Donald Trump’s team send a memorandum around to members of the media warning them to stay away from guests on the show who claim the president colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential elections.
The memo, from the US president’s lawyer Tim Murtaugh, comes after a summary of the Robert Mueller report into collusion found no evidence of his having colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, according to attorney-general William Barr, who reviewed the filing over the weekend after being appointed by the president in February.
The report does not exonerate Trump. In the report, Robert Mueller is quoted to have said:
While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
The entire report has not been released.
The memo, titled ‘Credibility of Certain Guests’ sent to TV producers yesterday advised them not to platform “Democrat leaders and others lying to the American people by vigorously and repeatedly claiming there was evidence of collusion.”
It went on further to ask if specific contributors “warrant further appearances on your program given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past.”
The list included:
- House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff
- House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler
- Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez
- Ex-CIA director John Brennan
- Senator Richard Blumenthal
- Congressman Eric Swalwell
Swalwell responded to the memo with a tweet addressing Trump directly:
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 memo instructs TV producers to ask the following “basic question” when guests appear: “Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past?”
At a minimum, 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.
The American people have been bombarded by these accusations, through the media, for two long years. They have been told that their legitimately elected president had colluded with Russia – a claim proven to be false. At this point, there must be introspection from the media who facilitated the reckless statements and a serious evaluation of how such guests are considered and handled in the future.
People - especially in the media– reacted to the memo with fear and anger
Many argued it was state interfering in the media, which was the reserve of dictatorships.
Others are not impressed