MSNBC Claims ‘No Evidence’ Iran Out to Damage Trump, NBC Says Otherwise

News & Politics

In a late press conference Wednesday night, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and other members of the intelligence community revealed that Iran and Russia had obtained voter information; with the former using the information to send out malicious and threatening emails to “damage President Trump.” But MSNBC talking head Rachel Maddow took umbrage with the DNI’s assessment, asserting there was no evidence. But just two weeks ago, NBC Nightly News warned of their efforts.

Kicking off her show by highlighting threatening emails purportedly sent by the Proud Boys telling Democratic voters in different states to “vote Trump or else” (with full names and addresses), Maddow was incensed that Ratcliffe would only allude to the emails in the announcement.

Speaking on the emails, Ratcliffe told the American people: “To that end, we have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump. You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours or you may have even been one of the recipients of those emails.”

What are you talking about? Spit it out. I mean, this is the newly-appointed director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, who up until now has had trouble remembering that the office of the director of national intelligence is not supposed to be an arm of the Trump campaign,” she sneered.

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Seemingly oblivious to the words coming out of her mouth, Maddow proceeded to spell out how the emails were damaging to Trump while insisted they were “designed” to help him win the election:

I mean, why would you look at those “vote Trump or else” emails and describe them as an effort to damage President Trump? I mean, these are threatening emails literally telling Democratic registered voters that if they don’t vote for President Trump, a violent far right group of Trump supporters is going to come after them and hurt them, and by the way we know where you live. How is that an effort to damage President Trump?

At least I think this is what he’s describing as an attack by Iran. But he also said it’s designed to hurt President Trump when clearly this is designed to do the opposite,” she scoffed. “So, maybe he’s talking about something else altogether. We don’t know, he never explained.”

Um, Rachel? You just got done boasting about how your viewers had forwarded the messages to you and the FBI. That’s how they’re damaging to Trump. The messages were designed to allow you and the rest of the liberal media to pounce on them and try to tie them to the President.

Shortly after Maddow’s claims there, the on-screen headline proclaimed: “Ratcliffe says Iran scheme ‘damage’ Trump but offers no evidence of that” (pictured above).”

But here’s the fun part. Two weeks ago to the day, NBC’s Richard Engel spoke with U.S. National Counterintelligence & Security Center director William Evanina for Nightly News and he warned viewers of Iranian efforts to meddle in our election (video above).

“Yeah, they all are. And I would throw Iran in there as well,” Evanina said on the countries putting out disinformation. “We see all three countries — Iran, China, and Russia — all engaged in enhancing and exacerbating protests on the West Coast.”

Interestingly enough, Maddow herself was one of the reasons the fake emails went as viral as they did. As Daily Caller reporter Chuck Ross pointed out on Twitter, “[Maddow] said tonight she’s puzzled why Ratcliffe would claim that Iran was trying to harm Trump by posing as Proud Boys to threaten Democrat voters. She circulated the fake Proud Boys story yesterday, which was Iran’s goal all along.”

And to make matters even worse for the left, Ross’s colleague Peter Hasson reported the anti-Trump Lincoln Project was also responsible for giving the Iranian disinformation traction.

At the time, Engel wanted to keep the focus on Russia, but he kept in Evanina’s warning about Iran.

Maddow’s ridiculous outrage at the facts was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Liberty Mutual and Tide. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they’re funding.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show
October 21, 2020
9:04:46 p.m. Eastern

(…)

RACHEL MADDOW: Now, tonight, the FBI announced this very short notice press conference. They said, to alert the American people about some serious election security matter, and we think these “vote Trump or else” emails were what they were talking about. But it’s hard to know. They never actually said what they were talking about.

Two of the four officials who stood up there at the podium didn’t talk at all. None of them took any questions whatsoever which means it wasn’t a press conference, it was just a press release they read out loud.

The FBI director was one of only two officials who spoke at this event this evening. And he said substantively nothing. He just spoke in vague generalities about how hard the FBI is working to make sure everything is cool in the election and you should call them if you see a crime. He said nothing specifically about what’s happened here at all.

What we got at this odd not-press-conference was a written statement read aloud by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe who was recently appointed by President Trump. What he delivered in the statement was definitely some drama. Right? Less than two weeks from the election, this short notice press conference on an urgent election security matter, there is drama to that. But what it comes to what he actually communicated, frankly nobody actually knows what he was talking about.

DNI JOHN RATCLIFFE: We would like to alert the public that we have identified that two foreign actors, Iran and Russia, have taken specific actions to influence public opinion relating to our elections.

First, we have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately by Russia. This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos, and undermine your confidence in American democracy.

To that end, we have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump. You may have seen some reporting on this in the last 24 hours or you may have even been one of the recipients of those emails.

MADDOW: What are you talking about? Spit it out. I mean, this is the newly-appointed director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, who up until now has had trouble remembering that the office of the director of national intelligence is not supposed to be an arm of the Trump campaign.

I mean, we assume what he’s talking about here is these intimidating “vote Trump or else” emails that were sent to Democratic registered voters in Florida and in numerous other states, but maybe that’s not what he’s talking about.

I mean, why would you look at those “vote Trump or else” emails and describe them as an effort to damage President Trump? I mean, these are threatening emails literally telling Democratic registered voters that if they don’t vote for President Trump, a violent far right group of Trump supporters is going to come after them and hurt them, and by the way we know where you live.

How is that an effort to damage President Trump?

The Director of National Intelligence is calling this an attack by Iran. At least I think this is what he’s describing as an attack by Iran. But he also said it’s designed to hurt President Trump when clearly this is designed to do the opposite. So, maybe he’s talking about something else altogether. We don’t know, he never explained.

(…)

[Later, on-screen headline reads: “Ratcliffe says Iran scheme “damage” Trump but offers no evidence of that”]

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