Saturday, September 26, 2020

the last book I ever read (Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter, excerpt three)

from Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth by Brian Stelter:

Trump was in charge of the television wing of the GOP now and had all the deputies he needed. Rudy Giuliani was at debate camp along with Fox commentator Laura Ingraham and assorted friends. Hannity was at Trump’s beck and call. And Fox & Friends spewed toxic waste at his opponent every day. On October 25, Rudy told Brian Kilmeade that “we’ve got a couple of surprises left,” and added, “I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton, finally, are beginning to have an impact.” Rudy had heard that FBI agents in New York were in possession of a laptop with a new cache of Clinton-related emails. The agents—some of whom detested Clinton—wanted to crack it open. Rudy alluded to “surprises” again the next day in an interview with Fox’s Martha MacCallum. It appeared as though he was getting leaks from current FBI agents (although he later claimed the info came from “former agents”). And it sure seemed like he was spreading the info on Fox to pressure FBI director James Comey into reopening an investigation in the final inning of the election. If that was the plan, it worked: On October 28, Comey took the highly unusual step of disclosing that investigators were examining the new cache of emails. “I think his decision to publicly reopen the case, rather than investigate quietly, was certainly driven in part by the fear that news of the laptop would leak,” Josh Campbell, Comey’s special assistant at the time, told me in 2019.

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