Liberal Insider ‘Newsletter’ Insists Trump Will ‘Pay A Price’ On Memo

Posted on Sun 02/04/2018 by

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By Tim Graham ~

Political insiders who subscribe to former New York Times and Politico reporter Mike Allen’s morning e-mail newsletter — Axios AM — might realize it’s not really a “newsletter.” It’s more like a “Talking Points Memo,” and the talking points are reliably Democratic in tone. Allen’s Friday edition previewed the Nunes memo release under the headline “1 Big Thing: The memo’s price.”

The team at Axios found anonymous White House aides who think the president is screwing up, who “recognize their could be a high cost” to Trump’s decision to allow the memo’s release, as they told Allen and Jonathan Swan. Smell the liberal bias (bolding from the original):

  • Swan learned that the White House plans to dress up the decision by arguing that it’s an action of “transparency.”
  • But this puts President Trump publicly crossways with both the intelligence community and the FBI — not a place you want to be.
  • And then there’s the lead-balloon factor: Swan scooped yesterday that many in the White House think the memo will be a dud — hardly delivering on the expectations that Fox’s Sean Hannity and others on the right have whipped up with the online #ReleaseTheMemo frenzy.
  • So with no slam dunk, there could also be a political cost.
  • An administration source said last night: “Some back and forth on whether to actually do it. If it really is a dud and the memo really doesn’t say a hell of a lot, why would you risk pissing off [FBI Director Christopher] Wray?”
  • That West Wing fear syncs with a claim by Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, who said at an Axios event that the memo will be a letdown for the right — containing nothing that obviously invalidates the investigation or would cause anyone to get fired.
  • And the policy price … The Boston Globe front-pages: “The hot topic at congressional Republicans’ annual policy retreat … is not infrastructure, immigration, or even tax cuts — it’s ‘The Memo.'”

White House aides who support the president and think he’s not screwing up didn’t get a paragraph. Why confuse the Axios audience with an opposing view?

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel questioned that don’t-mess-with-the-FBI spin: “Having tried–and failed–to stop the memo on grounds of ‘national security,’ ‘omissions,’ and ‘versions,’ Ds/media are out with new reasons today. Now we are told 1) memo is a nothingburger that will backfire on WH, and 2) Trump would be unwise to mess with the FBI.The latter is particularly curious. IE, the FBI is not a rogue, unaccountable agency, but you better watch out or it might come after you.”

Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters. He is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.

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