’s Secret Messages with WikiLeaks: Transcripts obtained by The Atlantic show Donald Trump’s longtime confidante corresponded with the radical-transparency group.” Contra Bertrand, the exchange had previously been reported on here as being “consistent with the group’s public statements casting doubt on claims by former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone that he had advanced knowledge of the group’s anti-Clinton leaks.”

Bertrand repeatedly sources her story to the “House Intelligence Committee,” meaning Democrats on that Committee. She squeezes 1,600 words out of the texts, leading observers to write that, “Stone was Trump’s intermediary to Julian Assange’s secretly partisan pro #TrumpRussia media outlet.” A senior editor at The Atlantic, who you have to charitably assume didn’t actually read the piece, hyped it as an actual “smoking gun” of treasonous collusion between Trump and Russia …

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