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Jonathan Turley: Durham's report is an indictment of the media

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade
The Truth Network Radio
May 21, 2023 12:00 am

Jonathan Turley: Durham's report is an indictment of the media

Brian Kilmeade Show / Brian Kilmeade

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May 21, 2023 12:00 am

In this Producers' Pick, George Washington Law Professor Jonathan Turley breaks down the contents of the Durham report and why it proves the media was a willing participant.

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American Born Chinese, premiering May 24, exclusively on Disney Plus. With me right now is Jonathan Turley. We're not talking Ukraine, Jonathan, don't worry about it. We're talking about some explosive information that's happening here with the Durham Report. And I was just listening, just to get ready for this segment to get me hyped up, I was listening to Joe Scarborough talk about right-wing media outlets who are misinterpreting the Durham Report.

And there was actually nothing in it, it was a total waste of time and money. Is that how you view it? Are you blind with right-wing rage?

You know, I guess we had too much of an expectation. The fact is that Durham Report's an indictment, not just of the individuals who are responsible for this hoax, but the media. I mean, this was a plan that was hatched by the Clinton campaign, it was given to the FBI, and then it was promulgated by the media. So, you know, the media can't even argue that they were sort of the target of this con, they were a participant in it. So that's reflected in a lot of this.

What are they supposed to say? You know, we spent three years telling you that there was this P tape or that Trump was insane for saying the FBI was investigating his campaign. Turns out all of that that we reported was untrue.

None of them have the integrity for that. So I'm just looking at some of these titles, all these awards. Ten stories from the Washington Post about the Russia-Trump collusion, they've gotten Pulitzer's. Ten stories by the New York Times, they got prizes, various prizes, whether it was the Peabody or Pulitzer, and they also have done, PBS also has won some awards, between 2017 and 2019. Now, the Mueller report comes out, didn't show collusion, the Horowitz Inspector General report come out, didn't show collusion.

If we were to look at the 306 pages here, one of the things that stands out is that Durham makes it clear this investigation never should have been launched. And the way it starts with an ambassador in the UK going to a bar and meeting Papadopoulos, right away you just have to look at this and say, well, who's Papadopoulos to Trump? He got hired a week before as an advisor. How many times has he met him?

Once or twice. What was he saying? Well, it turns out Downer wasn't even saying that he was talking about Hillary Clinton emails in Russia. They don't even confirm that. But they use it as a way to willingly dupe themselves into thinking, we got something here. Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn all end up under investigation. They never briefed Donald Trump and they brief Hillary Clinton about the Russians looking to infiltrate the election. But I guess on some level, they believe Trump's a part of it. And because they want this narrative or need this narrative, they pursue it. And in case you say, well, they're just not good at their job. Then you get the text message of the guy in charge of the investigation, Peter Strzok, who clearly hates Trump and texts about that. We have a plan B.

Should he get elected? It will never happen. So you have everything right there in your first 15 pages. No, it's true. And what's what's really incredible is that this report shows that this this whole operation was run out of Mark Elias's shop, the general counsel of the Clinton campaign. They were later sanctioned for doing that by the federal government.

And they hit it. And reporters say that they asked Elias and the campaign, are you behind the dossier? Do you have an involvement? They denied it. There's even a report that Podesta, with Elias sitting next to him, denied that there was any connection between the campaign and the dossier. Later, of course, they had to admit that when records came out that they they funded this thing.

So this is just an incredible story. But the problem for the media is that they just this would be such an indictment of themselves. And what was, of course, ironic is that The Washington Post New York Times gets a Pulitzer for running a false story planted by a political campaign. The New York Post runs a true story about the Hunter Biden laptop and they will never get a Pulitzer because it was true, but it was hitting the wrong side.

Absolutely. I want to just build on what you point and then talk about what the reforms could be in place and why I'm not necessarily optimistic. So the Durham investigation was reviewed by the Columbia Journalism Review over the course of 18 months. They said, let's look at all the coverage and let's see how the media did. So the CJR in-house publication of America's most prestigious journalism school, 18 months digging through the media's work. The report contained criticism of the media as a whole.

Jeff Gerth reserved particular disdain for the Times. The investigative journalist introduced his findings by stating his belief that the newspaper had damaged his credibility outside its own bubble. Renowned journalist Bob Woodward told him the coverage of the Russia probe wasn't handled well. Daily Mail broke down how the Trump Russia stories flourished in the media, despite a lack of credible evidence. And we can make our own decisions on how much the country was hurt. I think hurt tremendously on reputation.

