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RUSH: Now, there’s another story here that I had in yesterday’s Stack and didn’t get to it. The New York Times… This was what was supposed to be the big bombshell news story over the weekend. There has to be a “big bombshell story” at least once a week, and it has to be about Trump. The New York Times had the story that the United States was attacking the power grid of Russia and that we were escalating these cyberattacks on the power grid in Russia, and the story went on to say that Trump didn’t know about it.

That the intelligence people kept it from Trump because they didn’t think he would approve of it because of his close ties to Putin, and they thought that Trump couldn’t keep the secret and may stop them. This led James Clapper to go on TV (impression), “Well, I — I do believe the intelligence community is hiding a lot from this president, uh, for the express purposes of making sure he doesn’t sabotage what the intelligence community deems necessary for the security of our country.” He’s actually out there saying this stuff: “Oh, I think intelligence community is doing much that they don’t tell the president about, just like this.”

The New York Times: “The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said,” just like every source for 2-1/2 years on Russia collusion: “current and former government officials.” There’s not a single source named in this story.

“In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections. … Advocates of the more aggressive strategy said it was long overdue … But it also carries significant risk of escalating the daily digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow.”

Escalate…? (laughing) What do the Drive-By Media think they’ve been doing if not running a Cold War between the U.S. and Russia for three years? If anybody has been destabilizing the United States, it’s the Drive-By Media and this incessant, nonsensical pursuit of so-called Trump-Russia collusion! It’s the same thing with tampering with electoral processes. The Democrats and the media have done more damage to the perception of our elections as honest than anything Putin could have ever thought of or Trump.

Now the intelligence community — because Trump won’t do it — is getting tough, ratcheting up cyberattacks on the Russian power grid. But they’re not telling Trump about it, because they’re not sure Trump would agree with it, given his close ties to Putin! This is such caca. Now… “Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document known as National Security Presidential Memoranda 13,” which gave “far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval.

“But the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer. The measure approved the routine conduct of ‘clandestine military activity’ in cyberspace, to “deter, safeguard or defend against attacks or malicious cyberactivities against the United States.'” So this is all bunch of caca to continue this idea that the Russians tampered in the election in 2016!

And so the intelligence community of United States without President Trump knowing is fighting back, getting tough with the Russians and laying down the law, not permitting them to do it again in 2018 or in the 2020 presidential election. And, meanwhile, President Trump doesn’t know about it because we can’t trust him with the knowledge. I mean, I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the essence of the story.

Well, here it is. “Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place ‘implants’ –” i.e., hacking “– software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid. Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials.”

This is all a setup! I don’t believe a single word of this. This is all a media concocted and continued line of crap that is rooted in a pure falsehood that Trump colluded with Russia, that Russia affected the election outcome in 2016 and we’ve got to pay ’em back and get even, but Trump won’t. This is nothing more than a flailing attempt to keep what Mueller buried alive.

It’s designed to get little Adam Schiff and these other Democrats to add this to their impeachment inquiry. “My God, how bad can it be if the intelligence community can’t even trust our own president with their actions.” These people have got things so ass backwards here. If this is actually going on, if the intelligence community is running foreign policy in spite of the president’s wishes, there’s a word for this that’s been tossed around all too frequently lately here, but this is — not a single source. And Trump was livid about this because he knows it’s not true. He knows it’s made up. There isn’t a single source.

He’s demanding the New York Times give any kind of proof or evidence of this. They don’t have to. The Drive-By Media and the rest of ’em run with the story, made a big deal out of it. ‘Cause it’s made to order, everything about it. “We’re getting tough with the Russians but Trump doesn’t know, Trump can’t know, Trump wouldn’t authorize it, Trump’s too close to Putin so we gotta keep it from Trump. Besides that, we can’t trust Trump not to tell the Russians that we’re doing it!”

The offshoot of that, “Well, you remember the day after Trump fired Comey he had the Russian foreign investor in there and he’s bragging about firing Comey, what a nutcase Comey was, things are gonna be better now that I fired –” The establishment could not believe that Trump was bragging to the Russians about firing Comey!

