- Michael Reynolds – Pool/Getty Images
- President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign sent a memo to TV stations asking them to consider dropping six current and former intelligence and Democratic officials as guests.
- It accused the Democratic National Committee chairman, the House Judiciary Committee chairman, the the former CIA director, and others of “lying to the American people” about the Mueller investigation.
- It listed six people alongside quotes from media appearances they made in 2017 or 2018, where some talk about other investigations into Trump.
- The campaign says the guests should either be excluded totally, or asked to justify their past statements before each appearance.
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign sent a memo to TV networks in a bid to force hostile pundits off the air in revenge for their commentary and predictions about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
The memo was sent by Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh to TV networks and producers on Monday.
It accused “certain guests” of “lying to the American people” about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and Trump’s campaign.
It singled out six current and former intelligence and Democratic officials, whom it said “made outlandish, false claims, without evidence.”
It urged networks to “employ basic journalistic standards” when booking these or similar guests, with the strong implication that they should exclude them from shows.
The memo said: “You should begin by asking the basic question: ‘Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past?'”
It says that if guests are invited back they should be asked about “wild claims” they have made in the past.
It listed the six people alongside quotes from media appearances they made in 2017 or 2018. Many of them express opinions, or talk about the status of over investigations into Trump and Russian collusion.
These are the people listed in the memo:
- John Brennan, former CIA director: “I called his behavior treasonous which is to betray one’s trust and to aiding and abet the enemy and I stand very much by that claim” (NBC, August 2018.)
- Tom Perez, Democratic National Committee chairman: “And over the course of the last year we have seen, I think, a mountain of evidence of collusion between the campaign and the Russians to basically affect our democracy.” (NBC, April 2018)
- Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat and House Judiciary Committee chairman: “There was obviously a lot of collusion. The question is how high. Every day we – every day – every so often we get new information about involvement.” (CNN, October 2017)
- Rep. Adam Schiff, a Democrat and House Intelligence Committee chairman: “I think there’ s plenty of evidence of collusion or conspiracy in plain sight.” (CBS, May 2018)
- Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat: “In our investigation, we saw strong evidence of collusion” (CNN, March 2018)
- Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat: “The evidence is pretty clear that there was collision between the Trump campaign and the Russians.” (MSNBC, October 2018)
The memo said they were not the only people who made “false claims.”
You can see the memo, which was also shared by a number of journalists on Twitter, here:
March 25 2019 Tim Murtaugh… by onScribd
The memo asks networks to consider whether the people listed should make further appearances given their past “outrageous and unsupported claims.”
Swalwell responded on Twitter, writing: “The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump. If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court.”
The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump. If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court. https://t.co/x9UvPnTqkO
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) March 25, 2019
Trump has been on a victory lap after a summary of Mueller’s report by Attorney General William Barr said that Mueller’s investigation had not found evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.
It poured cold water on the idea that the report could implicate Trump and even give evidence that could lead to his impeachment, an idea put forward by many Democrats and former officials when speaking to the media.
But Barr’s report summary has been accused of bias, and lawmakers are fighting to get the full report made public.
- Alex Edelman/Getty Images
The memo was distributed to producers for all the networks and cable outlets, CNBC reported.
Trump is using the report summary to target the media, which he has long positioned as his enemy. He plans to call for organizations to fire employees he believes made false allegations about the probe, aides told The Washington Post.
- Read more coverage of the Mueller report:
- Pelosi and Schumer charge that Attorney General William Barr is ‘not in a position to make objective determinations’ about the Mueller report