RUSH: CNN — and by the way, this really has its origins last Friday. This Lanny Davis story and his recanting of blockbuster claims he made about himself and Michael Cohen and the now confirmed lies, admitted lies that Cohen and Lanny Davis said, told that Donald Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting before it happened and that Donald Trump knew about the WikiLeaks emails that they were gonna publish before they published them.
Lanny Davis is the primary source for both of those stories. Michael Cohen is a secondary source. Lanny Davis a primary, unnamed source for CNN. Both of those stories have now been debunked by none other than Lanny Davis. Lanny Davis has admitted that he made mistakes. Lanny Davis has admitted that he got it wrong. People are now trying to figure out how he could have gotten it so wrong. How could he have committed such mistakes? Very few people are asking, why would Lanny Davis lie?
Well, here’s the interesting thing about it. Remember, I’m just setting the table with this. The details here are fascinating. CNN, even though its sources have recanted the story, CNN’s still running it. CNN will not pull it. CNN’s still running these stories that Trump knew of the Trump Tower meeting before it happened and was okay with it, which Lanny Davis says now Michael Cohen didn’t know and didn’t say that he was the source for it, and it was wrong. And that Trump knew about the WikiLeaks emails, the Podesta emails before WikiLeaks published them.
All that’s been walked back. But CNN is sticking with their story. And everybody’s trying to figure out why. Does CNN have sources beyond Lanny Davis and Michael Cohen for these allegations? If not, why will they not retract it? I have a wild guess reason why CNN might not retract it. There are three names that are bylines on the CNN story. One of them is Jim Sciutto, and another one is Carl Bernstein of Woodward and Bernstein fame. I wouldn’t put it past CNN to simply not pull the story back so as to protect Bernstein, to protect the reputation of Bernstein.
I think there are people at CNN saying, “We can’t pull a story and say that Carl Bernstein, the great Carl Bernstein got something wrong.” If that happens, then it would be a legitimate reason to look at everything else Bernstein has asserted, beginning back with the Watergate days. Now, whether it would go that far, I don’t know. But I do believe that in the executive suites and in the editorial departments at CNN, there is a grand desire to protect Carl Bernstein. And of course Carl Bernstein would have a vested interest in protecting Carl Bernstein.
But once again CNN’s right in the thick of it running fake news! This turned out to be fake news, and it dates back to July. The first one of these assertions dates back to July. The New York Times ran the story. The Washington Post ran the story. The Washington Post now has two stories ripping into Lanny Davis about 80%, because Lanny’s still a good, loyal Democrat. He’s still a good, loyal Clintonista. And so the Washington Post, the New York Times are scratching their heads trying to figure out why Lanny did this, what possible reason could he have had?
They’re not getting anywhere near assigning the real motives. But the story actually has its origins last Friday! And it ran on Breitbart. The headline: “CNN’s Jim Sciutto Busted for Two Fake News Scoops in One Week.”
CNN’s Jim Sciutto. This not to be confused with this Acosta guy, although these guys are a pretty good tag-team for fake news. Jim Sciutto, spelled S-c-i-u-t-t-o, Jim Sciutto was a member of the Obama administration. I don’t know what he did, but that’s where he was.
“CNN’s Jim Sciutto has had two big scoops debunked as very fake news in just one week. Sciutto, CNN’s chief national security correspondent, joined [CNN] after serving in Barack Obama’s White House for a few years. His bias and dishonesty has made already him a laughingstock on more than one occasion, but this was an especially bad week for the anti-Trump activist.
“Last week, Sciutto misled the public with a breathless piece of ‘breaking news’ that falsely claimed President Trump did not consult with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats prior to revoking the security clearance of John Brennan.” Except Trump did. Trump did consult with Coats. This story, as of yesterday, still had not been corrected by CNN!
“A second Sciutto attempt to mislead the public that was debunked this week also remains un-corrected, even though it was debunked, not only by the horse’s mouthpiece, but on the airwaves,” of CNN. “Led by Sciutto, on July 27, it took a total of three CNN activists to manufacture a fairytale that claimed Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, knew that Trump was aware in advance of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting.
