Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

Drudge Retort




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During the Nixon Watergate investigation, "out of courtesy, the FBI started reporting to the Department of Justice. But there was nothing official."
-- Donald Trump on Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 in an interview with the New York Times

Here's the transcript from that moment in the conversation with three reporters:

"When Nixon came along (inaudible) was pretty brutal, and out of courtesy, the FBI started reporting to the Department of Justice. But there was nothing official, there was nothing from Congress. There was nothing -- anything. But the FBI person really reports directly to the president of the United States, which is interesting."

In Trump's view, as the investigation moved forward, the FBI kept the Justice Department informed as a courtesy.

Trump's statement runs into some problems with history.

Cleveland attorney James Robenalt, who runs a course on the lessons of Watergate, said there is no basis for Trump's claim.

"The director of the FBI reports to the Attorney General, and it was not a matter of ‘courtesy during Watergate' to report to the Department of Justice, rather standard operating procedure," he said. "For verification look at the organization chart of the Department of Justice."

The full chart clearly shows that the FBI answers to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General.

Justice Department annual reports dating from the birth of the FBI and the organizational structure of the Justice Department show that Trump is wrong. During Watergate, the FBI reported to the Attorney General's Office because that is what it was created to do. It was not a matter of courtesy.

Trump's ability to hire and fire the FBI director gives him ultimate authority over the conduct of the FBI director, but that's separate from the reporting obligations of the bureau to the Justice Department.

We rate this claim False.


False? Yuuge surprise!

Bernie and Jill Stein got a boost from the Russians during the primaries because Putin wanted to undermine Hillary:

"Through the end of 2015 and start of 2016, the Russian influence system began pushing themes and messages seeking to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election. Russian's overt media outlets and covert trolls sought to sideline opponents on both sides of the political spectrum with adversarial views towards the Kremlin. They were in full swing during both the Republican and Democratic primary season that may have helped sink the hopes of candidates more hostile to Russian interests long before the field narrowed."

Bernie admitted this week that he knew that the email leaks were an attempt to divide the Democratic party:

"Did you know then that this might have been part of [the Kremlin's] design?" MSNBC reporter Ari Melber asked Sanders Wednesday. "To leak these emails precisely so that there would be more riffs in the Democratic Party?"

"Well of course we knew that," Sanders replied. "Of course we knew that they were trying to cause divisiveness within the Democratic Party," the senator continued. "That's no great secret."

Wednesday's statement from Sanders, the most popular politician in America, according to recent polls, indicates his campaign was made aware of Russian-backed efforts to meddle in and interfere with the 2016 election, even in the Democratic primaries between him and Clinton.


It seems likely the Russians tried to get Sanders campaign team's emails and possibly Stein's as well. It also seems likely that if they had Team Bernie's emails and he had won the party nomination, they would have released them at that time.

Drudge Retort

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