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Was Bill Shine Involved In Planting NYT’s Rosenstein Wiretap Report?

Fox News anchors piped up with unanimous calls for Rosenstein's resignation just after The New York Times gave Trump his "get-out-of-jail-free" card.
Was Bill Shine Involved In Planting NYT’s Rosenstein Wiretap Report?
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Fasten your seatbelts: The New York Times just gave Donald Trump the get-out-of-jail-free card he’s been longing for via an anonymously sourced report that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein once proposed to wiretap Trump in order to invoke the 25th Amendment.

With a headline titled, “Rod Rosenstein Suggested Secretly Recording Trump and Discussed 25th Amendment,” the Times article begins:

The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.

Mr. Rosenstein made these suggestions in the spring of 2017 when Mr. Trump’s firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director plunged the White House into turmoil. Over the ensuing days, the president divulged classified intelligence to Russians in the Oval Office, and revelations emerged that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to pledge loyalty and end an investigation into a senior aide.

Clearly, this is just the kind of excuse Trump and his band Collusion Cover-Up Cohorts have been dreaming of ever since Trump started looking like there was something very wrong about him and Russia.

So you have to wonder who leaked this information to The Times and why now, more than a year after the fact?

As Marcy Wheeler noted, the Times’ own description of its sources indicates that none had firsthand information of the events reported:

Several people described the episodes, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein’s actions and comments.

Wheeler further notes that the two people the Times cited who were present dispute the characterization. Rosenstein called the report “inaccurate and factually incorrect” and another, unnamed person who was present when Rosenstein made the proposal said he was being sarcastic.

So who were those sources? Wheeler points out that Rep. Jim Jordan looks like a strong possibility:

But Gabriel Sherman suggests this may be part of a larger plan straight from the White House, via former Fox News exec Bill Shine, now deputy chief of staff in charge of communications:

I don’t usually praise Fox’s Katie Pavlich but I’ll give her a shoutout here for showing some decency and some backbone:

As I write this, Sean Hannity has not tweeted yet, but I can guarantee you that he (a good friend of Shine’s) or whichever Trumper guest hosts tonight will be celebrating with all the malicious glee at his or her disposal.

We can all expect a Trump lackey who will shut down the Mueller investigation in Rosenstein’s place.

Originally published at

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