You know, Woodward and Bernstein did their Watergate stuff back in the seventies, and Woodward and Bernstein — well, Bernstein primarily, has been all over the place doing his brand of journalism ever since and has not really stepped in it but now 74 years old, and this is a doozy. This is an embarrassment. And CNN, I have no doubt — now everybody’s speculating that this is the reason CNN is hanging tough and refusing to retract is because they feel the need, and probably Bernstein’s working on ’em, too, to protect his legacy.
He’s one of the three bylines on the story. The other one’s Jim Sciutto, and I forget who else. What we’re gonna do in mere moments, we’re gonna go back and we’re gonna relive the day CNN announced this story. That was back on July 27th. And it was Alisyn Camerota in the infobabe anchorette chair. And they thought they had the scoop of the season. They thought they finally had it, that Trump had lied and that he had colluded with Russia, because they had a source telling them — it was Cohen and Lanny Davis — that Cohen had seen it, that Cohen had seen Trump, Cohen knew that Trump had done it.
And this lie lasted for a month. It was finally exposed when Lanny Davis realized that Cohen testified before Congress saying something entirely different. When Cohen testified before Congress, he said he knew nothing about Trump having prior knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting. And that’s under oath. So Lanny’s sitting there saying, “Wait a minute. My client has told me that he saw Trump,” and then Lanny, after Cohen told him that, sourced CNN.
Have you ever thought of this? Why would CNN use Lanny Davis as an anonymous source? Everybody knows Lanny Davis, and at the time he’s Cohen’s lawyer. And he comes right off of the Clinton war room reservation from the seventies. So why would Lanny Davis be an anonymous source? Why would CNN not name him? Does Lanny Davis not have credibility, or did CNN not want to identify that one of their sources was a lawyer defending his client.
Anyway, they didn’t identify the source. Lanny Davis then finally, after a month of fundraising, after a month of a GoFundMe campaign, there is a significant amount of time where Cohen had generated enough money to pay Lanny enough money for his tireless work, Lanny then starts calling everybody saying (imitating Lanny), “You know, I made a mistake. My client didn’t know. My client doesn’t know. My client cannot say for sure. He wasn’t there. My client totally made it up. And, thus, I made a mistake.”
Well, CNN will not retract any of this. And I speculated yesterday, just to be repetitive here to make the point home, because I don’t think there’s any doubt about it that at the top of the list of reasons — it’s not the only reason — but one of the primary reasons CNN’s hanging tough is what’s gonna happen to ’em? Nothing’s gonna happen to ’em. How can they lose my more respect than they’ve already lost? How can their audience get any smaller, significantly?
What really is anybody gonna do to ’em? Nobody’s gonna do anything to ’em. If anything, other media might get mad at them for misleading the rest of the media, because, you know, the Washington Post had to withdraw. They had to change their story, New York Times. But CNN’s still hanging. What’s gonna happen to ’em? Nothing happens to any of these people on the side of this that are trying to nail Trump with bogus, trumped-up, never-happened evidence.
If you’re CNN saying, “What’s gonna happen?” They’re not gonna lose any respect. Nobody’s gonna give them any grief over it. May as well hang in, continue to try to mislead as many viewers as possible and protect the image and the legacy of Carl Bernstein.
RUSH: Let’s now go to the audio sound bites. This is the CNN Lanny Davis story. And let me just review for you essentially what happened here. Back on July 27th, CNN breathlessly ran breaking news claiming they had an anonymous source. We now know that source was Lanny Davis. They had an anonymous source saying that it was now fact that Michael Cohen knew in advance that Donald Trump knew in advance of the Trump Tower meeting involving Russians visiting and talking with his son.
And CNN ran this story breathlessly as though they had finally discovered the Holy Grail. They had found the collusion that the media and journalists had been searching for for over two years. They did not identify their source as Lanny Davis, which I still say remains very curious. Why would Lanny Davis be their anonymous source? They got a source. Everybody knows who Lanny Davis is. Lanny Davis is a dyed-in-the-wool, loyal Democrat advocate. He was the and is the lawyer for Cohen. And CNN lived off of this story for a month. And they kept hammering it and hammering it.
One of the names, one of the bylines on the story for their website was Carl Bernstein of Woodward Bernstein. And nobody corrected the story, even though Lanny Davis knew this was not true. And he knew it wasn’t true because Michael Cohen had lied. Michael Cohen testified to a congressional committee or two that he had no knowledge of Trump and the Trump Tower meeting. He didn’t have any idea if Trump knew or didn’t know. He had no idea if Trump went. He didn’t know a thing. And that was his testimony.
