Washington’s Split-Screen Reality

By McKay Coppins

If you watched James Comey’s sensational testimony on Capitol Hill Monday—or read about it in the ensuing avalanche of coverage from mainstream media organizations—you saw something extraordinary take place: For the first time, the FBI director publicly confirmed that the Justice Department is investigating whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election.

The stunning announcement quickly ricocheted across the global news media—splashing itself across cable news chyrons, dominating homepages in multiple languages, and all but ensuring that the Russia story will receive A1 treatment for the foreseeable future.

But if you happen to be one of the millions of Americans who gets your news—at least in part—from Trump’s presidential Twitter feed, you saw a very different story unfold Monday.

In an unprecedented—and somewhat surreal—attempt at real-time revisionism on the part of the White House, the official @POTUS Twitter account spent the afternoon life-tweeting the House Intelligence Committee hearing where Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers were testifying. Over the course of three hours, the presidential Twitter feed posted half-a-dozen video clips from the hearing, each with a brief description that aimed to advance Trump’s self-interested version of the Russia controversy.

In some cases, such as this one, the tweets were brazenly misleading:


Trump’s framing here suggests a definitive debunking. In fact, the video embedded in the @POTUS tweet merely shows the NSA director saying he’d seen no evidence of Russia tampering with actual “vote tallies” in key battleground states. There are, of course, many other ways a foreign power could influence the electoral process beyond hacking into America’s voting machines. (According to a report released in January by the Office of the Director …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


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