“In other words, Trump not only lied about not knowing of the meeting with these Democrat-connected Russians, but Trump’s advanced knowledge could mean he approved of the meeting — therefore collusion, therefore impeachment, therefore Obama.” Might get to come back or Hillary might get another stab at it. In other words, they just made it up. But the problem is none of it is true. None of it is true, according to Lanny Davis. He has recanted it all.
Now, this business about three CNN activists to manufacture the story, that’s where you get the name of Carl Bernstein. He’s one of the three reporters who reported both of these stories. Lanny Davis has now admitted that he was a source for CNN’s Trump Tower story. There’s another element to this, too, and that is Lanny Davis said that Michael Cohen can’t wait to talk to the special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, to tell him all of this. That’s not true, either.
Some of this stuff that Cohen has reputedly, reportedly said as reported by CNN has been fake from the get-go, and it’s been fake for a couple of weeks. And even now while Lanny Davis recants it all and says he got it wrong, and Cohen ditto, CNN does not retract their version of the story.
Lanny Davis is now admitting that he was the source for both CNN and the Washington Post and many other media outlets which claim that Michael Cohen knew Trump had advance knowledge about the Trump Tower meeting. Now, the reason that’s a big deal is because they’re doing everything they can, they’re turning over every rock, they’re now even making things up to try to create the impression that Trump actually colluded with Russians.
So if Cohen is out there saying that Trump knew about that meeting and that he let it happen and he knew that his son was gonna be meeting with Russians who were then gonna pass along dirt on Hillary, well, then, they think that they can make a case in the public, not necessarily in court, because none of this is a crime. But they could make a case in the public that this is the long-sought Trump collusion! And this story has been out there; you probably have seen it one way or the other a number of times.
It’s all bogus again! It didn’t happen! Trump didn’t know. That’s what Trump said. The story also contains the obvious ingredient that Trump is a liar. Even after Lanny Davis has admitted all of this, CNN is still standing by the story. They claim to have sources beyond Lanny Davis and Michael Cohen. And I don’t believe that.
I think this is purely, strictly CNN in utter defiance. They’re not… They had to fire three guys for getting a story wrong on Scaramucci. Remember that? They said Scaramucci had some relationship with a Russian business or businessman or something, and it was so obviously wrong that they had to retract it, and they fired the three people that were responsible for producing the story. I just don’t think that in the midst of all of this, the way things are shaking out, that they want to have to admit that they knowingly lied, published fake news.
They don’t want to have to recuse anybody, fire anybody, suspend anybody. They don’t want to do anything that would discredit themselves beyond what they do each and every day — and so they’re desperately hanging on. They say they’ve got additional sources. They won’t, of course, identify them. So everybody’s struck here trying to figure out, “Why are they holding out when the man who was the source has recanted everything?”
RUSH: So I checked email during the break. “Rush, why would Lanny Davis lie like this when he knows it’s gonna be exposed?” Why would he lie when he knows it’s gonna be…? It’s been exposed and CNN’s not retracting it! CNN is not changing a thing about these stories. Why would Lanny Davis do it? Well, what did he do? He set up a GoFundMe page for Michael Cohen! Lanny Davis set up this fundraising effort so that Michael Cohen “can continue to tell the truth.”
I think it’s very possible that Lanny Davis lied about this and stuck with it as a fundraising effort because any money Cohen gets is gonna end up passing through to Lanny Davis, who is his lawyer. This is a… (sigh) It’s become so common now, fake news, out-and-out lies and made up stories that are designed to destroy and ruin people. It’s happening so frequently that talking about it and reporting on it has ceased to contain any incredulity. It’s just become standard norm in Drive-By Media. But this! This really needs to be understood by as many as possible.
RUSH: Now, on the CNN business, and even back to the Google and the social media and the way beyond bias treatment of conservatives and anything that isn’t liberal, I think that we’ve reached a stage in the country that a lot of people have not yet realized or don’t even want to admit. We are not two different political ideologies or parties that have different ideas about accomplishing the same things. That’s what it used to be.
There used to be the left and the right, Democrats, Republicans. There used to be a common objective or common goal. A common objective was how to make life consistently better and improved for the most people. How to maintain freedom. How to ensure human rights and all of this. There were those common objectives. There were just different philosophies, ideologies, ideas on how best to achieve them.
