…HERE’S ANOTHER ONE. The New York Times — which considers itself a bastion of journalism but whose work of late was questioned by its former editor — wrote a story this week on the federal obstruction-of-justice indictment of Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
The Times connected the indictment’s information about Veselnitskaya’s ties to the Kremlin and her role in a now infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with the president’s son, Donald Jr., and then-Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort.
What the Times omitted, however, was that Veselnitskaya also was working at the same time with Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that hired Steele to produce his dossier on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
If Veselnitskaya’s ties to the Kremlin were important to mention for her Trump meeting, then why wouldn’t they be just as important to the guys who helped create the dossier that spurred the Russia probe?
Seems to me that selective editing and cherry-picking did not serve the reader well.
And there’s more paradigm-changing facts excluded from the Times story. Veselnitskaya managed to get into the U.S. because the Obama administration originally gave her a special parole visa.
Hmmm. The lawyer who sets up the Trump Tower meeting gets her original entry to the United States based on a special act by the Obama Justice Department. Seems relevant but, once again, absent from the story.
MY THIRD favorite omission of the week comes from the media’s coverage of the secret court filing made by Manafort’s lawyers. It turned out not to be so secret because its redactions were made public by a technical glitch.
Countless news organizations concentrated on the fact that Mueller believes Manafort shared Trump campaign polling data with a man in his firm named Konstantin Kilimnik, whom prosecutors claim is tied to Russian intelligence.
But omitted from those stories was the fact that U.S. intelligence first learned of Kilimnik’s ties to Russia intelligence more than a decade ago and warned then-Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2005 as he prepared to run for president and was involved in a group that hired Kilimnik.
McCain dismissed the suspected Russian-tied man from the group. I know this because McCain told it to me personally in 2007 and his longtime adviser, John Weaver, re-confirmed it to me in 2017.
Here’s why that omission is relevant: If U.S. intelligence knew long ago of Kilimnik’s ties to Russia, and the George W. Bush intelligence apparatus warned a presidential contender in 2005, why didn’t the Barack Obamaintelligence community do the same in 2016 when Kilimnik’s colleague, Manafort, joined the Trump campaign as chairman?
Unfortunately, readers didn’t get to ask that question because they were kept in the dark….