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Goldberg Continues Digging His Own Grave Despite GLOWING Praise for ‘Amazing’ Hit Piece



Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg must have thought early Tuesday evening that he was making matters better when he appeared on CNN’s The Situation Room to discuss his hit piece against President Trump, but despite host Wolf Blitzer’s gushing praise for his “amazing” “bombshell” we all should be “grateful” for, he continued to undermine the central claims of his tale.

Throughout the eight-minute-and-35-second segment, Goldberg faced no real challenge from Blitzer, showed us how he’s long been a go-to messenger for what some call the Deep State, and illustrated why he was a reliable flack for the Obama regime.

 

 

The most embarrassing and notable moment came partway through when Blitzer asked Goldberg to react to former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s stringent denials of his claims that Trump called deceased U.S. soldiers “suckers” and “losers” on a 2018 trip to Europe and that, for that reason, he didn’t want to go to a World War I cemetery.

Goldberg acknowledged Bolton, but then promptly gaslighted CNN’s perpetually-burned audience by dismissing weather concerns as “a sub-issue” and “not the main issue.”

He continued on while building a strawman the size of a skyscraper:

[B]ut I understand that Bolton said that the trip to the cemetery was canceled by the Secret Service. I have other information that suggests otherwise. I think there’s not a lot that’s incompatible here. I think that it was raining. I think the Secret Service and the Marine Corps said it might be difficult to get there. I would just note for the record that the chancellor of Germany and the president of France both managed to get to the cemetery outside of Paris that day, so the denials rang a little bit hollow to me. 

Therefore, Goldberg claimed the weather was not an issue and insinuated it was a cover by a lying Secret Service for a cranky President. But even if it were, he painted a picture that weather wasn’t massive in the grand scheme of things.

As our friend Jerry Dunleavy from the Washington Examiner noted, November 10, 2018’s weather was the topic of the lead paragraph in Goldberg’s story, so Goldberg undercut…himself.

On the night Goldberg’s story was published, a redacted email was published from the President’s military aide that said “we are a BAD [weather] call for today’s lift” to the cemetery Trump was slated to visit.

Goldberg should have been aware of the fact that the security footprint for the world leaders mentioned above were far less than the President of the United States, one of them was in their home country (France), the President was not in North America, and part of his security detail includes control over things such as the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. But facts couldn’t get in his way.

And since Blitzer has long since willfully chosen to cease being a journalist, he didn’t pushback on any of this and treated Goldberg’s article as 100 percent fact. If he were, he would have also asked about The Atlantic’s political tilt, such as the fact that one of the biggest funders is Democratic donor Laurene Powell Jobs.

Blitzer was shilling from before the interview started, boasting in a tease he’d speak with the “reporter behind that bombshell story” and after bringing in Goldberg, he gleefully wondered whether Goldberg was “working on additional reporting that will have a similarly extraordinary impact.”

Goldberg demurred and the two chatted as friends of the Swamp (click “expand”):

GOLDBERG: Well, I’m not going to answer that question, Wolf. I would say — I would say that I’m looking into other aspects of this, of course, as any reporter would, following up. There are a lot of reporters who are also asking questions. The Washington Post had a very interesting follow-up just yesterday or the day before on the long record of Trump making disparaging remarks. Fox News notably, as you know, had some good reporting on this. I — I just think that there’s more to explore on this subject because his relationship with the military is so unusual as we saw yesterday when he launched an open attack on his military service chiefs calling them war profiteers, which is, you and I have both been around Washington for a little while, I can’t remember another president attacking essentially the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making baseless charges against them in public. That was — that was unusual. 

BLITZER: Yeah. Since your article came out, it’s only been a few days. A lot more insiders have reached out to share their own similar accounts or equally disturbing ones. But there have been a whole bunch of others who were in Paris with the President who’ve denied it saying they never heard him utter these kinds of words. So, what do you say to that? 

GOLDBERG: I say that that’s not surprising that people who work for Donald Trump are saying that he didn’t say it or that in their presence he didn’t say it. I’m confident of my sources. I have sources very senior level. As did, by the way, Fox and other outlets including CNN, I believe. They have good sources too and I believe that – that these are true accountings of what was said. 

After a clip of Trump denouncing some Pentagon officials as war profiteers for defense contractors, Blitzer denounced Trump’s “pretty outrageous statement” and predicted that “generals and admirals…must be so angry at the President.”

Apparently, Blitzer chose to plead willful ignorance on who advisers, lobbies for, and staffs defense contractors and never heard of the military industrial complex.

