Last Thursday, The New York Times reported that the House Intelligence Committee, led by professional leaker Rep. Adam Schiff of California, had been briefed that Russia was interfering on behalf of Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
This set off all of the usual klaxons about the Kremlin for about the 287th time during Trump’s presidency — almost all of which have turned out to be false. But no, this time it was pretty unequivocal: Moscow preferred Trump to stay in the White House because they knew they could deal with him.
The next day it was reported that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, had been briefed about Russian interference on his behalf, too. The plot didn’t just thicken; it congealed.
The Times’ reporting began to shift gears a bit on Sunday. The accounts coming out of the House Intelligence Committee became “muddied.” There was some talk that the intelligence official who gave the briefing, Shelby Pierson, may have left out some “subtle nuance” regarding the intelligence community’s conclusions regarding Russia’s interference.
Throughout the week, reports from intelligence officials made it clear that the original Times report wasn’t accurate. While various articles may have diverged in terms of how wrong the original report was, one thing was indisputable: The Times’ first report was essentially weaponized leaking by Democrats.