Donald Trump’s reelection campaign released a memo to television producers on March 25 calling out television stations for booking guests who made claims that there was evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government.
The memo listed Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), DNC Chairman Tom Perez and former CIA Director John Brennan, along with each guest’s respective quotes about collusion evidence. The six individuals were guests on CNN, NBC, MSNBC and CBS, and made appearances from October, 2017 through October, 2018.
The memo asked that, going forward, television networks “employ basic journalistic standards when booking such guests to appear anywhere in your universe of productions.”
The memo also recommends that networks ask themselves if guests “warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past” when considering welcoming guests back onto the network. Should a network decide to bring back an aforementioned guest, the memo suggests the network replay the guests’ previous statements and then challenge the guests to provide the evidence which led them to make their original statement.
Rep. Eric Swalwell responded in a tweet, stating: “The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump. If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court.”
“Senator Blumenthal has never claimed that Special Counsel Mueller could clear the incredibly high bar to bring charges of criminal conspiracy in this case,” said Richard Blumenthal’s spokesperson. “But there is obvious, significant evidence of Trump campaign collusion already in the public realm.”
This memo came one day after Attorney General William Barr summarized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Barr’s summary revealed that the Mueller investigation did not find sufficient evidence to prosecute for collusion, but it also did not exonerate the president.
The statements made by the previously mentioned guests appear to conflict with Barr’s summary. For example, Blumenthal stated on MSNBC that “The evidence is pretty clear that there was collision between the Trump campaign and the Russians…”