Trump campaign asks TV producers to challenge past guests who said there was ‘evidence of collusion’
The Trump campaign on Monday called on various TV producers to challenge their guests’ “outlandish, false” accusations about alleged collusion between Trump’s associates and Russia now that the claim has “proven to be false.”
Tim Murtaugh, the director of communications for Trump’s campaign, made the request in an email just a day after Attorney General William Barr said that the special counsel investigation did not uncover evidence to conclude the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. The Trump campaign confirmed the email’s authenticity to The Hill.
The Trump campaign is sending this memo to TV producers: pic.twitter.com/yhr03LAI7N
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) March 25, 2019
Murtaugh seized on several talking points from people such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former CIA Director John Brennan.
The individuals said, among other things, that there was strong evidence of collusion while appearing on networks such as CNN, MSNBC and NBC.
“Moving forward, we ask that you employ basic journalistic standards when booking such guests to appear anywhere in your universe of productions,” Murtaugh writes. “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?”
Murtaugh adds that “if these guests do reappear, you should replay the prior statements and challenge them to provide the evidence which prompted them to make the wild claims in the first place.”
“At this point, there must be introspection from the media who facilitated the reckless statements and serious evaluation of how such guests are considered and handled in the future,” he concludes.
Barr’s four-page summary on special counsel Robert Mueller’s report said that the investigation did not find sufficient evidence to establish a conspiracy between Russia and Trump.
The letter said that Mueller did not take a definitive stance on whether Trump obstructed justice. However, Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided they would not pursue an obstruction of justice charge against Trump.
Trump on Sunday claimed that the findings represented a “complete and total exoneration.”
“This was an illegal takedown that failed and hopefully somebody’s going is to be looking at the other side,” the president added. “So it’s complete exoneration. No collusion, no obstruction.”
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