The Central Intelligence Agency is declaring the Washington Post’s much-hyped story linking the Russian government to hacking the presidential election to help Donald Trump an “outright lie,” according to CIA personnel with direct knowledge of the case.
The Washington Post, in a front-page splash on Friday, fingered the CIA for allegedly confirming the wild rumors of Russian hacking that were concocted and spread by Democratic lawmakers for months preceding the election and the weeks since the GOP win. The Washington Post’s story, however, contained no CIA sources and in fact, no credible U.S. intelligence agency sources whatsoever. Instead, it hinged on what unnamed lawmakers had supposedly been told by unidentified, supposed CIA-linked sources in “secret” briefings: That the CIA had developed proof the Russian state waged an orchestrated campaign to destabilize the U.S. election to benefit GOP-candidate Trump.
“It’s an outright lie,” a CIA analyst divulged to True Pundit. “There’s nothing definitive like that. There are leads from activity originating in Finland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Britain, France, China and Russia.”
Multiple CIA sources are now denouncing the Washington Post for knowingly reporting misleading national security intelligence. Intelligence insiders said no one in the Agency or in the FBI, who is running at least one parallel inquiry, has ruled out a possible internal leak within the Democratic National Committee from actor(s) inside the United States who funneled private DNC emails to Wikileaks.
On the rabid Sunday morning political talk show circuit yesterday, fueled by the Washington Post’s thinly-sourced yet highly-lauded reporting, Sen. John McCain implored President Elect Trump to look at the CIA-Russian information which he said was credible. McCain, however, as the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, had strangely never publicly disseminated such intelligence prior to Sunday. And no other elected officials have stepped up to echo his narrative or that of the Washington Post.
CIA and intelligence sources, however, quickly countered McCain’s claims as speculative at best, saying his information is simply not accurate and he, as the Arizona senator has done previously, was grandstanding for the media without knowing key facts.
“If he (McCain) in fact is being told that information, it is bad information,” a CIA source said, pondering whether McCain had perhaps been briefed by outgoing CIA Director John Brennan or his loyal Agency underlings. Multiple sources said Brennan and his inner circle in the Agency could not be trusted to disseminate any true intelligence, especially in their final days on the job, without tainting raw data with political ideologies that parallel their White House boss.
Trump has already named Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo as Brennan’s successor and CIA personnel anxiously anticipate Brennan’s departure, sources said. (But you won’t read about that in the Washington Post.)
Could the Russian state be linked to hacking to influence the 2016 U.S. election? Intelligence analysts, again, reiterate there is no overwhelming current evidence to definitively link any government to such rogue actions.
CIA personnel said any official information released by Brennan or the White House on this issue prior to President Barack Obama’s departure from office should be discounted and tuned out as partisan “white noise.”
The CIA sources’ collective assessment that the Washington Post purposely and brutally misrepresented the CIA’s findings is the third blow to the embattled newspaper in the last week, having been busted writing two other high profile fake stories on national security that were quickly proven to be problematic and ultimately bogus.
A veteran beltway journalist, author and award-winning professor said very little has changed at the Washington Post since he worked as a Beltway journalist covering politics in Prince George’s, Maryland. Sadly, he said, the Washington Post’s recent practices are not the exception but the rule at the newspaper.
“They just make news up, fabricate whatever news was required at the time, especially when they were scooped or embarrassed by other publications,” said Gregg Morris. “Sometimes they did it because they believed they were entitled. Nothing has changed.”
Morris worked for Time Magazine, the New York Post, Gannett’s Democrat & Chronicle newspaper in Rochester, NY and Washington Star, D.C. A graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor and Master’s degree, Morris is currently an award winning journalism professor at Hunter College in New York City.
Morris has chronicled the decline of the mainstream media, especially the Washington Post, for 30 years as a professor and journalist and is currently working on a new book about corruption in undergraduate higher education.
Morris said the Washington Post’s latest foray into make-believe journalism with the CIA Russian story had several glaring inconsistencies that are often hallmarks of fabricated, fake news, including:
- Story debates itself. Certain parts of the story directly contradict other so-called facts of the same story. The reader is rendered bewildered; the narrative’s “facts” prove untrustworthy.
