Townhall’s Benson, Vespa Blast CNN for Pushing Nameless Trump Stories Filled with Plotholes

March 24th, 2017 2:17 PM

This week, conservative media have done an admirable job exposing the gaping plotholes in CNN’s new scoop on President Trump and Russian officials that’s riddled with nameless, unverified claims. But our friends Guy Benson and Matt Vespa from Townhall succinctly pulled all the nonsense together since CNN broke their story late Wednesday night.

Vespa detailed about the lunacy in a Thursday afternoon post, sarcastically reminding us how CNN previously published this awesome update...on that massive pile of unsubstantiated gossip back in February” that contained all those now-infamously salacious claims about Trump.”

“So, Russians talked to other Russians, but we don’t know what they talked about. Now, the network is reporting that there’s new information about Trump associates having contact with suspected Russian operatives that point to collusion regarding the release of damaging information about Hillary Clinton. They added that it’s still inconclusive, but the FBI is combing through it. In other words, there’s no evidence of collusion,” the former NewsBusters intern wrote.

As for the latest CNN exclusive citing unknown evidence that Trump “associates” might have colluded with Russian officials during the campaign, Vespa’s trademark humor was on display, opining:

We’re back to this again? Let’s go back to The New York Times article that tried to stoke the fire on pretty much the exact same point. In fact, for the Times, there was no suspicion; members of Trump’s campaign and his associates had contact with Russian intelligence officials—which isn’t unusual, given that many have done business in the country.

Vespa concluded by explaining that the very job of ambassadors is to meet with elected officials or future elected officials in the country they serve (in this case, the United States). He also quipped:

Do we have to be careful what will happen when we show them the Queen of Diamonds? There was nothing wrong with any of the meetings Trump aides had with the Russian ambassador. Senate Democrats have admitted that they’ll probably find zero evidence that Russia and the Trump campaign colluded during the 2016 election. We’re still in our original position, which is the news media and the Democrats (now totally scared of Russia), engaging in neo-McCarthyite antics in their crusade to find a link between the two camps.

On Friday, Benson dug a bit further into this lunacy by the hyperventilating anti-Trump media in an aptly-titled post “About That CNN 'Bombshell' Scoop on Supposed Trump-Russia Collusion...”

“Matt touched on this yesterday, but I wanted to circle back to it because it's indicative of the frustration with the media that many in the Trump White House have expressed -- especially the president himself,” Benson began, going right to the issue of the liberal media working to undermine Trump.

After summarizing the last 48 hours involving House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and Trump intelligence collections, Benson circled back to how “the nature of the ongoing drumbeat of national security leaks...seem designed to damage Trump's presidency.”

Benson noted that Nunes’s Democratic counterpart Adam Schiff had his own agenda to follow that was then joined by CNN’s “bombshell” that “was breathlessly circulated by liberals who treated it as a smoking gun.”

With help from a tweet (via Arthur Schwartz), Benson torpedoed CNN:

Of course, that claim was advanced by the same man who recklessly repeated the endlessly-debunked yet widely-believed 'Moscow hacked the election' conspiratorial lie earlier in the week:

But to what evidence was Rep. Schiff referring? That remained, and remains, unclear. Soon thereafter, however, CNN dropped this alleged "bombshell," which was breathlessly circulated by liberals who treated it as a smoking gun. Mentions of "impeachment" and "treason" whizzed around social media. But what did CNN's big scoop actually demonstrate or prove? Nothing. Matt ran through some of the details, but I thought this tweet was useful. Look at the number of weasel-word hedges here, even if you want to ignore the parting shot at the cable news network:

The report is about "indications" that "associates" (what does that mean?) of Donald Trump had "communicated" (in what capacity or context?) with "suspected" Russian officials (suspected?) to "possibly" coordinate with the campaign. And all of this is attributed to nameless "officials." 


The Fox News contributor offered a suggestion that perhaps it would have behooved CNN to have included “factual proof to back up the implications.”

“Okay, so why report it, if not to add to a haze of controversy by amplifying unverified opinions?  I'm not willing to categorically say that no collusion took place because I don't know that to be true.  But pardon me for not simply accepting what unnamed "officials" believe may have happened between unidentified people, admittedly with no concrete evidence,” he wondered.