On the eve of the release of the redacted final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, President Trump declared victory over the media in the "spying" narrative, citing a new poll finding more Americans agreeing with his view that the Obama administration "spied" on his campaign than with the left-leaning media's insistence that there's "nothing to see here."
"Nolte: Poll Shows Media Failed to Gaslight Public About Trump Campaign Spying," Trump tweeted Wednesday night.
Trump was quoting former Daily Wire writer John Nolte's report for Breitbart on a new poll finding that a plurality of Americans agree with Trump and Attorney General William Barr that the Obama administration effectively "spied" on his campaign.
"Despite the media’s best effort to gaslight the public into believing otherwise, a plurality of voters accurately believe Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was spied on," writes Nolte. Citing a new poll by Politico, Nolte points out that "nearly four in ten voters (38 percent) said they believe spying occurred, while only 28 percent said there was no spying." Slightly more than a third of respondents (35%), either had no opinion or didn't know.
Among Republicans, 57% said they believed the Obama administration spied on Trump, as did almost a quarter (24%) of Democrats.
"This might be the greatest media fail in the history of media fails," Nolte writes. "It most certainly is yet one more piece of evidence of an ever-growing pile that the media have lost almost all of their ability to influence public opinion."
The spying debate reignited last week when Barr said he believed that "spying did occur" on the president’s campaign, sparking outcry from many in the left-leaning media and close scrutiny of Barr's comments afterward appearing to walk back the allegation.
In its report on the poll, Politico notes that more than half of respondents were aware of Barr's claim. "More than a quarter, 26 percent, said they have seen, heard or read 'a lot' about Barr’s spying claim, and 32 percent said they have seen, heard or read 'some.'" Politico reports. "One-fifth of respondents said they hadn’t seen, heard or read much about the comments, and 21 percent were fully in the dark, saying they hadn’t seen, heard or read anything 'at all' about it."
Nolte goes on to present a damning take on what appears to have taken place in 2016:
The very idea that it is not spying when the Obama administration uses the C.I.A. and F.B.I. to wiretap Trump campaign personnel (and go so far as to lie to obtain those warrants), to employ covert personnel and covert sourcing to gather information, to lure unsuspecting Trump campaign staffers to overseas
honey trapsmeetings, to launch a massive operation to covertly gather information on a presidential campaign and base it on oppo research gathered by the opposing campaign… To argue this is not spying is like arguing against the wetness of water.
Trump tweeted out the Politico poll's findings on the same day that he issued a series of tweets on the "witch hunt" against him, including pointing out a Judicial Watch report on the relationship between "Trump hater" former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele and the FBI. "Wow! FBI made 11 payments to Fake Dossier’s discredited author, Trump hater Christopher Steele," wrote Trump. "The Witch Hunt has been a total fraud on your President and the American people! It was brought to you by Dirty Cops, Crooked Hillary and the DNC."