As part of its editorial agenda to do President Trump's bidding, CNSNews.com has regularly pushed assertions by Trump and his supporters that there was no collusion between Trump's presidential election campaign and Russian interests and/or attacking Robert Mueller's investigation into same. The latest round comes through Senate Republicans insisting that their investigation found no collusion.
CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman led this particular bandwagon, with a Feb. 8 article headlined "Senate Chairman to CBS: Zero Evidence of 'Collusion by Trump Campaign and Russia.'" When NBC did a fuller story on this, Chapman breathleessly declared in a Feb. 12 post: "BREAKING: Senate Intelligence Cmte: No Direct Evidence of Russia-Trump Collusion."
Chapman conveniently omitted the fact that NBC also quoted Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee who pointed out that "no direct evidence" does not mean "no evidence," adding that "Trump and his associates had more than 100 contacts with Russians before the January 2017 presidential inauguration." NBC also points out where Chapman didn't that a Republican-controlled investigation of a Republican president could be considered by many to be partisan and incomplete.
Instead, CNS' Susan Jones touted the next day how "In an early morning tweet on Wednesday, President Trump pointed to the Senate intelligence committee: "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA!" he wrote in all-caps." Jones did, surprisingly, note Democratic criticism of the GOP conclusion.
On Feb. 14, however, CNS' Michael Morris gave space to Mark Levin fill-in host Dan Bongino declaring that "[t]he Russian collusion fairytale is finally, fully, completely collapsing." This was followed by Jones giving a Feb. 18 platform to Rush Limbaugh to rant that "People such as Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein 'took it upon themselves to overthrow the election results of 2016,' while ignoring the 'real collusion' between the Clinton campaign and the Russians."
This attempt to downplay any link between Trump and Russia comes straight from the top. A Jan. 30 column by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey portraying Russian election interference as no big deal: "Which is a greater threat to the United States? A shipment of heroin smuggled across the Mexican border that ends up in your hometown? Or a series of Facebook posts made by a Russian operative in St. Petersburg that show up on your Facebook feed?" Jeffrey then huffed:
Yes, our government should work to stop foreign governments from hacking into U.S. computer systems and stealing data, or tampering with vote-counting systems.
But how many Americans died last year from reading a Russian Facebook post or tweet?
The top national security issue facing the federal government today has nothing to do with deceptive political speech on social media. It has everything to do with our southern border.
Build the wall.
As long as the Russians support the same candidate Jeffrey does, it must not be a problem, right?