- Haphazard construction. The story’s sloppy foundations and reporting were likely the result of it being constructed on a rush basis or under pressure from editors or the publisher.
- Weak sourcing. The story fails to nail down a true link between what the Post claims and DIRECT confirmation from CIA sources.
“There are no sources with direct knowledge, it’s just all hearsay,” Morris said. “Who cares what some partisan Senators or lawmakers say they were told. The Post needs real sources on this. Without CIA sources, this story wouldn’t even make it out of my classroom alive.
“The editors should be fired. If you’re covering national security as a reporter for the Post or New York Times, LA Times, and don’t have CIA sources at your fingertips, find another job.”
Morris is far from alone when questioning the Washington Post’s credibility on its concocted narrative of the flimsy CIA-Russian allegations story.
Trump, in an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” dismissed the “revelations” as complete partisan nonsense.
Since Trump’s presidential victory, the Washington Post has trumpeted itself as the left’s self-appointed Fake news Czar but what is has truly uncovered is how the Washington Post itself spreads fakes stories and the outlandish lengths the paper will stretch to defend such problematic pieces of shoddy fiction disguised as objective journalism.
And last week The Washington Post’s malfeasance reached epidemic proportions.
On Monday, The Washington Post began the week attacking General Michael Flynn Sr., Trump’s nominee for National Security Advisor for supporting a True Pundit story in early Nov. which the Post said detailed allegations that Hillary Clinton and her campaign director John Podesta were part of a child trafficking ring in D.C. and beyond dubbed “Pizzagate.”
Sounds quite intriguing except True Pundit never wrote any such story. Flynn on Twitter, had backed a True Pundit story detailing an active FBI investigation into Clinton and her foundation. The Washington Post ignored basic facts and instead anchored its story, again, on fake assertions in an attempt to paint Flynn and True Pundit as “conspiracy” agents disseminating fake news. Simply not true.
More alarming, however, instead of apologizing for smearing General Flynn or True Pundit — or even simply admit its glaring errors — Washington Post personnel tried to cover up the gaffes. Post personnel edited the online story at least eight separate times throughout the day until its contents no longer resembled the original, fabricated edition. The Post then assigned a second story about General Flynn and True Pundit to another reporter to help mask the paper’s first botched story. The Post never mentioned that the original story was altered, edited, or patently incorrect. Also, no reporters ever contacted Flynn or True Pundit prior to publication, a professional tenet which would have saved the newspaper national embarrassment.
— Thomas Paine (@Thomas1774Paine) December 6, 2016
By Wednesday, the Washington Post was in the news again but this time with a public apology for publishing a Nov. 24th story on fake news which the newspaper was now publicly admitting was likely based on fake sourcing. That story, titled “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” contained a black list of supposed phony news providers. This week the Washington Post admitted it might have unfairly besmirched and ultimately slandered the named sites by labeling them as Kremlin-backed agents of fake news. The newspaper said its reporter had no way to vet the source, a spooky anonymous website called ProporNot. Strike two.
Let’s recap this not-so-epic week in fabricated Washington Post journalism:
- Monday: The Post prints a story about fake news attacking General Flynn and True Pundit. That story turned out to be fake.
- Wednesday: The Post admits its blockbuster Russian propaganda story on fake news, complete with a libelous blacklist, was indeed based on phony, unknown sourcing. That story? Fake too.
- Friday: The Post ends the work week how it started it: publishing another false story, but upping the stakes by misrepresenting the CIA, another work of fiction now proven false by True Pundit.
If the Washington Post had any pride or professionalism left, a big “if” at this point, reporters and editors would be fired after last week’s brutal display of fake news on parade. However, with Amazon-magnate and billionaire owner Jeff Bezos underwriting the money-bleeding operation at his newspaper — chronic mediocrity, bias and lack of integrity are apparently not shunned, but instead rewarded. Reporters are not lauded for excellence, only for writing to further the political ideology du jour. This is welfare journalism at its best where alleged professionals are paid despite mistakes that not long ago would seriously jeopardize a journalist’s integrity and career.
If a news organization refuses to correct itself when exposed for reporting, spreading, and publicizing chronic falsehoods, how can it hold any moral high ground to denounce fake news?