GARDNER: National headlines strain credibility

President Trump ended the partial government shutdown last Friday until Feb. 15.

(File / The Herald)

By DANIEL L. GARDNER

Columnist

Friday, Jan. 11, the New York Times headline: “F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia.” Yes, America’s presumed leading newspaper, the one self-described as “Printing all the news that’s fit to print,” asked whether the president of the United States of America is a Russian spy.

Attributing this news “to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation,” the article stated, “Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia…”

Needless to say, the showdown, the shutdown and the wall all fell “below the fold” of news media immediately. Sunday morning news programs led with the Russian agent story wall-to-wall as talking heads speculated whether President Trump is a Russian spy.

Full disclosure: I’ve read thrillers, spy books and mysteries for decades but do not remember any work of fiction ever saying the president was a Russian spy. When presidents have been mentioned, they’ve generally been characterized as heroes or incompetent politicos. This latest attack on Trump from the progressive left has simultaneously exceeded reason and fiction.

The old and cold Russian collusion story has made an intergalactic leap from political campaign staff and acquaintances secretly meeting with spies to steal the election for president to the president himself being a Russian spy.

It’s not like Trump sold 20 percent of America’s uranium to Russia or Russia paid his spouse $500,000 for a speech and private meetings with government officials or paid thousands of dollars to a former foreign agent and Russian operatives for “salacious” information used to get a FISA warrant to wiretap the opposing campaign. The progressive left media quickly dismissed those and many other intriguing acts as “nothing to see here.”

In the meantime, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel (D-NY) said he will shut down one of the committee’s subcommittees on terrorism and create a subcommittee to investigate Trump. House oversight committee chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) asked Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to testify publicly next month. So, Cohen who has been convicted of lying to congress and who will serve prison time for this felony will, in his words, “give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired.”

Not to be outdone by his Democratic colleagues, House intelligence committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) said his committee will investigate Trump and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Obviously, from the Democrats and progressive media’s point of view, Trump’s secret life as a Russian spy far supersedes any congressional business dealing with a government shutdown, immigration, border security, the opioid epidemic or law enforcement officers being slain by illegal aliens.

Coincidently, Trump’s bringing border law enforcement agents, officers and leaders to the White House to address threats they face daily and solutions they have requested for years to help them do their jobs of securing our borders was woefully underreported. Who knew those charged with securing our borders had any opinions about barriers and other means of stopping all manner of illegal activity?

Meanwhile CNN’s Jim Acosta reported those steel barriers on the southern border get really hot in sunshine and nobody is trying to breach the border through steel barriers. Keep up the great work, Jim.

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Mississippi. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com, or interact with him on the Clarion-Ledger website at www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion.