Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) threw cold water on the latest anonymously sourced claim of a disagreement between Attorney General William Barr and Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program Tuesday night, Graham warned viewers to “be wary” of such reports.
“Be wary of the Washington Post and the New York Times reporting on what is coming up with Horowitz. They have been trying overtime to spin this thing to diminish its effect, to downplay it,” Graham said.
“I can tell you without any hesitation Attorney General Barr has every confidence in the world in Mr. Horowitz,” he added. “He believes that he has done a good job, a professional job, and he appreciates the work and the effort he has put into disclosing abuse at the Department of Justice.”
The Washington Post reported Monday, based on claims made by anonymous “people familiar with the matter,” that Barr “has told associates he disagrees with the Justice Department’s inspector general on one of the key findings in an upcoming report – that the FBI had enough information in July 2016 to justify launching an investigation into members of the Trump campaign.”
The “people familiar with the matter,” has been used by left-leaning media outlets during the Trump administration to publish, essentially, rumors and innuendo that don’t need to be proven. Often, the stories dominate press coverage for the day or week, and mainstream media outlets ignore or downplay real information from real sources that eventually disputes what was originally alleged.
Two major examples of this playing out came from McClatchy in 2018. In March, the outlet claimed that “two sources familiar with the matter” said Cleta Mitchell allegedly told someone she had concerns about the NRA’s ties to Russia. As The Daily Wire reported, Mitchell had not worked for the NRA in about a decade and repeatedly told McClatchy they had no story, yet the outlet published its article anyway. In April 2018, McClatchy claimed “two sources familiar with the matter” told them Special Counsel Robert Mueller had evidence that former attorney to President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, was in Prague in 2016. That story turned out to be complete disinformation, as Mueller wrote in his final report that he found no evidence to support this claim.
These are just two examples of many, yet despite the near constant falseness of the anonymous claims, left-leaning media outlets continuing to publish stories based on anonymous accounts.
One of the only on-the-record sources for the Post article came from Kerri Kupec, the spokeswoman for the DOJ, who praised Horowitz and cautioned against speculation before the report is released next week.
“The Inspector General’s investigation is a credit to the Department of Justice. His excellent work has uncovered significant information that the American people will soon be able to read for themselves,” Kupec said in a statement. “Rather than speculating, people should read the report for themselves next week, watch the Inspector General’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and draw their own conclusions about these important matters.”