Tucker Carlson distorted the comments of Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr to falsely claim the committee found “no collusion at all” between the Trump campaign and Russia – and then Carlson had the nerve to smear Democrats as “vile” liars.
In reality, Burr’s comments were nothing like the blanket acquittal Carlson made them out to be. For one thing, the Senate Intelligence Committee is hardly the be all and end all of the Russia investigation. The House Intelligence Committee is conducting its own, reignited and expanded investigation now that Democrats control the House of Representatives. Also, of course, there’s the separate investigation being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller.
More to the point, Burr’s conclusion did not amount to a declaration of innocence. In a CBS interview last week, Burr acknowledged that Mueller has “more and better investigative tools” that “may provide answers that proved elusive to his team.” Burr also said “If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.” In other words, he specifically conceded there may well be evidence of collusion that he doesn’t have.
Burr also suggested in the CBS interview that his committee’s official report will not make a judgment on collusion: “’What I’m telling you is that I’m going to present, as best we can, the facts to you and to the American people. And you’ll have to draw your own conclusion as to whether you think that, by whatever definition, that’s collusion,’ he said.”
Naturally, Donald Trump ignored the nuance and declared himself vindicated. And so did Carlson. Taking time out from championing white nationalism, Carlson announced: “There was no Russian collusion.”
CARLSON: There is no evidence in any way that the Trump campaign conspired in any way with the government of Vladimir Putin during the last presidential election, period. That’s apparently the conclusion of the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee. … No collusion at all. That is what we are hearing tonight they have found.
Carlson went on to whine that the rest of the media was ignoring this (fake) bombshell, presumably because they’re not as fair and balanced as Fox.
Unfortunately for Carlson’s credibility, NBC News also spoke to Burr and reported yesterday:
After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
The key phrase there is “no direct evidence.” It suggests that circumstantial evidence has been found. NBC also reported that Vice Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) said he “disagrees with the way Burr characterized the evidence about collusion, but he declined to offer his own assessment.”
Somehow, Media Monitor Carlson missed that. “No Russian collusion is a lot like ‘moon landing actually happened,’” he snarked.
“Next time you feel dumb, watch this tape,” Carlson sneered, before playing clips of Democrats talking about evidence of collusion. “In the end, it was all fake and they knew that,” Carlson continued. “They were lying from the very first day.”
By the way, have you ever seen Carlson utter a peep of concern about Trump’s lies? Me neither. But I digress.
Carlson continued by calling Democratic accusations of collusion “slanderous” and “vile.” “If the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee is willing to call someone a traitor to this country, there’s got to be some truth to it, right? Actually, no,” Carlson added contemptuously. Apparently, though a Trump rally chanting “Lock her up” about Hillary Clinton, where a journalist was assaulted as Trump told a carnival of lies the night before were not worth a mention.
“Adam Schiff is an unscrupulous charlatan,” Carlson droned on, without providing any evidence beyond his own lie about the Senate Intelligence investigation.
It takes one to know one, Tucker!
crossposted from News Hounds