A bad month for Carl Bernstein: first the film Bernstein, Dustin Hoffman, is revealed as a sexual predator, and now the real one is revealed as a lying partisan hack.
Brava to Ann Althouse for catching this.
I’ll let Ann describe her own scoop…
I was stunned by this amazing slip this morning on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The moderator Dana Bash had this question:WOODWARD: You have to look at the crimes.
[T]he investigation has been going on for over a year, at least in the Justice Department, the FBI. We still don’t know about any evidence that the president knowingly colluded with Russia. Does that give the president’s claim that this is a witch-hunt some credence?
“He believes it’s a witch-hunt. There’s no question he believes it’s a witch-hunt.”
What?! The only way that Bernstein can make those assertions about what Trump believes is if Bernstein is sure Trump is not lying. Trump knows what he did with respect to Russia, but he’s saying it’s a witch-hunt. Trump’s saying that it’s a witch-hunt could happen if: 1. He knows there’s nothing there (i.e., Mueller is searching for for something, like a witch, that doesn’t exist), or 2. He’s worried about something that he did and he wants to hide it. Bernstein’s remark excludes #2. But Bernstein doesn’t have access to the inside of Trump’s head, so why did Bernstein say that? I’d say Bernstein, on his own, knows that there’s nothing there, and he blurted out an answer without thinking about what he was saying about what’s in his own head.
Bingo. Yet Bernstein, the hard core Democratic partisan of the iconic Woodward-Bernstein team that cracked open the Watergate conspiracy, has been making the rounds of the news shows for months asserting dire and impeachable offenses by the Trump campaign, a likely cover-up by the President, and damning bombshells to come. I assumed that this was simply wishful thinking by Bernstein, aging Sixties lefty that he is, and based on confirmation bias. But Ann is right: Bernstein let it slip that he believes Trump didn’t engage in any collusion, because his reporter’s instincts tell him so based on Trump’s words and actions.
It is Bernstein, whom much of the public trusts as a co-hero of Watergate and a truthteller, who has been lying, abusing his influence, reputation and credibility to bolster the ongoing Democratic Party’s effort to undermine public trust and interfere with the President’s execution of his duties with the false claim that the election was “stolen” from Hillary Clinton.
CNN’s interviewer, out of either incompetence or malice, didn’t pick up on Bernstein’s gaffe. Then CNN, in its online summary of the Bernstein interview, left out that damning quote. Its headline: “Bernstein: Trump’s lawyers tell him what he wants to hear on Russia.”
I wonder when that patriotic, truth seeking newspaper basking in a Stephen Speilberg glorification of its journalism will report on its former star reporter’s conduct?
My guess: never.
29 thoughts on “So…Carl Bernstein Really Thinks President Trump Is Innocent Of Collusion With Russia After Telling Us For A Year That He Is Guilty. Nice.”
I think what the statement shows is that Bernstein thinks that the President thinks that the President didn’t do anything wrong. The President can think that while Bernstein can think the opposite, so it’s not necessary that Bernstein believes that the President did not engage in collusion
Please. These people accuse Trump of lying literally every time he opens his mouth, whether he is exaggerating, careless, mistaken, or making stuff up. He’s lying. But suddenly you say that Bernstein, believing that Trump “colluded”, would NOT say he’s lying when he calls the investigation a witch hunt. How odd.
Bernstein is saying Trump believes it because he either knows or believes that Trump ISN’T lying, meaning that Bernstein has been lying all along that Trump must have colluded. To assume that Trump doesn’t know what he did himself is bizarre.Nixon knew what he did. Clinton knew what he did. If either of these guys said, “This investigation is a witch hunt!” would Bernstein say, “I an sure he believes that”?
I think Ann’s a little out front on this. I read Bernstein’s comment to simply mean he (Bernstein) thinks Trump is delusional and detached from reality. The reality being that there was collusion between Trump and the Russians. Which is pretty damning, of course. But I don’t think it can be read to mean Bernstein thinks Trump is innocent. I’d love to be convinced otherwise, however.
If it were only that, why was the quote buried?
Bernstein said: “He believes it’s a witch-hunt. There’s no question he believes it’s a witch-hunt.” Reading English, I don’t see how you get from “He believes it’s a witch-hunt. There’s no question he believes it’s a witch-hunt.” to “I think President Trump is innocent.”
If Donald Trump were guilty of anything, he would not believe that it was a witch hunt.
If Bernstein believed that Trump was guilty, then he must also believe that Trump does NOT believe that the investigation is a witch hunt that’s wasting everyone’s time, but rather an attempt to expose real wrongdoing on his part, which Trump presumably would be desperate to prevent. It’s pretty simple.
Why not? Do guilty people never feel it is unfair when you try to catch them? Do guilty people never feel they’re an exception to the rules? Do guilty people never rationalize that something is correct for them to do but never for others to do?
The answer to all those questions is yes, which is why this reading of Berntein’s words is unfair.
Wrongdoing requires intent. “He thinks he’s delusional” is a dodge..or a left wing delusion itself. If the President, who knows what he did, believes that he did nothing that could be called collusion, then one must conclude that he didn’t. I don’t see any way to read it. Do the Trump deranged really think he could make a quid pro quo deal with Russia—because that’s the witch–and not realize it? Do you?
I’d say it’s “a left wing delusion itself.” I think Bernstein genuinely thinks the President is a lunatic and unstable. THEY know he colluded. HE doesn’t. Because he’s too much of an idiot. If Bernstein ever gets called on this, he’ll throw up any number of dodges and get a pass. Some of which might well be plausibly deniable. (Hah! What goes around comes around, eh Carl?)
How’s this for unhinged?
