The Associated Press Lies About the FISA Application

The Associated Press carries on a daily vendetta against the Trump administration, systematically misleading the American people in articles that appear in hundreds or thousands of newspapers. Thus, it is no surprise that the AP’s story on DOJ’s FISA application dump is nothing but Democratic Party spin. The AP’s headline: “Without evidence, Trump claims documents confirm misconduct.”

President Donald Trump asserted without evidence Sunday that newly released documents relating to the wiretapping of his onetime campaign adviser Carter Page “confirm with little doubt” that intelligence agencies misled the court that approved the warrant.

But lawmakers from both political parties said that the documents don’t show wrongdoing and that they even appear to undermine some previous claims by top Republicans on the basis for obtaining a warrant against Page.

Actually, the president had a lot more to say about the FISA application than the AP acknowledges. These tweets all were issued this morning:

In fact, President Trump’s assessment that the FISA documents “confirm with little doubt that the Department of ‘Justice’ and FBI misled the courts” was exactly correct, as I showed here. Permit me the liberty of quoting myself:

The DOJ’s statement that “the FBI speculates that the identified U.S person [Simpson] was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s [Trump’s] campaign” could only have been an intentional effort to deceive the FISA judge. The FBI was perfectly well aware that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC hired Simpson through their lawyers, and the purpose of doing so was to attack candidate Donald Trump. References to “speculation” about “likely” motives are entirely dishonest.

In a moment of epic dishonesty, the AP neglects to tell its readers about this blatantly misleading feature of the FISA application. As Trump said, DOJ and the FBI “misled the courts.” Further, if the AP reporters actually read the president’s tweets, as presumably they did, they must have seen that Trump referred to Andrew McCarthy’s analysis of why the FISA application was scandalously inept and misleading. Yet the AP also fails to acknowledge, let alone try to rebut, Andrew’s observations.

Instead of addressing the many cogent criticisms of the FISA application, the AP adopts an ipse dixit approach:

Visible portions of the heavily redacted documents, released Saturday under the Freedom of Information Act, show the FBI telling the court that Page “has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.” The agency also told the court that “the FBI believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.”

Well, all right then!

With the AP, it is often hard to tell whether we are dealing with malice or ignorance. Thus, we have these three paragraphs, which follow one another with no articulated logical connection:

On Sunday, Page said on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “I’ve never been the agent of a foreign power.”

In a 2013 letter, Page had described himself as an “informal adviser’ to the Kremlin but now said “it’s really spin” to call him an adviser.

Page has not been charged with a crime, but he has been interviewed by the FBI and congressional investigators about his ties to Russia.

The AP cobbles these disparate statements together in an effort to create a negative impression of Page. But the AP obscures the relevant facts.

The AP seems to suggest that there is some inconsistency between Page’s denial of being an “agent of a foreign power” and his claim, back in 2013, to be an “informal adviser” to certain Russians. Any such suggestion is entirely false.

The phrase “agent of a foreign power” has a specific meaning. It is defined at 50 U.S.C. §1801(b)(2)(E). An “agent of a foreign power” is one who “knowingly aids or abets any person,” or “knowingly conspires with any person,” to “[engage] in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power,” or “pursuant to the direction of an intelligence service or network of a foreign power, knowingly [engage] in any other clandestine intelligence activities for or on behalf of such foreign power, which activities involve or are about to involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States,” or “knowingly [engage] in sabotage or international terrorism, or activities that are in preparation therefor, for or on behalf of a foreign power.”

Obviously, these are serious charges. In its FISA application, the FBI expressed confidence that Carter Page was an “agent of a foreign power.” But he wasn’t. We know that for certain, because if there were even even the faintest hint of evidence after months of Democratic Party surveillance, Bob Mueller would have charged him. Carter Page is innocent, and the FBI’s assurances to the FISA court were false. You would never learn this from the AP’s biased account, however.

In this context, the AP’s statement that Page has never been charged with a crime, “but” has been interviewed by the FBI, is willfully misleading. It implies that being interviewed is evidence of guilt, whereas, in the present context, the fact that the FBI and Bob Mueller could come up with nothing against Page means that he is entirely innocent.

I could go on, but you get the drift. The FBI misled the FISA court to get a warrant to spy on Carter Page and, thereby, the Trump presidential campaign. The AP has picked up the baton and is now misleading the American people in order to give cover to James Comey, Sally Yates, Loretta Lynch, Peter Strzok and the rest of the Obama DOJ/FBI rogues’ gallery.

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