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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 10 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
So @CNN just wrote this sentence: "Trump has been skeptical about the intelligence assessment that Russia meddled ever since he was first briefed on the issue during the presidential transition."

That's GREAT—given his first comprehensive briefing on this was on August 17, 2016.
2/ What gets me is this: that Trump was comprehensively briefed on the Russian threat on August 17, 2016 is absolutely *critical* to his legal liability in the Mueller probe *and* to the fact the CNN story in which the above language appears is irrelevant.…
3/ It seems like *no* effort has been made to understand *anything* about the theory of the case in the Mueller investigation, which is that Trump and campaign aides promised unilateral benefits to Russia *after* learning of Russian crimes on (and indeed before) August 17, 2016.
4/ So this error isn't minor—it's like confusing whether JFK was killed by a bullet or asphyxiation. If there's a journo in America who doesn't get that a) Trump's cover story *isn't newsworthy anymore*, and b) August 17, 2016 was a *key* date, take 'em off the Trump-Russia beat.
5/ Here's how much the American criminal justice system cares about Trump's claims he "doesn't believe" U.S. intelligence on Russia:
6/ So why has media spent a *year* reporting that Trump (says he) doesn't believe U.S. intelligence on Russia, when a) there's no reason to believe that's true, and b) it's legally irrelevant? And why is it pumping that story while *also* getting a fact that *does* matter wrong?
7/ Here's the whole Trump-Russia probe in *one* sentence: Trump continued to offer Russia a unilateral benefit after learning of Russian cyberwarfare on America—thus aiding and abetting Russian aggression in exchange for a) unspecified election assistance, and b) laundered money.
8/ The benefit offered was a unilateral dropping of sanctions, and the day that offer became illegal was August 17, 2016—a date many in media apparently don't know. But *legally* Trump knew there was a "high likelihood" of Russian crimes as of then—and he then aided/abetted them.
9/ So Trump's skepticism of U.S. intelligence is irrelevant, and his transition briefings on Russia nothing like top-line investigative data.

He continues to play the media like a fiddle and the media continues to report the news as though Trump were its collective News Editor.
10/ The Porter story is important.

It's also true that if the media had pursued the Russia story beginning in 2016 the way it's now pursuing the Porter story, Trump would be selling trinkets on Trump TV at this moment rather than contemplating whether to nuke the North Koreans.
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