The tweet is from Steve Cohen, the Congressman who introduced articles of impeachment. I guess Trump is subject to being impeached for playing too much golf instead of spending time with his children. If something like that had been said about Obama, the person saying it would have been accused, and convicted, of being a racist. Truly unhinged for a politician to do this. Would be bad enough if Kathy Griffin had done it. But a Congressman?
These people have lost their minds. Trump being president has literally driven them crazy. This seems to be what happens when the lefty view of the world is not embraced by everyone. They go insane.
Do the Trump deranged really think he could make a quid pro quo deal with Russia—because that’s the witch–and not realize it? Do you?
In 2016, you wrote about Ben Carson, a brain surgeon, essentially admitting to accepting a potentially illegal bribe from Donald Trump, and not realizing it.
So yes, I think Donald Trump, who is not a neurosurgeon but a businessman whose first language was corruption, could make a quid pro quo without realizing that’s what he was doing.
In addition: bad people are very good at convincing themselves that they are being persecuted when they are merely suffering the consequences of their actions. Guilty people can see investigations into their legitimate infractions as “witch hunts.” People can convince themselves of anything.
So I think it’s really a stretch to interpret Bernstein’s comment as an admission that he believes Trump is innocent.
Why was Bernstein’s response so obtuse? He was asked directly whether there was any credence to the claim of it being a witch hunt. Because he lacked any points to refute the claim he answered what he was not asked.
The answer clearly implies that Bernstein does not think it’s a witch hunt.
So this is another “Trump is a moron” theory? Unlike Carson, who was so ignorant it was frighting and credibly didn’t know that what he did was possibly illegal,Trump knows what the Hillary Excuse Mob is claiming abd what’s wrong with it: businessmen understand what quid pro quo deals are. He knows that such a deal with Russia would be politically fatal, if not criminal. He knows whether he did it r not, and like Bernstein, its clear to me that he knows he’s innocent. And clear that “the resistance” won’t let themselves accept that.
Eventually they will be like Truthers and Birthers. To me, they already are.
He knows that such a deal with Russia would be politically fatal, if not criminal.
Does he? This is how he’s lived his life and ran his businesses for going on five decades, with minimal consequences. We know he sees running the country as just like running his businesses, and doesn’t really care much about process. He was legitimately shocked that firing Comey was controversial. He insists he saw Muslims cheering 9/11 in New Jersey and that millions of illegal immigrations are the reason Clinton won the popular vote. A source told The New York Times that he has begun to question whether the Billy Bush tape is real.
Is it really a stretch to believe Trump is delusional?
The Truther and Birther claims are ridiculous on their face. If they were made about Trump they would also be ridiculous. I can say with some confidence that even Trump would never kill three thousand Americans in a fake terrorist attack to start a foreign war, nor would he be able to have a birth certificate forged that would fool state officials on both sides of the aisle and all reliable journalists.
I can’t say with any confidence that Trump wouldn’t make a deal with a foreign country to increase his chances of winning the election. Nothing about his character forbids that. He had both motive and means. His campaign staff made at least one attempt to get dirt on Hillary from the Russian government. There were multiple opportunities. It’s the easiest conspiracy ever.
Did it happen? I don’t know, but to believe it’s possible isn’t equivalent to believing Bush faked a terror attack or that Obama has a time machine.
So you’re saying that if Trump doesn’t think he did anything wrong, Trump must not have done anything wrong?
Am I talking to the same person who wrote the rationalization list? Mayhaps did you you take a blow to the head during your New Years Celebrations?
If Trump knows he didn’t do anything wrong, then he didn’t do anything wrong. And like everyone, in the absence of contrary evidence, he gets the benefit of the doubt. “We think he’s the kind of guy who does bad thinks, so he must have” is the other side.
Bias makes you stupid, V. I guarantee that in any investigation of suggested wrongdoing by me, if I believe its a witch hunt, then I am innocent of whatever I’m suspected of.
Trump knows he didn’t do anything wrong in the same way he knows President Obama wasn’t born in the US, and tapped his [Trump’s] wires, and that it’s the DNC who colluded with Russia, and the Clintons murder anyone who crosses them no puppet you’re the puppet, and anything Hannity might say on a given night.
Do you think so little of yourself that you would compare your capacity for honest self-assessment to that of Donald J Trump? Are you have a self-esteem crisis? Do you need a hug?
No, the problem is the bizarre and frankly pathological conviction that the President of the United States is unlike every other human being.
Now I just KNOW you really understand that being certain about something about which you have no first hand knowledge and being certain about some thing you yourself did are not comparable in any way. Right? Sure you do.
Who said that? There’s so many people like him that we have a name for it. Narcissist.
Narcissists know what they do. The kind of person you are talking about is “an amnesiac” or a “closed head injury victim.”
Trump may BE an amnesiac based on this tweet. Does he know that he ended DACA?
Did Nixon do anything wrong?
Did Nixon believe he did anything wrong?
Was Watergate a witch-hunt?
Did Nixon believe Watergate was a witch-hunt?
No. That’s why he engaged in a cover-up. He was told by his lawyer that he was doing something wrong. Do you even know waht Watergate was? Listen to the tapes. He’s talking about bribing crooks not to talk.
Nixon was a brilliant lawyer,and was prepared to argue that a President could not commit a crime. That’s not the same as believing that nothing happened. Clinton knew he had sex with that woman, too.
If you can’t laugh at conservative gadfly humorist Kurt Schlichter’s take on the Mueller investigation, you’ve lost all perspective.
(I also think he’s right.)
And here is law prof Jonathan Turley saying essentially the same thing, but without the humor:
I think this is a classic example of a Freudian slip from Carl Bernstein.