Editor’s Note: Rush Limbaugh posted a correction regarding the New York Times’ headline after this story was published. It says: “After today’s show we learned that the New York Times did not alter its headline. They say there were two headlines all along, one in the online version, and one in the print edition. The print edition used the word ‘wiretapped’ and the online edition never did. However, this does not change the premise that the story (Trump and Russians hacked the election) is waning in the MSM.”
This WND story has been corrected to reflect that the change was made between the print version and the online version.
The New York Times used the word “wiretapped” in the print headline of a pre-inauguration story on data being used by the federal government to investigate aides to President Donald Trump.
But not in the online version.
The variance came to light after Trump charged his campaign headquarters was wiretapped by the federal government, drawing criticism from longtime federal employees and Democrats.
The Times’ headline was “Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides” in print and “Intercepted Russian communications part of inquiry into Trump associates” online. The text of the story included the term “wiretapped.”
WND reported Monday that establishment media, including the Times itself, had reported the Trump campaign was under federal surveillance.
On Jan. 19, just as Trump was preparing for his inauguration the next day, the Times revealed, “American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as a part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump.”
The report speculated whether the “intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself.”
The Times referred to intelligence reports that are “based on some of the wiretapped communications” and said they were provided to the White House, at the time still under Barack Obama.
“Say, have you noticed, my friends, that the whole Russians-stole-the-election theme is gone? Have you noticed it’s not out there today? You can’t find a story on it? I’m gonna tell you why, ’cause we had a major role in this I am convinced right here on the EIB Network yesterday ’cause we nailed ’em.”
He posted an image of the print Times headline and said: “Have you seen any stories about the Russians hacking the elections? It’s gone, and so is the New York Times headline from the January 20th story with ‘wiretaps.’ They have gone back, and they have changed it. ‘Wiretaps’ is not in that headline anymore.”
He continued: “What has happened to the Democrats’ and media’s story on the Russians working with Trump to steal the election from Hillary? It’s gone. It’s not out there today. There aren’t any updates. We’ve got a revised New York Times headline – sneaky, sneaky, sneaky – as they postdate-change the headline, wiping out the word ‘wiretaps’ and ‘wiretapped’ from their headline on a story January 20th.”
The Master of None blog wondered whether someone figured out at the New York Times “that the word ‘wiretapped’ would prove troublesome.”
WND reported the Times piece, which carried four bylines and a contributor, said its discoveries would mean that Trump “will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation.”
The Times said Paul Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.
The Times had to admit, however, that, while “investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks [they] have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing.”
McClatchy, only a day earlier, had quoted two people “familiar” with the issue saying that the FBI and five other agencies were collaborating on an investigation into “Russian attempts to influence the November election.”
That probe was helped along by “a former British spy hired to develop politically damaging and unverified research about Trump,” the report said.
The report repeatedly refers to “email hacks” referencing the break-ins into the digital domain of the Democratic National Committee and others.
The claim at the time was that the hacks were done to hurt the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California said she even believed Russia’s tactics altered the election result.
And Breitbart pointed out over the weekend, shortly after Trump’s comments, the New York Times “has inadvertently attacked the credibility of its own reporting on the Obama administration’s investigation of Russia and now-President Donald Trump.”
“Times reporters Michael Schmidt and Michael Shear write that Trump believes the ‘deep state’ intelligence community, staffed with holdovers from the Obama administration, wiretapped several of his campaign associates because of a spurious article from Breitbart News.”
The report said Trump’s demand for a congressional inquiry into the issue “appears to be based, at least in part, on unproved claims by Breitbart News and conservative talk radio hosts that secret warrants were issued authorizing the tapping of the phones of Mr. Trump and his aides at Trump Tower in New York.”
But the Breitbart article “cites the Times’ own reporting on the intelligence community. Their January 19th article … quotes an anonymous source who says that ‘wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.'”
Obama, who has been documented to have used the surveillance apparatus of the U.S. government against his foes, has been defended by spokesmen who have been careful to leave “open the possibility of sensational executive overreach if not outright illegal activities.”
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said the “deep state” is in full rebellion against Trump and will go to any lengths to cover their tracks.
“I’ve been saying for some time that the scandal involves surveillance and illegal leaks of information concerning the Trump team,” he said.
“The left had been trying to distract the public with the unicorn theory of election and the Russians quote ‘stealing’ the election when in fact you had the president’s people in the Obama administration surveilling and trying to influence the election prior to it and then afterward leaking information in a way to destroy the Trump administration.”