The other thing is, how about this? The FBI sees no clear link to Russia and a story about alleged covert communication between Trump Organization and criminal linked Alpha Bank. It didn't stop a full investigation story after story about unnamed sources who said there was a link there. And that's how they tried to trip up Jared, saying that he was part of that when he had nothing to do with that. Alpha Bank happened to have a branch in Trump Tower.

It didn't mean they have nothing to do with Donald Trump in particular. But now you see a Russia bank. Trump needs money. Trump wanted to always wanted to build a Trump tower in Moscow.

Would have been this most prolific and profitable tower ever. And he was thought to be a Putin, was promised the top penthouse. Remember those stories? Yeah, no, it's and it goes on and on because, you know, all of these they ran with a legal expert saying this evidence is absolutely bombshell and undeniable. Of course, no criminal charges occurred because no findings were ever made that these were true. And now we have findings made that they were false from the outset. The key to remember is that when they steal dossier came out, the American intelligence quickly flagged it as likely Russian disinformation.

They demolished it. They told the FBI this is not reliable. And yet people like Comey, even today, are claiming that they believe that this was corroborate. Years later, Comey was still talking about the tape.

He was he got all these accolades were saying, I never thought these words would come out of my mouth. The president might have done this. Well, we know now from Durham that if he just simply picked up a phone, he could have found out that there was nothing there. This came out of it from a Clinton operative who told Steele about this story to another person. Three days later, it ended up in the Steele dossier.

That's how trivial this process was three days after Steele heard that story. It was in the Steele dossier and then it was all over the media. I find it amazing, too, because his name is Charles Dolan and Charles Dolan dates back to when we thought Russia had a chance of being somewhat of a representative democracy on some level when Yeltsin was there.

And that's when Bill Clinton was in office. And that's when Dolan made his contacts. And a lot of people like Bill Browder, who's famously Putin wants to kill now, was saying, I'm going to invest over there. This might be a good place to invest and grow.

I mean, these people know nothing about capitalism, but they seem open to it. So as it starts closing down, Dolan kept his contacts. So when Chris Steele gets this deal and has to find out what's going on, he reaches out to Dolan to help put together the dossier and Igor Dushchenko to help put it.

But Dushchenko doesn't go back to Russia either. So they get all hearsay, second and third, they put it together and they don't verify any of it, but they say, here's here's rough intelligence of what's over there. Next thing you know, they staple it together, put a hardcover on it and say, this is a dossier. And Steele, they go, Steele, is this true? He's like, I don't know.

Dushchenko, is this true? He goes, well, that's what I heard. And then they go, well, can you verify it? He goes, I really can't because what if we give you a million dollars just to verify it for us? He's like, I can't.

I'm not going to take your money. But it didn't stop him from lobbying against Donald Trump physically in New York, in Washington and New York to let people know in the media that this stuff is real and that Donald Trump is corrupt. And he said he's a sell out and he's going to be he's a sell out to to Vladimir Putin.

It's just crazy that this all happened and it all took place. Well, of course, there's a name for that, right? It's called disinformation. So all these people like Adam Schiff, who's been calling for censorship to stop disinformation to protect democracy. This is disinformation that was used against democracy. This is the ultimate disinformation.

You ended up admiring a duly elected president in scandal for three years, effectively derailing a presidency based on something that his political opponent hatched up and fed to the media. Now, by the way, that's a huge story. This is the most successful political hoax in history.

Yes. This truly is an amazing story. But no one wants to tell it because they're all sort of co-conspirators. This is I wrote a piece in the New York Post saying that this is like the political version of murder on the Orient Express. Everyone did it. So if everyone does it in Washington, nobody does it because no one gets charged.

But they all did it. So Eric Wemple, who hates Fox, but he's a Washington Post media critic, repeatedly slammed his outlet in other liberal outlets that ran stories based on the dossier. The journalist columns hit out on the bit on the on the flimsiness of Steele's allegation.

They claimed that there was a long running conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin. Now, if you're Donald Trump, you think, OK, the Mueller report is done. Then the Ukraine fall comes up. The impeachment starts again. And then when 2020 starts, he still is a favorite to win before the pandemic. Again, another four years.