Click “expand” to read more of how Goldberg both shows his partisan form as a chosen mouthpiece for people like Ben Rhodes and how Blitzer closed the interview (click “expand”):

GOLDBERG: [T]hese generals and admirals are very professional people and they’re also used to this style of leadership. I mean, my reaction to this is that it doesn’t make any sense even within – even within the framework of what he’s talking about because on other days he’s bragged about how much money he’s spending on armaments and of course, as a very transactional President, one who’s looking to make a lot of arms sales overseas, he’s very happy when the American military industrial complex, however you want to frame it, makes big sales to countries, including nondemocratic countries. So, I didn’t really understand. It doesn’t track with his own record. And certainly, you know, — as I – as I — as I noted, it’s certainly not a line of discourse that you hear presidents say. I mean, if you can only imagine the internet would’ve melted had President Obama said the same thing or any president for that matter. It was just — I don’t know how to explain it because it doesn’t – it’s not consistent with anything else. But that’s the – that’s the issue here in these sort of seat of the pants commentaries. We’re not really sure what he’s talking about much of the time. 

(…)

BLITZER: Bottom line, you stand by your reporting, right? 

GOLDBERG: Oh, of course, yes. Absolutely

BLITZER: Jeffrey, well, you’ve done amazing reporting and we’re grateful to you. 

In the next hour, Blitzer reiterated his admiration for Goldberg’s partisan journalism, boasting to New York Times columnist Tom Friedman:

In the last hour I spoke to The Atlantic – The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg about his amazing reporting about the president’s disparaging remarks about the U.S. military. As you know, there’s been some pressure for those who are speaking out off the record to now come on the record, attach their names to their comments.

CNN’s latest gaslighting and adoption of “if it rings true, it is true” as a journalistic principle was brought to you by advertisers such as ClearChoice, MRHFM (the Mesothelioma Law Firm), Priceline, and Progressive. Follow the links to the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

To see the relevant CNN transcript from September 8, click “expand.”

CNN’s The Situation Room
September 8, 2020
5:16 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

WOLF BLITZER: Up next, sources tell CNN President Trump is visibly distressed about a new report alleging he disparaged fallen American soldiers as both “suckers” and “losers.” The reporter behind that bombshell story. There he is, Jeffrey Goldberg. He is standing by. We will discuss. 

(….)

5:20 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: President Trump is set to be visibly distressed by the fallout from the article published by The Atlantic quoting multiple sources as saying he disparaged Americans who died in wars as both “losers” and “suckers.” Although the President is forcefully and repeatedly denied making such statements, CNN and several other major news organizations have matched parts of the reporting. We’re joined now by The Atlantic’s editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg. Jeffrey, thanks so much for joining us. Let’s discuss the fallout from your bombshell article. You say the reporting is only just beginning. Are you working on additional reporting that will have a similarly extraordinary impact right now? 

JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Well, I’m not going to answer that question, Wolf. I would say — I would say that I’m looking into other aspects of this, of course, as any reporter would, following up. There are a lot of reporters who are also asking questions. The Washington Post had a very interesting follow-up just yesterday or the day before on the long record of Trump making disparaging remarks. Fox News notably, as you know, had some good reporting on this. I — I just think that there’s more to explore on this subject because his relationship with the military is so unusual as we saw yesterday when he launched an open attack on his military service chiefs calling them war profiteers, which is, you and I have both been around Washington for a little while, I can’t remember another president attacking essentially the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making baseless charges against them in public. That was — that was unusual. 

BLITZER: Yeah. Since your article came out, it’s only been a few days. A lot more insiders have reached out to share their own similar accounts or equally disturbing ones. But there have been a whole bunch of others who were in Paris with the President who’ve denied it saying they never heard him utter these kinds of words. So, what do you say to that? 

GOLDBERG: I say that that’s not surprising that people who work for Donald Trump are saying that he didn’t say it or that in their presence he didn’t say it. I’m confident of my sources. I have sources very senior level. As did, by the way, Fox and other outlets including CNN, I believe. They have good sources too and I believe that – that these are true accountings of what was said. 

BLITZER: And your reaction to what the President’s former national security adviser John Bolton has said publicly. He was in Paris with the President as well. 

