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January 07, 2019

Wheels Within Wheels and Sources Who Have Sources: Glenn Simpson's Fusion InfoOp Continues Vomiting Up Lies, and McClatchy Newspapers Keeps Licking It All Up

Stories are now being attributed to sources who themselves have sources.

That is, they are dispensing with the notion that a source is someone with first-hand information about the claims being made. Now they're printing hearsay from a source (Glenn Simpson and co.) who claim they in turn have sources who told them about the information.

Ashe Schow begins the story by revisting McClatchy's last FusionGPS #FakeNews report, that Cleta Mitchell, a current lawyer for the NRA, became aware that the NRA was taking #MoneyFromRussians for Trump.

McClatchy was unbothered that this "report" (from Fusion) contained two claims, one which could be fact-checked and one that couldn't be, and the claim that could be fact-checked, that she was the current lawyer for the NRA, was flat-out wrong -- she stopped working for the NRA ten years ago.

But I guess that gave them even more confidence in the other claim, that Russians were funneling money to Trump through the NRA. I guess based on the idea that if they got one thing wrong, heck, Fusion must be right about the other thing!

No matter how many denials she issued, McClatchky was determined to claim that Cleta Michell herself had told someone else that she was very worried about this #RussianMoneySituation.

The whole story appeared to be a Fusion GPS smear. Fusion GPS is an opposition research firm associated with the Russia-collusion theory. The McClatchy story follows a basic pattern that indicates involvement from Fusion GPS:

1. The story is reported from the angle that someone is investigating an alleged claim as a way to report the story without the media outlet engaging in libel by making the claim themselves.

2. The sources for the story are incredibly vague, such as people "familiar with the matter" or unnamed people with no direct connection to the claims being made.

3. The story appears to confirm a claim made by the dossier compiled by ex-British Spy Christopher Steele that included numerous salacious claims about Trump and alleged Russian collusion.

4. Few, if any, details are given to prove the story other than what's stated in the headline.

For the Mitchell story, the claim is made that "Congressional investigators" are looking to talk to Mitchell about the NRA’s alleged involvement with Russia and Trump's campaign. "[T]wo sources familiar with the matter" are the only sources listed in the story. The article appears to confirm one of the Steele dossier claims -- that the Trump campaign received money from Russia to win the election. Finally, the headline gives almost all the information in the story except that congressional investigators are looking into the matter.

Mitchell vehemently denied the claims, and no one knew where they originated.

Fast forward to August 13, 2018, and you see how the story came about. In an article for The Daily Caller, Chuck Ross reported on handwritten notes by Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official heavily involved with Fusion GPS and the Russia investigation. In the notes, Ohr wrote that Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, was the one who made the claim about Mitchell.

"An NRA lawyer named Cleta Mitchell found out about the money pipeline and was very upset, but the election was over," Simpson said, according to Ohr.

This is the only on-the-record documentation of anyone making this claim, so it appears this is McClatchy's "sources familiar with the matter."

Cleta Mitchell also pointed out to these Fusion stooges that this story had been shopped around to all of DC's bottom-feeding reporters and none of them had gone with the story after she had denied a statement that she, supposedly, had made to some anonymous source.

But McClatchy did.

Ashe Schow looks at the latest McClatchy claim -- from the same reporters -- and finds it fits the pattern of a Fusion GPS FakeNews op perfectly.


The reason I report these emails even though they're months old is that Stone and Gordon are also behind the recent McClatchy article claiming former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's cell phone "pinged" from somewhere near Prague, where he allegedly paid Russia-linked hackers for stealing emails from Democrats. Cohen, like Mitchell, has vehemently denied doing any such thing and says he hasn't even been to Prague.

In April, McClatchy wrote an article titled "Sources: Mueller has evidence Cohen was in Prague in 2016, confirming part of dossier." The authors were none other than Stone and Gordon. This story also followed the Fusion GPS formula: Someone, in this case, the "Justice Department special counsel," who is investigating alleged Russia collusion with the Trump campaign; again, there are "two sources familiar with the matter"; the story appears to confirm part of the Steele dossier; and no real details are given beyond the headline...

No other media outlets have felt comfortable reporting this crap, given that everyone in the world has looked for the Prague Connection and come up empty.

Even the Daily Beast (!!!) criticized the weakness of McClatchy's "reporting" here.

But once again, they're reporting what other bottom-feeders won't touch.

McClatchy then wrote a follow-up article on December 27 claiming a cell signal from Cohen's phone "briefly sent signals ricocheting off cell towers in the Prague area in late summer 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, leaving an electronic record to support claims that Cohen met secretly there with Russian officials, four people with knowledge of the matter say."


During one of these interviews [on MSNBC], Gordon acknowledged that he had no direct evidence or sources to confirm his reporting, just that he had sources who had sources (that's not a typo).

Schow finds it interesting that these two jagoffs keep "reporting" "news" that just so happens to rehabilitate Simpson's and Steele's (actually Blumethal's and Shearer's) discredited, unverified, and embarrassing phony dossier.

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posted by Ace of Spades at 06:32 PM

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