The morning after the New York Times published a list of four dozen questions that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Donald Trump in connection to the investigation into Russian election meddling, the president took to Twitter to complain about the Times scoop. In short, Trump wrote that it was “disgraceful” the questions were leaked while claiming none of the questions were about the subject of collusion.
So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were “leaked” to the media. No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2018
Just a couple of problems here. One, the Times reported that the list of questions was provided to them “by a person outside Mr. Trump’s legal team” and the questions were “read by the special counsel investigators to the president’s lawyers.” Therefore, it is plainly obvious the leak didn’t come from the Mueller team — which has largely kept a tight lid on its side of things — and instead from someone close to Team Trump. (Hmmm, wonder who that could be?)
The other issue, of course, is the president stating that there are no questions on collusion. I guess if one dismissed the over dozen questions related to that topic, sure, one can say Mueller doesn’t want to ask about coordination between Trump associates and Russia.
But back to Trump whining about the leak. Considering how obvious the Times made it out that they received this information from the Trump side of the aisle, who could have put it in the president’s head that this came from the special counsel? I present you with one Sean Hannity, Fox News host and “shadow” White House chief of staff.
During his broadcast Monday night, Hannity was fairly freaked out about the questions. Talking with Fox News contributor and reporter on the REAL Russia scandal Sara Carter, Hannity concluded that his sources let him know the questions were totally dumb and that the best thing to do would be to toss them in a fireplace.
“I’m told by my sources tonight that the New York Times is full of crap, a lot of those questions are not the questions that the special counsel is asking,” Hannity exclaimed. “Clearly a leak by the special counsel’s office again with anonymous sources.”
Carter then chimed in, declaring that this is “certainly a disinformation campaign” and that we constantly see stories like this “that Mueller is going to ask about collusion — trying to keep this storyline alive.”
“It is a disinformation campaign,” an animated Hannity stated. “How stupid is it? They want to get in the president’s mind? Did you ever think of Mueller when he never fired Mueller and he has every right to fire Mueller?”
And it went on like that. Now, other than noting how silly it is for Hannity to bitch about anonymous sources when he is simultaneously citing his own unnamed sources, the main thing to highlight here is the Fox host’s insistence that it was Mueller that leaked this out to the Times. And as we all know, the president never, ever, ever misses a broadcast of Hannity.
And if it wasn’t obvious that Sean wants the president to believe and publicly state that Mueller and his team are the ones that are leaking this info out, following Trump’s Tuesday morning tweet, Michael Cohen’s third client took to Twitter to repeat his assertion.
Clearly a leak by the special counsel’s office again with anonymous sources https://t.co/Tbfvq8PJtX
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) May 1, 2018
Is this yet another instance of the Trump-Fox Feedback Loop taking effect? All signs point to yes.