GOLDBERG: Um, yeah. Yeah. He said that. This is about a sub issue about whether or not he – whether or not Trump wanted to go to the cemetery that day or didn’t want to go to the cemetery that day. I think this is not the main issue, but I understand that Bolton said that the trip to the cemetery was canceled by the Secret Service. I have other information that suggests otherwise. I think there’s not a lot that’s incompatible here. I think that it was raining. I think the Secret Service and the Marine Corps said it might be difficult to get there. I would just note for the record that the chancellor of Germany and the president of France both managed to get to the cemetery outside of Paris that day, so the denials rang a little bit hollow to me. 

BLITZER: Listen to what, you mentioned it, but I want to play the clip what the President said yesterday about the top military brass. Listen to this. 

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I’m not saying the military’s in love with me. The soldiers are. The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy. 

BLITZER: As I said yesterday, it was a pretty outrageous statement when you think about it. I’ve been a – I’ve covered the military for a long, long time going back 30 years, the first Gulf War when I was CNN’s Pentagon correspondent and I’ve worked and reported on a lot of generals and admirals and they must be so angry at the President right now, especially the active duty top brass when they hear the President make an accusation like that. What was your reaction when you heard it? 

GOLDBERG: Well, something like that. Although I do – I do think that, you know, these — these generals and admirals are very professional people and they’re also used to this style of leadership. I mean, my reaction to this is that it doesn’t make any sense even within – even within the framework of what he’s talking about because on other days he’s bragged about how much money he’s spending on armaments and of course, as a very transactional President, one who’s looking to make a lot of arms sales overseas, he’s very happy when the American military industrial complex, however you want to frame it, makes big sales to countries, including nondemocratic countries. So, I didn’t really understand. It doesn’t track with his own record. And certainly, you know, — as I – as I — as I noted, it’s certainly not a line of discourse that you hear presidents say. I mean, if you can only imagine the internet would’ve melted had President Obama said the same thing or any president for that matter. It was just — I don’t know how to explain it because it doesn’t – it’s not consistent with anything else. But that’s the – that’s the issue here in these sort of seat of the pants commentaries. We’re not really sure what he’s talking about much of the time. 

BLITZER: Yeah. I mean, I can’t imagine any president saying that these generals, these admirals, the only thing they want are these endless wars to send young men and women off to war so that the defense contractors can make a lot of money. There have been, as you know, Jeffrey, calls from a lot of people on both sides of the aisle for the sources who spoke to you in private to go public. Do you expect any of your sources to make that decision, go out there on the record and issue a statement? 

GOLDBERG: Um, I have no real comment on that and no expectation one way or the other. I mean, these are people who feel strongly about the things they’ve told me and told others and I would imagine that they’re all contemplating saying various things. We’ve seen — you know, we’ve obviously seen leaks before in statements from other people who’ve been associated in some manner or form with this administration. It wouldn’t surprise me if people did, but I don’t really have any insight that I can share on that with you. 

BLITZER: Cause — cause there has been what I call a deafening silence coming from some of the generals who worked with the President, Generals McMaster or Mattis or Kelly since the release of your story. I don’t think any of them have issued any public statement. Is that right? 

GOLDBERG: I have not seen anything, no. 

BLITZER: And you would – you would think that they would be reacting. But is there some sort of code, military code that is giving them, you know, pause and making a public statement against the sitting President of the United States that you’ve heard about? 

GOLDBERG: Yeah. Well, I think, and you have – you have broad experience in this, as you noted going back to the Persian Gulf War. You know, I think that when you reach that level in the military, it’s been engrained in you for so long that you are not political, that you are meant to be neutral and that the armed services exist above politics, it’s there to serve the Constitution and the president in that order, by the way and — and so, there is some hesitation to — to go out and — and become partisan in — in any way. There’s also a counterveiling feeling on the part of some people that this is not a normal situation and that this President says and does things that other presidents wouldn’t do and — and so I think that there’s a lot of internal, let’s say, and external pressure on various people to – to make statements of some sort before the election. But, again, you know, that’s not — I don’t have insight into their – into their thinking in terms of whether to go public or not. 

BLITZER: Bottom line, you stand by your reporting, right? 

GOLDBERG: Oh, of course, yes. Absolutely

BLITZER: Jeffrey, well, you’ve done amazing reporting and we’re grateful to you. Jeffrey Goldberg, thanks so much for joining us.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

(….)

6:20 p.m. Eastern

BLITZER: In the last hour I spoke to The Atlantic – The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg about his amazing reporting about the president’s disparaging remarks about the U.S. military. As you know, there’s been some pressure for those who are speaking out off the record to now come on the record, attach their names to their comments.



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