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WaPo's Eric Wemple notes that CNN went with the 'GOP seizes' route on newly disclosed footnotes on Steele dossier

If you’ve been keeping up with Twitchy this week, you’ll know we’ve had a handful of treads on newly declassified footnotes from Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on FISA abuses in relation to the investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, footnotes that refer frequently to the discredited Steele dossier.

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CBS News’ Catherine Herridge has been putting her pen and highlighter to excellent use, noting that the Russians were using Christopher Steele to spread disinformation, and there was an excellent thread by John Huber noting that in the declassified footnotes, we learn publically for the first time that Steele had written a report citing a Yahoo News article for which he was the anonymous source.

Amid all the COVID-19 noise, the newly declassified footnotes didn’t escape the Washington Post’s Eric Wemple, who wondered what CNN and MSNBC were going to have to say about them.

Wemple tells us what CNN had to say … Republicans seized:

We’ll pause to consider the CNN account, which carries the headline, “GOP seizes on newly declassified material to raise further questions about Steele dossier.” The article’s first sentence reads, “Senate Republicans are touting newly declassified information that suggests Russian disinformation, in two instances, may have been passed onto ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele when he compiled an opposition research dossier on Donald Trump and Russia in 2016.”

Factual? Yes. Slanted? Yes, that too. Republicans are “touting” the footnotes in part because media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and others “touted” the dossier with flimsy corroboration in the early months of the Trump presidency. (The chatter is the focus of previous installments in this series.) One CNN anchor, for instance, went so far as to assert in December 2017 that the U.S. intelligence community has “corroborated all the details” of the dossier.

The CNN footnote story abridges the findings of the Horowitz report this way: “Steele’s report played no role in the opening of the FBI investigation, according to Horowitz, and he found that the most salacious allegations weren’t proven.” That’s a convenient formulation, considering that the Horowitz report said the FBI determined that the dossier was a mix of uncorroborated, inaccurate/inconsistent and publicly available information.

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We really can’t even begin to tell you how many “who cares?” comments there are, seeing how many people are trying not to die from coronavirus at the moment, but we still care.

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Yeah, that’s it, the paper that employs Max Boot and Jennifer Rubin to write conservative columns has a conservative problem.


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