Senate Releases Russia Report; Media Interpretations Differ

Headline Roundup August 20th, 2020

On Tuesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released its Russia interference report. The 966-page report was a bipartisan investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election. The Senate panel found no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election, though it did find a list of contacts made between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials; some of these contacts were allegedly made through Konstantin Kilimnik, a former associate of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s, who was named a “Russian intelligence officer” by the report. The Senate committee also heavily criticized the FBI’s vetting of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele's opposition research file against Trump, saying the bureau's handling of the dossier “lacked rigor and transparency.”

Some coverage from right-rated outlets acknowledged the report painted Trump in a bad light, while other coverage from the right focused on the purported lack of evidence of collusion and the criticism of the FBI's handling of the Steele dossier. Coverage from left-rated outlets primarily focused on how the report ostensibly contradicted Trump's stance on the Russia investigation; some also highlighted Paul Manafort's alleged connections to Russian intelligence officers.

Senate Releases Russia Report; Media Interpretations Differ

From the Left
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During the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings, Republican House members led by Rep. Devin Nunes repeatedly declared that the real scandal was not President Trump’s attempt to muscle the Ukrainian president but Ukraine’s supposed intervention in the 2016 election to harm Trump. Other Trumpers, including Rudy Giuliani, Fox News hosts, and assorted right-wing partisans and journalists, have passionately decried the Trump-Russia affair as a hoax and insisted that Ukrainian interference was the true wrongdoing. And Trump himself has denied that Vladimir Putin attacked the election, and he has called for...

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From the Center
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The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released its long-awaited Russia interference report detailing significant contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow during the 2016 election.

The fifth and final volume, just shy of 1,000 pages, lays out the counterintelligence threats and vulnerabilities that were exposed through Russian contacts and a willingness by some members of the Trump campaign to accept foreign assistance.

Its release comes more than a year after former special counsel Robert Mueller wrapped up his 22-month investigation in which he did not find evidence to charge any...

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From the Right
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The Senate Intelligence Committee said in a long-awaited report released Tuesday that there is no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election, affirming the findings of other investigations into an alleged Trump-Kremlin conspiracy.

The Intelligence Committee’s report, which clocks in at 966 pages, also offers a scathing assessment of the FBI’s handling of the so-called Steele dossier, a key document in the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theory.

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