Believe me. These intel people and the Clappers and the Brennans of the world, I guarantee you they had to go home and chew socks that night to keep from getting insane with Trump doing that in the Oval Office. And so this is just payback. Here’s the Drive-By Media totally in bed with these nameless, faceless intel people who, up to now they’ve not respected and they have actually opposed the intelligence community, the CIA. Go back and look. The left-wing Democrats have hated the CIA up until Donald Trump, including the media. Now they’re all in bed with current and former government and intelligence officials.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, this New York Times story, whether it’s true or not, if it’s true, then what’s going on is treason. What’s going on is a miniature coup, in a sense. When you’ve got the intelligence community running foreign policy, not telling the president precisely because you don’t think he will agree with it, what else would you call it? If it is not true, if this whole thing is made up, it’s just part of an ongoing effort to remove an elected president from office by making him look like the smart people in Washington can’t trust him. He poses an existential threat.

But, however you slice this story, if it’s true, the New York Times is revealing a national security secret. If it is true, we have the continuation of a coup against a sitting president. If it isn’t true, if it’s made up, then it’s designed to be put in the impeachment files for Jerry Nadler and little Pencil Neck and whoever else decides to conduct an impeachment hearing. Actually, both instances could be true, whether the story is fake or not.

Where we starting on the phones? Indianapolis. Carl, it’s great to have with us on the EIB Network. Hello, sir.

CALLER: Hello. Thanks, Rush. This story in the New York Times is so much idiotic spin. The president is the one who authorized the intelligence community, said, “Hey, you don’t have to be coming in here every 30 seconds to respond to these cyberattacks, go and do it,” otherwise they’d just be asking his permission all the time. And it was his idea. He didn’t want to sit on his hands like Obama did and do nothing and now they’re turning it around to attack him and make it seem like he’s the collusion narrative.

RUSH: Wait a minute. I lost you when you’re talking about didn’t want to talk to him every 30 seconds. What are you talking about? Start again with your point and go a little slower so —

CALLER: These cyberattacks are so frequent and just day and night. And before Trump —

RUSH: Wait, wait, wait wit. Whose cyberattacks on who?

CALLER: Anyone, whether it be a rogue group —

RUSH: Meaning we’re constantly cyberattacking them and they’re constantly cyberattacking us?

CALLER: They’re cyberattacking us. And that’s the way it was under Obama, we were getting attacked constantly. And Trump said, “No more. We’re gonna respond and take an offensive measure. And when we get attacked, you don’t need to come to me to respond. Just do it.”

RUSH: Oh. When did you hear that?

CALLER: Well, that was the legislation they were talking about in the article. There were two different pieces of legislation that allowed the military to respond immediately to an attack in the same way they would if they were getting shot at in the field.

RUSH: Oh, so they’re using this to just go ahead and ratchet up these attacks and not tell Trump about it?

CALLER: Well, Trump didn’t want to be told about it. If he were being told about every time United States was under cyberattack, they would be in his office every 30 seconds —

RUSH: I’m confused what your point is. You’re saying the story is right or the story is wrong? What is your point?

CALLER: The story is spun to make it look like they’re sneaking around behind his back when Trump gave them authorization to not tell him. He told them you don’t have to (crosstalk) just respond.

RUSH: The story says plain as day that they’re not telling the president for specific reasons. The reasons are not what you’ve cited. They’re not telling Trump because they don’t think he would agree with it — this is what the story says. I’m commenting on the story, not what is actually happening. Those are two different things, as is always the case when talking about the media.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Somebody help me out here. Did I appear to be biting the head off of that caller? Did I appear to be impatient? The reason I was impatient with him… Well, I had time constraints. But he was basically saying that the New York Times story is spin because the president had already granted authority to the intel community to hit back on various cyberattacks, because they happen all the time. We get hit, they get hit — and this is true, by the way. I mean, the idea that the Russians tampered in the election and it’s the first time ever tampered in anything? The Russians are constantly trying to infiltrate all kinds of things, the Soviets before them, the ChiComs, the North Koreans.

Everybody’s bombarding us. There’s nothing unusual about what happened in 2016, despite the lies that everybody made trying to make it look like it was unique. So the story does acknowledge that legislation was passed last summer that authorized the intelligence community to hit back rather than have to tell the president every damn time because it happened so frequently. So the caller’s point was that that’s the primary point in the story, and so they’re spinning the fact that Trump doesn’t know. It’s not that.