And on the left it was thought that government in control of most things would have the most equitable and fair result, that the more involved government was in every walk of life, in every avenue of life in America, then the fairer and the more just things would be. And it was acknowledged that the bigger government got, then the less individual liberty and freedom people would have. But that was on the left thought to be okay because most people are not bright enough to know what to do to hold on to their freedom anyway and have to kind of be cared for and looked out after and protected and so forth.
On the conservative side, it was the belief that we are all endowed with individual abilities, capabilities, that none of us are the same, that we’re all unique, and we have the blessed opportunity of living in the greatest place on earth, where there is abundant human freedom, and with it the ability to reach whatever potential any individual sought, depending on that individual’s ambition, circumstances, intelligence, ability, or what have you.
Government was there, it was necessary, it was there to defend the country, to guard against the erosion of freedom and liberty and so forth. But it was not there, government was in no way to determine the outcomes of lives in any way, in a job market, in schools, universities, or what have you. But even in those days, it was acrimonious, and you could even say it was tribal. But the objectives did have some things in common. I think that’s what’s missing. I don’t think we have anything in common today.
I don’t think that what we on the right seek for America is at all what people on the left seek. So the battle that we’re having today is not served at all by crossing the aisle and cooperating and finding common ground because there isn’t any. Because the objective of the people who now define and empower the left is the actual tearing down, transformation, or destruction of the very country that we cherish, the very country that was founded. And that is now the battle.
So when these giant social media outfits and search engines have the ability to literally censor what may be the majority thinking in this country — I will tell you this. Liberalism is not the majority thinking in this country. If you look at polling data or research data, you look at people who honestly identify as liberal or conservative, you will find more people say they’re Democrats than Republicans, but that’s narrowing. But liberalism never shows up as the dominant ideology in America.
But this is an example of how oppressive it is. It doesn’t matter to them that they may be in a minority. That doesn’t matter. If you’re not liberal, you don’t have any rights, you don’t deserve, you don’t have any standing. There isn’t any common ground anymore. There’s no friendly debate or argument about how to get to a common objective, because the objective isn’t something we have in common anymore.
Now, to me, speaking personally, I look at the left, and I think if they actually understand conservatism, I don’t know how you hate it. They construct all of these extreme, wacko examples of what conservatives believe. Many of them are social and cultural. None of them are true, such as the things they say that we equate with Hitler and all this. They’ve gone off the rails on this stuff. They’re intimidated, they’re threatened, and they’re even scared by conservatism.
But nevertheless, they have amassed power in pop culture, movies and television shows, music, and now social media, to not just win arguments; they have won, they have achieved the power to simply eliminate. So now we come back to CNN. Why will CNN not retract an obvious story that’s wrong? ‘Cause they don’t care that it’s wrong. That’s not CNN’s objective. CNN’s objective right now isn’t whether the story’s right or wrong. It’s to persuade people that whatever they say is right because the real objective here is to get rid of Donald Trump, however it can be done. That’s the objective. And since they consider themselves to be morally superior, then that means they are entitled in their own minds to do anything to get rid of this pest.
If you’ve got a bunch of rats in your house, are you gonna worry about morality when you get rid of ’em. Or are you gonna wipe ’em out whatever it takes? That’s how they look at this. Donald Trump is a giant infestation of insects, vermin, and rats that they are gonna do whatever they have to to get rid of.
So why won’t CNN pull this story on Lanny Davis? Well, there’s all kinds of reasons. But I really believe it’s because they want it to be thought of as true. Every journalist in this country gets up, to this day, hoping and pray that he or she stumbles cross the evidence that proves that Trump colluded with Russia. CNN thinks they’ve got it. They don’t want to give it up. They also don’t want to ruin the reputation of Carl Bernstein.
But this story dates back to July 26. The story specifically is that Michael Cohen intended to tell the special counsel, Robert Mueller, that he was present, that he, Cohen, was present when Trump was told in advance about Trump Jr.’s meeting with various Russians at Trump Tower.
CNN’s story includes a statement about its sourcing that credible reporting now suggests were designed to have misled the audience. They did this knowing that it wasn’t true! And yet CNN refuses to address any of the questions that have been raised about its conduct here. They simply are refusing to deal with it.
