Fake News Purveyors Promote “Alt-Right” Claims That Susan Rice And James Comey Imperiled By Supposed FBI Investigation
Research ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN
Fake news purveyors are promoting dubious claims from “alt-right” figures Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec that former FBI Director James Comey dropped an FBI investigation into former national security advisor Susan Rice because it would have implicated him. They are also claiming that Rice is in legal jeopardy for unmasking aides of President Donald Trump who were caught on incidental FBI surveillance. There have been no mainstream media reports that Rice or Comey committed any wrongdoing, and both Cernovich and Posobiec have a history of pushing misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey
FBI Director James Comey Fired By Trump. On May 9, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, according to The New York Times. The Times reported that Trump claimed he was following the recommendations of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who in a memo cited Comey’s July 5 announcement that he would end the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails without prosecuting anyone involved as a reason for the degradation of trust between the FBI and the public. Trump has since contradicted that claim, telling NBC he would have fired Comey regardless of the memo. From the May 9 article:
President Trump on Tuesday fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, abruptly terminating the top official leading a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
The stunning development in Mr. Trump’s presidency raised the specter of political interference by a sitting president into an existing investigation by the nation’s leading law enforcement agency. It immediately ignited Democratic calls for a special counsel to lead the Russia inquiry.
Mr. Trump explained the firing by citing Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, even though the president was widely seen to have benefited politically from that inquiry and had once praised Mr. Comey for his “guts” in his pursuit of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign.
But in his letter to Mr. Comey, released to reporters by the White House, the president betrayed his focus on the continuing inquiry into Russia and his aides.
“While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau,” Mr. Trump said in a letter to Mr. Comey dated Tuesday. White House officials refused to say anything more about the three occasions Mr. Trump cited.
The officials said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, pushed for Mr. Comey’s dismissal. But many in Washington, including veteran F.B.I. officers, saw a carefully choreographed effort by the president to create a pretense for a takedown of the president’s F.B.I. tormentor. [The New York Times, 5/9/17; MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell Reports, 5/11/17]
Susan Rice Reportedly Unmasked Trump Officials Caught In Surveillance
CNN: Susan Rice Accused Of Improperly Unmasking Names Of Trump Officials Caught In Surveillance, With No Proof She Broke Law. CNN reported that some Republicans, including Trump, have claimed that former national security adviser Susan Rice “broke the law by requesting the ‘unmasking’ of ... identities” of “US individuals” who were connected to Trump and had been caught in surveillance. “Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides” told CNN they had “so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal.” From the April 12 article:
After a review of the same intelligence reports brought to light by House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers and aides have so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal, multiple sources in both parties tell CNN.
Their private assessment contradicts President Donald Trump's allegations that former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice broke the law by requesting the "unmasking" of US individuals' identities. Trump had claimed the matter was a "massive story."
One congressional intelligence source described the requests made by Rice as "normal and appropriate" for officials who serve in that role to the president.
And another source said there's "absolutely" no smoking gun in the reports, urging the White House to declassify them to make clear there was nothing alarming in the documents.
The lawmakers' assessment comes after Trump, in a New York Times interview last week, accused Rice of breaking the law. [CNN, 4/12/17]
NBC News: “Susan Rice Did Nothing Wrong, Say Both [Democrats] and Republicans.” NBC News on April 17 confirmed CNN’s article, reporting, “A review of the surveillance material flagged by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes shows no inappropriate action by Susan Rice or any other Obama administration official, Republican and Democratic Congressional aides who have been briefed on the matter told NBC News.” [NBC News, 4/17/17]
“Alt-Right” Figures With History Of Dubious Reporting Claim Comey And Rice Implicated In Supposed FBI Investigation Of Rice
Rebel Media’s Jack Posobiec: “FBI Source Tells Me Comey Dropped The Susan Rice Unmasking Investigation [Because] It Would Have Implicated Himself.” On May 12, Rebel Media’s Jack Posobiec wrote on Twitter, “FBI source tells me Comey dropped the Susan Rice unmasking investigation bc it would have implicated himself.” Posobiec has a history of pushing misinformation and conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate, and was one of the main people who spread forged documents targeting then-French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron.
Infowars’ Mike Cernovich: Rice’s Lawyers Are Seeking “Immunity” For Rice After Comey’s Firing. On May 10, Infowars host Mike Cernovich claimed that Comey had “protected” Rice and that following Comey’s firing, Rice’s lawyers had “reached out the FBI” in order to get her “immunity” because she committed “multiple felonies.” Cernovich also suggested that Rice had spied on conservatives and conservative media figures. Cernovich, who seems to have been the first to claim that Rice committed nefarious behavior by unmasking officials, has a history of making dubious claims and promoting conspiracy theories, such as Pizzagate. He also pushed the conspiracy theory that a chemical attack in Syria in April was a hoax, and he helped promote the forged documents targeting Macron. [YouTube, 5/10/17; Media Matters, 4/5/17, 5/3/17, 4/6/17, 5/5/17]
Fake News Purveyors Promote Cernovich’s And Posobiec’s Dubious Claims
Angry Patriot: Posobiec’s Claim “Could Potentially Destroy James Comey,” And “Will Only Affirm Trump’s Decision In Giving Him The Boot.” Fake news purveyor The Angry Patriot referenced Posobiec’s claim that “Comey dropped the Susan Rice ‘unmasking’ investigation because it would have implicated himself,” adding that without Posobiec, “we wouldn’t have any idea of what happened.” The site also used the unsubstantiated claim to defend Trump’s decision to fire Comey, writing that “what was leaked could potentially destroy James Comey,” and suggesting Posobiec’s claim “will only affirm Trump’s decision in giving [Comey] the boot.” From the May 14 article:
The public is aware now more than ever in terms of White House transparency. What was leaked could potentially destroy James Comey.
