Sunday, April 23, 2017

Moose and ... squirrel!

With French civilization hanging over the fire by a thread, an awesome tax-cutting plan getting ready to bring back those jobs, and North Korea threatening to play volleyball at its nuclear development site again, it's good to know the Fair 'n' Balanced Network is not distracted when it comes to Sunday afternoon's top story:

International businessman Carter Page blames the mainstream media and the “corrupt Clinton regime” -- not himself -- for repeatedly saying he was an adviser to the Donald Trump presidential team, according to a letter obtained Sunday by Fox News.

I guess the profundity of it all is clearer if you recall Saturday's No. 2 story:

Donald Trump’s legal team was trying to distance the president from international businessman Carter Page in the aftermath of the 2016 White House race, amid mounting questions about Russia influencing the outcome, according to a letter obtained by Fox News. 

Attorney Don McGahn told Page in a December 2016 letter to “immediately cease” saying he is a Trump adviser and to stop suggesting he was more than a short-lived advisory council member “who never actually met with the president-elect.”  

Why it took four months to "obtain" these earth-shaking letters (or an extra day to get the one that lets you say "corrupt Clinton regime") is a question for the ages. But at least we're making sure the focus is on moose and squirrel, rather than on anything any Russian agents might have done. Anyway, back to Sunday's epic:

Page made the argument in response to a December 2016 letter from Trump’s legal team telling him to “immediately cease” saying he is a Trump adviser, amid mounting evidence that Russia had meddled in the White House race that Trump won a month earlier.

“Thank you for your letter … and the opportunity to address the false impression that I may in some way be holding myself out as an ‘adviser’ to Mr. Trump,” Page said in response to Trump attorney Don McGhan’s letter to him a day earlier.

“I believe this extremely false perception might be based on frequent and continued mischaracterizations in the mainstream media. … The media narrative is completely outside of my personal control despite constant and intensive efforts by me.”

Page -- an international financier who specializes in Russia’s oil and gas markets and who once worked in Moscow -- was in fact part of a short-lived Trump foreign policy advisory team in March 2016.

“I have done nothing more than admit that I previously served as a member of the … team,” Page insists in his response to McGhan.

You have to wonder what's elided in that paragraph (my guess it that it's not "the f***ing team"). But his point is clear: it's the fault of those pesky media! For example, the Maoist rabble at ... erm, Fox News:

Carter Page, a onetime foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump's presidential campaign, met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013 and provided him documents about the energy industry, according to court documents filed Monday. (April 4)

Former Trump advisor Carter Page had energy deals involving Russian companies. (March 5)

Or the Washington Times:

In a story saying Trump associates were in contact with Russian officials during last year’s campaign, The New York Times reported this week that the FBI has “closely examined” Mr. Stone and Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. (Feb. 16)

Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to President Trump’s campaign, says he doesn’t deny speaking with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak last year, after saying last month he had “no meetings” with any Russian officials. (March 3)

Whatever "constant and intensive efforts" he was efforting, they don't seem to have done him much good. So we're left wondering who stood to benefit from the sudden appearance -- and recycling -- of this story, four months after the fact. Might as well enjoy this fine cartoon from the New Yorker:


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