by WorldTribune Staff, March 15, 2018
An article on alleged Russian intelligence communications with the Trump campaign that helped The New York Times win a top journalism award was complete “bulls—,” according to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The February 2017 report detailed how U.S. intelligence had acquired numerous intercepts and phone records of Trump campaign officials communicating with Russian intelligence.
In his new book, “Media Madness,” Fox News reporter Howard Kurtz wrote that then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was conducting an intelligence meeting when McCabe called him aside.
“We want you to know that everything in this New York Times story is bulls—,” Kurtz quotes McCabe as saying.
Priebus, amid a flurry of media pressure over the story, asked if the FBI would go public and say the NYT story was bogus. Preibus’s query was denied, Kurtz writes, as the FBI would then have to start commenting on news stories.
“Give me a break,” Priebus said. “I’m getting crushed all over the place, and you won’t say publicly what you told me privately?”
Kurtz continued that CNN had then broadcast a story casting Priebus as the bad guy who was trying to convince the reluctant FBI to disavow an anti-Trump story.
Kurtz said Priebus wondered, “Had he been set up? Why was the FBI leaking this information when one of its top officials had initiated the conversation?”
Priebus was vindicated in June 2017 when former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that the New York Times story was almost all wrong.
The New York Times submitted the February 2017 story to the George Polk Awards in Journalism as part of a 12-story package. The story helped The Times win an award for its Trump-Russia reporting.