That’s absolutely true, and let me read to you the relevant portion here. “Mr. Trump issued new authorities to Cyber Command last summer, in a still-classified document … giving [Cyber Command] far more leeway to conduct offensive online operations without receiving presidential approval. But the action inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into the military authorization bill…” Meaning… “Slipped into” means it was not negotiated. It was not really debated.

It was just added in there and kind of like earmarks are. “The measure approved the routine conduct of ‘clandestine military activity’ in cyberspace, to ‘deter, safeguard or defend against attacks or malicious cyberactivities against the United States.’ … [A]ction inside the Russian electric grid appears to have been conducted under little-noticed new legal authorities, slipped into,” i.e., the president may not know. See, the Times is separating this out because the point they are making is that this is being purposely withheld from Trump because he’s not trusted.

Here is how the Times says that: “Pentagon and intelligence officials described [to the New York Times] broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it,” i.e., tell ’em not to do it, or tell them it was happening, “as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister. Because the new law defines the actions in cyberspace as akin to traditional military activity on the ground, in the air or at sea, no such briefing would be necessary, they added.”

So little-known deal slipped into military authorization bill, gives these guys the ability to launch offensive attacks on Russia and not tell Trump precisely because they don’t trust him! They don’t think he would agree with it. They don’t want him saying “no,” and they don’t trust him to keep it secret! He’s not the guy with the unsecured basement server like Hillary Clinton had who was trafficking in all kinds of classified data and was exonerated for doing so! Trump is not that.

(impression) “Well, but everybody knows, Mr. Limbaugh, that Trump has a very close personal relationship with Vladimir Putin. Why, at the snap of his fingers, some prostitutes will show up at a hotel room to pee on a bed for him.” They won’t let this stuff die! All of this stuff has been pooh-poohed. It has been rendered defunct, and they keep it alive, and now Trump can’t be trusted. I don’t care how you describe this. If this story is right, then we’ve got treasonous activity. We’ve got the intel and the defense people openly defying knowingly a president.

“Well, he might not agree with it.” (chuckling) Well, then, buddy, you have no business doing it! “We can’t tell him because, hell, we can’t trust the president.” He’s not the one leaking to the media about all these operations, you people are! The intel people are leaking all this, not Trump. Now let’s go to James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence for Barack Hussein O.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here James Clapper. He was on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon last night. Question: “American national security officials are declining to share Russia-related intel with the president because they view him as a security risk. How serious is this?”

CLAPPER: As an intelligence guy, you know, y-you kind of cringe when you see articles like that. And if the president didn’t know about this, uh, uh, program, uh, with the Russians, uh, assuming the — the New York Times article’s accurate, well, he sure does now. I do know, uhhh, there are other instances of where there have been, uh, concerns about, uhh, U.S. intelligence capabilities, particularly when it comes to Russia, uh, since there is some mystery about just exactly what the relationship is —

RUSH: See?

CLAPPER: — particularly personally between, uhh, President Trump and — and Putin. So I think it’s, uhh… You know, can’t confirm or deny, but it’s certainly, uhh, plausible, and I do know there’s concern in the intelligence community about that.

RUSH: Right, because you people talk to each other as you concoct these schemes. The way it works is these former and current intelligence officials concoct a scheme. They bring Clapper in and say, “Okay. Clapper, your mission, is you go on CNN and you validate everything that story’s gonna say, including the fact that Trump and Russia are so close that we can’t trust either of ’em. We don’t know what the relationship is,” even though — if you look at United States policy aimed at Russia — it’s not anything born of friendship. (chuckling)

Why do you think Putin’s succeeds up to Xi Jinping of the ChiComs? Xi Jinping the other day just said Vladimir Putin’s his new best buddy. He’ll tell that to Kim Jong-un when he gets in North Korea too. But Vladimir Putin’s his new best friend. This really, folks, is so beneath the pale here. (impression) “Well, as an intelligence guy and all, you kind of cringe when you see articles like that.” No, we were cringing when you held the Office of Director of National Intelligence.