But he had told Lanny Davis something else, supposedly, which Lanny then told CNN, which CNN then ran their breaking news story and couldn’t stop having orgasms live on cable television. Then Lanny figured out somehow, some weeks later, that Cohen had lied to him, which meant that Lanny had lied to CNN and the Washington Post because when CNN ran the story, the Washington Post and CNN all independently confirmed it, they said.
See, that’s what journalism is all about. An outfit will run a story. The New York Times, Washington Post have not heard about it; so they get in gear and they try to confirm it with their own sources. And then they reported that they were able to confirm with their own source. Lanny Davis was the source for everybody. And then Lanny had to come clean at some point, which he did recently by saying that he’d made a mistake.
And there are actually two elements to this that Lanny had lied to CNN about. The Washington Post, the New York Times have run their so-called corrections. The Washington Post has run a story really ripping Lanny Davis and Cohen for doing great damage to the case against Trump. Because now there isn’t a case against Trump! Everything about the story was made up! CNN will not pull it. CNN will not correct it. CNN will not withdraw it. CNN will not change a thing.
And that is because I’m convinced, as I said yesterday, they’re dying to protect the reputation and legacy of Carl Bernstein and Jim Sciutto. There are three other people on this. So let’s go back to July 27, 2018, CNN’s New Day, cohosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman are breathlessly introducing the breaking news.
ANNOUNCER: CNN Breaking News.
ALISYN CAMEROTA: We do begin with breaking news. For those of you who have not paid much attention to the Russia investigation, today would be a good day to start doing so.
CAMEROTA: Sources tell CNN that President Trump’s longtime former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has begun spilling the beans. One of the bombshells he reportedly wants the public to know is that then-candidate Donald Trump knew in advance and approved of that June 26, 2018, Trump Tower meeting in which Russians promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. And these sources say Cohen is prepared to make that claim to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
BERMAN: Now, if — if — this is true, it means the president lied about it publicly. It means that Donald Trump Jr. lied about it under oath. And it means the current president of the United States had knowledge of and approved of accepting Russian help during the campaign.
RUSH: Folks, they can barely keep their pants on. You could just hear it in their voices. The only problem is that none of that was true. Let me unpack it just a little. I’m not gonna go through it line by line.
“Sources tell CNN that President Trump’s longtime former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has begun spilling the beans. One of the bombshells he reportedly wants the public to know is that then-candidate Donald Trump knew in advance and approved of that June 26, 2018, Trump Tower meeting in which Russians promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.”
A, if Trump had known, there’s no crime. There is no crime. This would be what people would call collusion, and it isn’t a crime. Look, this is all moot because none of this happened, but I’m just telling you in addition to how weak the CNN case is here, the Russians also did not promise dirt on Hillary. Well, there were a couple of people that set the meeting up that said they had some dirt, but what this meeting was really about was a bunch of Russian adoption activists trying to get something called a Magnitsky Act changed.
In other words, Trump Jr. was set up. The whole meeting was a setup. They had no Hillary dirt. There wasn’t any Hillary dirt. And when Jared Kushner and Trump Jr. found out about it, the meeting ended. There wasn’t any Hillary dirt. All there was was an effort to lobby people who were not even in power to change the Magnitsky Act.
I believe that this whole meeting was part of the setup run by the FBI and the deep state and all these other people. I think, just as they did not warn Trump when they supposedly found spies in his campaign, well, we know they planted the spies, Stefan Halper and a couple others. This, I think, was a setup. They wanted this to happen so that they could then leak that it had happened to the media.
Now, Alisyn Camerota says here that Michael Cohen has begun spilling the beans, he wants the public to know. Well, then why isn’t he the source? And then the second thing, Cohen couldn’t wait to tell Mueller. Cohen wants to talk to Mueller. Cohen can’t wait to tell Mueller this. Well, that wasn’t true, either. In other words, folks, not a word of this, not a single word of this breaking news story is or was true.
In the next bite, they bring in Jim Sciutto, whose name was also on the story as a byline. And he, too, has now spread elements of this story on his own outside of this report that we have the sound bite for, he did so multiple times later. And everything that CNN said about this has been debunked. But here is the next bite with Sciutto.
