There’s an old expression that seems to be more and more applicable to what we see in Washington these days than ever before, and it goes like this: If you wrote a story like this, no one would believe it.
We now have speculation that the top-secret source House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was referring to when he told Donald Trump he might have been accidentally surveilled as part of an operation against members of his campaign was a tabloid. To be more specific, the National Enquirer, which ran this story just two days before Nunes made his midnight run to the White House:
All the “facts” that Nunes offered to the press regarding what he had said to Trump are in the Enquirer article. For example:
“Our spy sources inside America’s intelligence community allowed The ENQUIRER (emphasis theirs) to view 132 pages of those transcripts – outlining the contents of calls made from numbers inside Trump Tower in NYC to other unspecified numbers. What’s more, and as The ENQUIRER can now relate, those calls were mundane and innocuous.”
Of course they did! Who could possibly be more reliable to intelligence agencies than one of the crack “reporters” at the National Enquirer? Something tells me a intel analyst would sooner write the information on a roll of toilet paper and leave it in a D.C. hotel room than call the freaking National Enquirer.
We also have this from the article the Enquirer, which sounds almost as if press secretary Sean Spicer had dictated it to a writer while the two laughed their asses off and had a few beers:
“Efforts to obtain a FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] warrant were initiated by political operatives in the Justice Department, and not by the FBI, all the way up to the attorney general or deputy attorney…They were not initiated because of possible criminal activity, but requested by officials acting on political motivations.”
As for what Nunes has said regarding the “report” he read and then shared with Trump, keep in mind no one else has seen it, so who’s to say it isn’t a dog-eared copy of a tabloid rag? The Atlantic notes:
“The problem is that there’s no way to assess the truth of Nunes’ claims. He says he has full faith in his source, suggesting it’s someone within the intelligence community, but it’s not clear that anyone besides Nunes has seen the “reports” to which he referred: Adam Schiff, the Democratic ranking member of the committee, has not, and while Nunes briefed both Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan, there’s no indication he showed them the report.”
If he still won’t show the documentation to other members of the Intelligence Committee, then for all we know Nunes wrote it down on a notepad and then read it back to himself. That’s just as plausible.
Ask yourself this: Do you put it past Donald Trump to hand Nunes a copy of the National Enquirer and tell him to use that as his cover story? No, you don’t. No one does. Because truth has now become even stranger than fiction.
John le Carré, eat your fucking heart out!
Featured Image Via CNN