Sessions met Russian Ambassador with two senior staffers present, just like all Russian spies?
In a post two weeks ago, I suggested that Trump was being put on trial in the media based on fact-less innuendo, The fact-free Intelligence Community-Media trial of Trump by innuendo:
I don’t know whether Donald Trump or his aides had any improper contacts with Russian Intelligence officers.
Neither do you, or the media. The Intelligence Community might know, but they have provided zero facts either officially or through leaks to prove any improper, much less illegal, conduct took place.
Instead, we have trial by innuendo based on there being “contacts” between Trump campaign aides and Russian intelligence….
In this fact-free environment, imaginations and malicious intentions can run wild. We have round-the-clock media and social media speculation and frenzy throwing around terms like impeachment, treason, and so on.
It is, in some ways, worse than harmful facts, because there is no clear accusation against which to defend, and no factual basis upon which the public can judge.
Since that time, the innuendo campaign has intensified, and reached its pinnacle overnight accusations against Jeff Sessions and his meeting with the Russian Ambassador. Kemberlee and Mary covered earlier why the allegations of perjury or lying are wrong.
But there’s a worse smear being stoked.
One implication of this frenzy is that the Russian Ambassador was a spy recruiter and that’s why he met with Sessions.
Here’s what CNN reported:
Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia’s top spies and spy-recruiters in Washington, according to current and former senior US government officials.
Russian officials dispute this characterization.
Get it, the clear implication is that Sessions met with a spy recruiter.
Which was then widely shared on Twitter.
Here's the issue: Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, is considered by US intelligence to be one of Russia's top spies and spy-recruiters.
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) March 2, 2017
— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) March 2, 2017
Evan Perez just said it on CNN, so I suppose I can here: Kislyak wasn't just ambassador, he was Russia's "top spy recruiter" in D.C.: SVR.
— Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) March 2, 2017
Oh and Kislyak, w/ whom Gen. Flynn had repeated contact & who Sessions met with in Sept? He may be a spy/recruiter. https://t.co/M7BsBy5mEc
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) March 2, 2017
The ACLU picked up on the suggestions:
According to The Washington Post last night, Sessions spoke at least twice with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US who is reportedly a top spy recruiter for Russia, when he was a senior member of the Armed Services Committee as well as an early and trusted adviser to the Trump campaign. One of the encounters was a September meeting between the two men in Sessions’ Senate office.
As did The Daily Beast, Did Sessions Meet With a Spymaster? Questions Swirl Around Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak.
According to Sessions, when he met the Russian Ambassador in early September at Sessions Senate office, there were two senior staffers in the room.
Sessions repeated the statement about staffers being present on Tucker Carlson tonight.
The presence of the staffers is easily verifiable. The fact that we have not yet heard any “leaks” that Sessions was lying about the staffers being present is telling.
That’s quite remarkable, isn’t it? A supposedly secretive meeting in which it is implied that something improper took place taking place in the presence of congressional staffers. Because that’s how the Russians recruit spies, right?
There is a concerted effort to pick off Trump advisors, and to freeze the administration with leaks and innuendo.
Unless the media and Democrats come up with more than innuendo, I think they will pay a price. They should.