BERMAN: Let’s go first to CNN’s Jim Sciutto, part of the team that broke this exclusive story. Jim is live in Washington. Jim, lay it out for us.
SCIUTTO: Good morning, John. As sources tell myself and Carl Bernstein, that President Trump’s long-time lawyer, Michael Cohen, is willing to tell the special counsel, Robert Mueller, that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about his campaign’s June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians who were promising dirt on Hillary Clinton and that the president approved of that meeting.
RUSH: Do not doubt me. None of that’s true. It did not happen, and the Washington Post and New York Times have now written stories saying so. They have retracted it. Well, I don’t think there’s been official retractions. They’ve done corrections. They’ve done their mea culpa, and now they’re dumping all over Cohen.
And remember, Lanny Davis let this live! Lanny Davis let this live for three weeks! Until he decided to tell media that he’d made a mistake and that Cohen had not said that and Cohen had not seen this and that Trump didn’t know of the meeting, that Lanny can’t prove anything. (paraphrasing) “I can’t tell you the president knew of the meeting. I can’t tell you that he approved the meeting because my source — I got it wrong. I made a mistake.”
Well, what happened was Cohen, when he testified before a congressional committee, did not say what CNN reports him saying, when he’s under oath. So he either lied to Lanny Davis or they both concocted some scheme story to end up raising money for Cohen. Remember, Lanny Davis goes out there and begs people to send money to Cohen’s GoFundMe page so that Cohen can continue to tell the truth.
As I keep asking, what does it cost anybody to tell truth? I guarantee you, if Michael Cohen wants to go on TV today, there will be 15,000 cameras waiting for him. It won’t cost him a dime. Lanny Davis needs to get paid. He’s a lawyer. He’s working for — which is another thing — what is a Clinton lawyer doing defending this guy? I mean, none of this passes the muster test.
One more bite. Glenn Greenwald, Glenn Greenwald cofounded a website called The Intercept. He lives in Rio because he’s become persona non grata on the American left, but he is an official card-carrying leftist progressive. He championed Edward Snowden. Snowden granted him all kinds of access after Snowden got caught, or discovered to be leaking all kinds of NSA secrets.
Greenwald used to have a regular guest appearance window on MSNBC, but they have banned him now because he publicly writes and states that he doesn’t think there’s anything at all to this the Russian story. He doesn’t think that there’s any Russian collusion with Trump. He thinks it’s all been a big waste of time, and so he’s persona non grata. Here is Greenwald last night with Tucker Carlson to Fox News. Tucker asked him, “What do you make of this? What do you make of CNN not retracting it, not correcting it?”
GREENWALD: I’ve been on your show to talk about a lot of these humiliating moments, and this might be one of the worst ones yet. After Lanny Davis went on CNN with Anderson Cooper and, to Anderson Cooper’s shock, admitted that everything CNN had been breathlessly hyping is true was actually false. The Washington Post and the New York Post listened to that and they said, “Wait a minute. We independently confirmed CNN’s story based on an anonymous source and our anonymous source was Lanny Davis, who’s now saying the whole thing is false.” So they did what they had to do and what they should have done, which is they retracted the story, they outed their own source. CNN couldn’t do that because they lied to the entire world. They can’t retract the story and they can’t admit they lied so they’re just continuing to stick to what everybody knows is a lie.
RUSH: And there is no other source but Lanny Davis! When the Washington Post, New York Post wanted to confirm it, they went to Lanny Davis. That was CNN’s source! Lanny has told them he made it up. CNN is not withdrawing, not retracting the story. It is a humongous embarrassment. And they can’t withdraw it and it’s because of, I’m telling you, folks, it’s Bernstein. It’s Bernstein, to protect him.
RUSH: We are not quite finished with the CNN, Carl Bernstein story. We move to other things, then get back to your phone calls. Now, where we left off here, we had played the audio sound bites of CNN having their orgasm back on July 27th with breaking news, proof that Trump had colluded, an anonymous source claiming that Trump knew of the Russian meeting in Trump Tower and approved of it.
The source for that was Lanny Davis. CNN runs the story. The Washington Post and the New York Post said, wait a minute, what is this? They independently try to confirm it. They call Lanny Davis. Lanny Davis confirms it for them. CNN does not identify Lanny Davis as their source. So Lanny Davis is the only source, anonymous, for this story that Cohen has the goods on Trump and can’t wait to tell Mueller about it.
