Nick Wadhams, Saleha Mohsin, Stephanie Baker, and Jennifer Jacobs, reporting for Bloomberg*:
President Donald Trump pressed then-Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson to help persuade the Justice Department to drop a
criminal case against an Iranian-Turkish gold trader who was a
client of Rudy Giuliani, according to three people familiar with
the 2017 meeting in the Oval Office.
Tillerson refused, arguing it would constitute interference in an
ongoing investigation of the trader, Reza Zarrab, according to the
people. They said other participants in the Oval Office were
shocked by the request.
Tillerson immediately repeated his objections to then-Chief of
Staff John Kelly in a hallway conversation just outside the Oval
Office, emphasizing that the request would be illegal. Neither
episode has been previously reported, and all of the people spoke
on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the
Josh Marshall: “Expect a wave of time travel whistleblowers.”
* Bloomberg, of course, is the publication that published “The Big Hack” in October 2018 — a sensational story alleging that data centers of Apple, Amazon, and dozens of other companies were compromised by China’s intelligence services. The story presented no confirmable evidence at all, was vehemently denied by all companies involved, has not been confirmed by a single other publication (despite much effort to do so), and has been largely discredited by one of Bloomberg’s own sources. By all appearances “The Big Hack” was complete bullshit. Yet Bloomberg has issued no correction or retraction, and seemingly hopes we’ll all just forget about it. I say we do not just forget about it. Bloomberg’s institutional credibility is severely damaged, and everything they publish should be treated with skepticism until they retract the story or provide evidence that it was true.
★ Wednesday, 9 October 2019