Yesterday was the Oscars of political breaking news. Veteran journalist and reporter Catherine Herridge tweeted a declassified “unmasking list” from the NSA. The list included former Vice President Joseph Biden who was amongst the people who had requested the unmasking of Michael Flynn’s name. Not only did Biden and the others on the list make such a request, but the timing is critical; all requests came between election day when Trump beat Hillary Clinton, and Trump’s inauguration. Coincidence?
Within hours of Herridge’s tweet revealing the list with the caption, “SCOOP @CBSNews obtains @RichardGrenell notification to congress declassified ‘unmasking list’ Flynn between late 2016 and January 2017 – Read 3 pages provided by NSA here.”
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 13, 2020
Naturally, a response from the Biden campaign was expected, but this got personal. Biden’s “rapid response director” Andrew Bates, instead of acknowledging the bombshell breaking news about his boss, decided to attack Herridge. Bates tweeted, “SCOOP: Catherine Herridge is a partisan, rightwing hack who is a regular conduit for conservative media manipulation ploys because she agrees to publicize things before contacting the target to ask for comment.”
We certainly are curious about what the said “target” would comment. Perhaps Biden will give one shortly instead of ignoring the story for months such as he did with Tara Reade, or continue to have his staff declare published information is lying. Or, the best we might get is the new thing to do; attack the journalist who released the intel.
Not long after Bates tweeted the fiery attack on Herridge, it was deleted.
Not long after Bates tweeted the fiery attack on Herridge, it was deleted. Everyone knows once it’s on the internet, it’s permanent forever. Steve Guest caught Bates in his ‘delete’ and called him out, posting Bates’ original tweet and asked, “Andrew Bates, why’d you delete this tweet?”
Hot Air explains the juicy irony, reminding us that only “as recently as 10 days ago, Joe Biden tweeted that attacking the press is part of the ‘authoritarian playbook’ and said Trump had put us on a ‘dangerous path.’ I guess his rapid response director Andrew Bates missed that.”
Don’t put that popcorn down just yet. By the afternoon, Andrew Bates finally released a statement on behalf of the Biden campaign. It read:
Donald Trump’s attempt at dishonest media manipulation to distract from his response to the worst public health crisis in 100 years has backfired. These documents simply indicate the breadth and depth of concern across the American government – including among career officials – over intelligence reports of Michael Flynn’s attempts to undermine ongoing American national security policy through discussions with Russian officials or other foreign representatives. Importantly, none of these individuals could have known Flynn’s identity beforehand.
These documents have absolutely nothing to do with any FBI investigation and they confirm that all normal procedures were followed – any suggestion otherwise is a flat out lie. What’s more, it’s telling that these documents were selectively leaked by Republicans abusing their congressional powers to act as arms of the Trump campaign after having them provided by a partisan official installed for this very purpose. The only people with questions to answer are Grenell, Sen. Grassley, and Sen. Johnson for their gross politicization of the intelligence process.
Bates starts with addressing the ‘public health crisis’ which occurred 3 years after the discussion at hand. He then says to conclude this document has anything to do with ‘any FBI investigation’ is a ‘flat out lie.’ It’s probably best the Biden campaign refrain from continuously accusing people of lying and intel as lies.
Use your big words, Biden.