We were cringing when we hear Obama telling Medvedev (paraphrased), “Be patient. I’ll be able to get rid of our nukes after the election.” That’s when we were nervous. (Clapper impression) “And if the president didn’t know about this program with the Russians, assuming New York Times article is accurate, well, he sure does now! I — I do know other instances (muttering) concerns about U.S. intelligence capabilities when it came to Russia.” And then this ends: “There’s some mystery about just exactly what the relationship is, particularly personally between Trump and Putin…”

These guys, this is just — read the Mueller report, Clapper.

Anyway, it made Trump as ticked off as I am. He tweeted: “This story in the New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it. They should immediately release their sources, which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony.”

I had something in the Stack yesterday. I saved it. It’s about failing media and the fact that you have to pay for it now. You have to pay for a subscription here, a subscription there, you subscribe to individual outlets like the Wall Street Journal or CNN or do you subscribe to a service per month that provides you a collection of these various news organizations. And they went down the various news organizations and how they’re doing, and it looks like the New York Times is faring better than most.

But a full 40% of people subscribing to the New York Times web service are doing it for the crossword puzzle and the cooking recipes. Forty percent. And this has the analysts in the story very concerned, who will pay for the news. It’s all about local newspapers in individual little towns and villages going defunct, going out of business, which is supposedly bad because now there are fewer jobs for journalists.

But it’s really a dissertation on the whole concept now that when it comes to tech, most of what we are buying is a subscription of some kind. You buy an app that does something you want to do, the app is free, but then inside the app and in that purchase you’ve gotta subscribe.

Like you could buy a weather app, but to get radar, 99 cents a month for a year. To get radar outside of your local area, another 99 cents. These little add-ons keep piling up. If you want another weather app because you like its user interface better, then you gotta do the whole damn thing again. And so subscriber fatigue is something that they’re worrying about.

At some point people are gonna wear out having all these subscriptions, trying to keep track of ’em. Even though individually they look like they’re cheap as they can be, by the time you add ’em all up, people are gonna be stunned at what they’re paying for news. And when they figure it out they’re gonna cut back.

In the old days, with just newspapers, you know, whatever the newsstand or delivery price was and that was that. And advertising paid the freight. But now Google and Facebook are eating up — you ready for this? — 80% of all online advertising is going to Google and Facebook. OMG is right. And before Facebook the majority of that was Google.

Now Facebook’s eating into – I mean, this was the lifeblood. After the concept of the newspaper began to fade and online access of news began to pick up, advertising became the way to make the freight because things on the internet started out as free. You could read the New York Times for free, or the Washington Post for free for the longest time, the longest time. Advertising paid the freight.

Besides, since it started free, the content providers didn’t quite know how to charge for it. And if you charged but nobody else did, then you were up a creek. If you’re the Oshkosh Reserve and you want to start charging but up in Nina they’re not charging anything or Green Bay, bam, you’re not gonna get any business. Unless they all started charging at the same time, which would be price fixing, they were in a heap big mess. Advertising revenue carried the day.

Then Google comes along and Facebook after it and 80% of the lifeblood’s being eaten up by those two outfits. So now they’re all struggling, and the subscription method is what has evolved. But no matter how you spend it, whether you’re paying a monthly fee or you’re doing a subscription or making a one-time yearly payment, you’re still spending money for news. And they are very worried in the news business how many people will pay.

If you pay for the Wall Street Journal, will you pay for the New York Times? And Apple News. All the news on Apple News is free, but if you want to read magazines or subscribe to newspapers, then that’s gonna cost you like $9.99 a month. But you don’t get access to the full paper on Apple News, like you don’t get the crosswords. So if you want to the crosswords you have to subscribe to Apple News and then the New York Times and they’re all worried that at some point consumers are gonna begin saying to themselves, “We’ve been doing too much consuming out there for news,” when all of their lives the news has been perceived to be free.

So they know that they have economic challenges and problems, and they’re very, very worried about it, which, take all of that and then look at what they’re doing, purposely, eagerly alienating a full 50% of their potential audience every day, essentially saying, “We don’t want your business, we don’t even care if you read us.” New York Times, Washington Post.

So, man, I don’t understand their business plans. CNN I understand because they can use CNN International. CNN’s now a loss leader. They don’t have to make any money because the money they’re losing is made up elsewhere in the company.

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