Former FBI Director James Comey landed himself in hot water and was fired by President Trump earlier last week. Comey acted out of concern for himself rather than that of the American people. But it’s much worse. A source stated that Comey dropped the Susan Rice “unmasking” investigation because it would have implicated himself. (via Pat Dollard)
The source told this statement to Jack Posobiec. Posobiec is a Washington-based writer and a conservative activist. He is mostly known for sharing Emmanuel Macron’s hacked emails on Twitter during the French election. (via US Defense Watch)
We have to respect Posobiec’s efforts to be transparent. He made this information public because he felt that the American people have the right to know any background information pertaining to this.
It’s imperative that conservative commentators and writers continue to serve as a trusting liaison between government officials and the general public. Jack Posobiec was our eyes and ears in the White House, and he publicized exactly what he heard.
Jack Posobiec has a history of making information available to the public. Conservative journalists differ from left-wing journalists because they rely on truth to do their jobs. Liberals rely on whining, ad hominem attacks, and excuses.
We are thankful to Posobiec because we wouldn’t have any idea of what happened without him, but the issue does need to be investigated further. It will only affirm Trump’s decision in giving him the boot. [The Angry Patriot, 5/14/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]
TruthFeed: Posobiec’s Claim Does “Logically Make Sense.” On May 13, fake news purveyor TruthFeed claimed that while “we can not be sure of the veracity of” Posobiec’s claim, it “does logically make sense” because “Susan Rice, Loretta Lynch and James Comey were among the few that had the ability to unmask U.S. citizens and thus digging deeper into the Susan Rice investigation could have very well led to Comey having improperly unmasked Trump Team members for obvious political motivations.” [TruthFeed, 5/13/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]
Conservative Daily Post And Washington Feed: Posobiec’s Claim Shows Comey “Covered For” Rice. Fake news purveyor Conservative Daily Post argued that Posobiec’s claim meant Comey “was worried that investigators would’ve found something that he didn’t want them to know about.” It added that “Comey’s past reluctance to help the Senate investigate Rice makes much more sense with this in mind,” and that Comey “was an extremely corrupt individual that not only covered for Clinton and Rice but also compromised their investigation in order to protect himself.” The article was later republished by fake news purveyor The Washington Feed. From the May 12 article:
The Democratic Party is filled with corrupt liberals. They get into office simply so they can engage in illegal behavior and do favors for others. While Barack Obama was the President, he did nothing to hold the left accountable for their misconduct.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice had repeatedly asked to “unmask,” or reveal the identities of, people associated with the Trump campaign. Before that, it was proven that Hillary Clinton stored classified information on private servers. Despite this, James Comey, the former FBI Director did not investigate either Democrat’s questionable conduct. If he did, sources close to the FBI say he would’ve implicated himself, which suggests that he dropped both investigations in order to protect himself.
Just recently, Jack Posobiec, a reporter for Rebel TV, tweeted, “FBI source tells me Comey dropped the Susan Rice unmasking investigation bc it would have implicated himself. Developing.” Apparently, he was worried that investigators would’ve found something that he didn’t want them to know about.
Comey’s past reluctance to help the Senate investigate Rice makes much more sense with this in mind. Despite the Senate’s repeated attempts to get information about the “unmasking” of Trump associates by Rice and others, the FBI refused to cooperate. Last month, Adam Housey, a Fox News correspondent, reported that Intelligence Committee members were complaining that the FBI was being extremely difficult. “The information they continue to request from the Intelligence Agencies, now for over a month, has been very little given,” he explained. If this continues, Congress may decide to deauthorize the congressionally approved program that allows them to collect the information in the first place.
Trump’s decision to fire Comey was an excellent one. He was an extremely corrupt individual that not only covered for Clinton and Rice but also compromised their investigation in order to protect himself. With this in mind, firing him may not have been enough. President Trump should consider having charged with corruption. [Conservative Daily Post, 5/12/17; The Washington Feed, 5/12/17; PolitiFact 11/4/16; Snopes.com, 1/18/17]
Before It’s News: “Susan Rice Freaks! Wants Immunity Says Cernovich!” Fake news purveyor Before It’s News wrote that “award winning journalist” Cernovich reported that “Susan Rice is freaking out over Trump’s wise decision to fire” Comey because she thought “she would beat the rap of illegally unmasking people as long as” Comey was FBI director. It added that “if we all get this information out and get in front of Susan Rice’s plans, she will be exposed,” and encouraged people to spread the story on social media. From the May 11 article:
According to award winning journalist, Mike Cernovich, Susan Rice is freaking out over Trump’s wise decision to fire FBI Director, James Comey. Cernovich says his sources have confirmed she felt confident she would beat the rap of illegally unmasking people as long as FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were in control! Now that James Comey has been fired, she has freaked out and ordered her lawyers to get an immunity deal with the FBI! She’s in a panic because she knows she will be going to jail if justice is served!
Get this video out EVERYWHERE so the Fake News can’t spin it. If we all get this information out and get in front of Susan Rice’s plans, she will be exposed and hopefully Donald Trump will also fire FBI Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe because he is listed as the other person protecting Susan Rice! Let Trump Know and spread on his Twitter Feed and through all Social Networks and email lists. This is Key Information that must go viral NOW before she gets a deal to escape jail! Andrew McCabe and James Comey must be forced to take an NSA, CIA and FBI lie detector test to see if they covered up crimes of the Clintons and others. I guarantee you that if McCabe is asked to do a lie detector he will resign immediately! [Before It’s News, 5/11/17; Media Matters, 12/14/16]