Now, the substance of the CNN story regarding Cohen — and it made headlines all over the world, and CNN was calling it a “bombshell” and “breaking news bombshell.” It has been retracted by other news outlets that originally “confirmed” it. You know the way it happens. CNN reports X, whatever it is. Other news agencies say, “What! Why didn’t we know about this?” So they start “independently confirming” it — and they did! They independently confirmed it. They all called Lanny Davis, and Lanny Davis told them the same lies that he told CNN.
So the Washington Post, New York Post independently, quote-unquote, “confirmed” CNN’s story. Then Lanny Davis announces — he admits — that he made it up! He admits that he got it wrong! He apologizes for doing so and he retracts it! The Washington Post, New York Times, they all (in a matter of speaking) reject, retract their own stories. But CNN isn’t, which is leading to such stories as this.
Here’s Aaron Blake in the Washington Post: “Michael Cohen’s lawyer has done real damage to the case against Trump.” Not Michael Cohen’s lawyer has done real damage to journalism. “Michael Cohen’s lawyer has done real damage to the case against Trump.” There isn’t a case against Trump! That’s what all of this means! Lanny Davis made it up and Cohen made it up! Cohen was not there! He was not in Prague, as the dossier said!
Cohen did not have any knowledge that Trump knew whether or not there was gonna be a meeting in Trump Tower. All of this has been made up! And now the media is worried about what that means for the case against Trump, not what it means for journalism, ’cause they long ago stopped worrying about that. But CNN has now been accused of lying to its audience about a key element of what they called a blockbuster, and they refuse to retract it, where everybody else that has run the story has sort of tried to pull back from it.
RUSH: rab audio sound bite No. 22. Howard Kurtz was on Fox this morning talking with Eric Shawn, the fill-in Co-Host, who said, “The network, CNN, says that, quote, ‘We stand by our story. We are confidence in our reporting of it.’ Is this just a sense of confusion, or is there something much more serious and deeper going on here,” Howie?
KURTZ: It’s a pretty serious matter, Eric.
KURTZ: CNN is hanging out there with a story about a major accusation that Michael Cohen supposedly, allegedly, ostensibly is prepared to make against President Trump about advanced [sic] knowledge of that Trump Tower meeting when it’s own source — or one of them, as you say, Lanny Davis, Michael Cohen’s lawyer — said it’s not true. Now, I just got off the phone with Lanny Davis who I worked with for 25 years.
KURTZ: He’s always about an a straight shooter with me —
KURTZ: — and he’s owning up to an error here. He says he made a mistake which he regrets, being unintentionally misleading.
RUSH: Oh, right. Right.
KURTZ: CNN. Here’s this quote. “I should not be talking to reporters on background about something I’m not certain about.”
RUSH: Oh, give me a break.
KURTZ: “The combination of big stakes and a big mistake is a bad moment for me. If I had a redo in life,” says Lanny Davis, “I wouldn’t have said anything about the subject.”
RUSH: All this was done on purpose. Now this is the CYA move here. “You know, I… Uh, I shouldn’t be talking to reporters on background but something I’m not certain about.” What do you mean you’re not certain about it? You’re not certain about it and yet you confirmed it for the media! Everybody wanted this story to run. That’s what you have to answer. Everybody involved — Cohen, Lanny Davis, CNN, the rest of the media — wanted this story to run.
It could be as simple as that.
They just know it! They so know that Trump colluded! Oh, my God. They’re so frustrated that they can’t find any evidence — and Lanny Davis? Why, who can dispute Lanny? He’s a Clintonista lawyer! Who dispute him! Lanny says that Cohen told him. They ran with it. They’re so excited. But there’s reasons beyond this. If you’re Lanny Davis and you’re gonna set up a GoFundMe page for Cohen and you’re gonna go out there and you’re gonna say, “Please send this man money so he can continue to tell the truth…” What does telling the truth cost anybody?
Zip, zero, nada.
It’s a fundraising trick. What Lanny Davis was doing was telling these insane lunatics on the left that Michael Cohen has the goods on Trump colluding with Russia, and we need to make sure he has the continued ability to get that message out! He needs a GoFundMe page, and we need your support. That’s what that was. That’s how it was set up. The fact that CNN still hanging on to this should be proof enough. The truth here is not what everybody is after. It’s what they can convince people is the truth.