And then out comes the sucker box that flood the zone with millions of dollars in key districts. And then comes the disinformation on the Hunter Biden laptop. So if you want me to feel better about the FBI, why would I feel better knowing that this John Paul Isaac, who ran his computer repair store, dropped it off to the FBI, was treated in a hostile fashion and said, look, this is pretty bad stuff.

They held on to it for eight months when Rudy Giuliani got it. They they briefed major media outlets on to prepare them for the Russian disinformation again in 2020. So if I want to feel better about the FBI, please tell me how I should when they did it again when it came to the laptop. Yeah, well, Brian, the best indication of how insincere the FBI is on this comes from the statement they released almost simultaneously with the report. They said, you know, we've we've made changes to deal with these missteps, missteps. So the FBI ran with a story planted by a political campaign based on nothing and derailed the presidency for three years.

And they call it a misstep. That's how that's the lack of seriousness that there is for serious reform. I just want you to hear before we do this, Bill Barr finally spoke about it. He's the one who hired John Durham. And if anyone comes up to you, Jonathan says, John Durham's a political hack. Tell him to look up Eric Holder's comments, because Eric Holder, the attorney general for Barack Obama, says he's got great integrity and said he's it's untouchable.

Nobody was criticizing him. But here's what he said that he found after reading 300 pages flying back from California yesterday with Brett cut three. I think what this is shown is that the source and there are really two sources and drivers of this whole ugly episode. And that is Hillary Clinton's campaign, who launched a smear campaign that was based on getting Russian sources, Russian sources to spread false information about Donald Trump and peddle it to the press and to the government, the FBI. And both the press and the FBI abandoned any semblance of professionalism and took up the cause with a vengeance. And I think the real story here from the FBI's perspective is what an abomination this was, this so-called investigation.

If it wasn't a witch hunt, it's a damn good imitation of one. And guess who called it a witch hunt? President Trump. And guess who was told he was crazy and irrational? Donald Trump. Between this and some other things that happened with his laptop and being verified afterwards, this is the type of thing that does vindicate Donald Trump.

It does. And look, I'm a big fan of Bill's bills because we go back a long time. But this is really the result of his decision to appoint John Durham. This is why I've always said that Trump was wrong about Bill Barr, that, you know, this is going to create a lasting record. And while reporters may not report on it now, history will judge and it will be based largely on this report.

And this report is only here because of Bill Barr. I'm a fan of Bill Barr and for the president not to understand that he's his MVP, that he came in after Jeff Sessions and landed the plane, knew all the players, took all the slings and arrows, got it first, disseminated it first, then fed it to the press, then they got it, then the press got it because they were just going to run with sections that they wanted to run with. But he defined it first. Everything he did was brilliant. And I can't believe because he wouldn't do some of the things the president wanted to do in the last days he was in office, he thought he was the enemy and fired him. But that was one of his worst decisions.

Yeah, it was. I went out to lunch with him the day before that happened and there was a certain gallows humor at the lunch. The fact is, Bill, the thing I love about Bill Barr, I actually represented him once as a client in addition to being a friend, is that Bill's the only guy I know in Washington that truly doesn't care what people think of him. He really doesn't. I mean, it's always amazed me about him.

I care more about what people think about Bill Barr than Bill Barr does. It's true. And that's why when Trump went after him, he's like, OK, if I'm fired, I'll leave. You know, and they ran out quick.

It's like, no, please don't leave yet. Jonathan Turley, always great. Thanks for being there every step of the way and making everything seem so digestible. Appreciate it.

Thanks, Brian. The Fearless and Proud podcast series looks at acts of bravery and strength by women. And in the first season, we'll look at women who played important roles in the Civil War. In episode three, we'll be looking at two intriguing women of the war. First, Cuban-born Loretta Janeta Velazquez, who was sent to the United States for an education by her well-to-do Spanish family. We then move on to the legendary Harriet Tubman. We'll discuss her time as a nurse, soldier and spy for the Union Army and talk about the Combe River raid, a turning point in the war. Listen ad free on Fox News podcast via Apple podcast and prime members can listen to this show ad free on Amazon music. Listen to this show ad free on Fox News podcast plus on Apple podcast, Amazon music with your prime membership or subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-21 00:07:37 / 2023-05-21 00:14:44 / 7

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