Then a month goes by, three weeks to a month, and Lanny learns that his client is telling a different story under oath before congressional committees. But enough time passes that the fundraising campaign for Cohen, GoFundMe, can get sufficient money in there be, 400 grand, much of which will go to Lanny, we presume. So Lanny then comes clean and tells the Washington Post and the New York Post that he made a mistake, that none of what he told them was actually true.
Well, since he’s the source for CNN, he told them the same thing. But CNN has not retracted. The New York Post, the Washington Post have. CNN continues to live by the story, claiming they have other sources, or another, but they won’t identify, nobody knows who it is. But none of the other news outlets can find another source to confirm what Lanny said. We now know it’s not true because Lanny admitted that he made it up. And Lanny has admitted that Cohen made it up.
So CNN continues to hang on a lie. They continue to stand behind a lie. I have a story from the Style section of the Washington Post. The headline: “A journalist of Watergate Fame Faces Questions About a Blockbuster Trump Piece.” Well, that would be Bernstein, who used to work at the Washington Post. What kind of headline is this? “A journalist of Watergate Fame Faces Questions About a Blockbuster Trump Piece.” It’s Bernstein of Woodward and Bernstein fame. And they go on to identify him in the story.
John Nolte at Breitbart: “CNN’s Jeff Zucker Claims Another Soul – Carl Bernstein’s — Imagine for just a moment you are Carl Bernstein. Here you sit, a 74-year-old living legend co-credited … with uncovering the story of Nixon’s corrupt White House, and you have made it this far, you have made it another 45-years without sullying your image, without pulling a Dan Rather, and then… you are caught lying — flat-out, straight-up lying,” about the Trump Tower meeting. And it’s worse than that! Bernstein, on numerous occasions, claimed that this entire Russian collusion story was worse than Watergate!
Back on August 22nd, one week ago today, Carl Bernstein talking to CNN’s John Berman about how the Manafort and Cohen cases will impact the Trump presidency, saying that it is worse than Watergate, a line that he repeated on August 3rd, July 26 , January 29. He’s been living off that for all of this time.
We’re gonna go back to the audio sound bites, number 24. This is the same day — well, two days later, July 29th, two days after CNN’s scoop he appeared on Reliable Sources on Sunday with Little Brian Stelter as the host. And Brian said, “Your byline graced all the stories –” Graced. Oh, yes. Carl Bernstein’s byline graced. It didn’t appear. No, no. When Carl Bernstein’s name appears above a story, the space is graced. Yes.
“Your byline graced all the stories about Watergate 45 years ago. Your byline is back on the scoop about Cohen and Trump, who claims that Trump knew in advance about that pivotal Trump Tower meeting. How did you do it, Mr. Bernstein?” Little Brian setting up, how’d you do it, Carl? How did you do it? Oh, my God. Carl, you took down Nixon and here you’re back 45 years later, oh, my God. Oh, my God. You’re on the verge of taking down Trump. How did you do it, Carl?
BERNSTEIN: I talked to sources, as did Jim Sciutto, and it became very apparent that the former attorney to the president of the United States was going around and telling people that the famous Trump Tower meeting, which indeed was convened for the purpose of collusion, Cohen was saying that Donald Trump, the candidate for the president of the United States at the time, had authorized the go-ahead for that meeting to take place with his son. And I said, this is news, as did CNN. So like in Watergate, you have a very serious news organization, CNN in Watergate, the Washington Post making judgments about what is news.
RUSH: “And I said, this is news, and so did CNN.” “I said, this is news.” And today, everybody that told Carl Bernstein what he breathlessly reported has retracted it. Lanny Davis has retracted it, said that Cohen doesn’t have any idea whether Trump knew in advance of the meeting. They’re out there reporting Trump lied. But nobody has any evidence. Lanny has withdrawn his — Cohen has withdrawn his evidence. Cohen has said he no longer wants to talk to Mueller. He doesn’t have anything to tell Mueller.
But Carl Bernstein is still out there. His head’s in the guillotine. His head is in the figurative guillotine here, folks, and the only reason CNN is not retracting the story is, can you imagine, can you imagine if it actually, if CNN actually had to retract this story that’s got Carl Bernstein’s byline gracing it? Can you imagine what that would do to the legacy and to the reputation of the Watergate journalist who brought down Richard Nixon? This is why they’re hanging on.