How Is The Trump Administration Stalking New York Times Reporters Today?
There is a strange and creepy update to the story about New York Times reporter Ali Watkins, formerly of BuzzFeed and Politico, who has been under surveillance because the Trump adminstration wants to BURN THE LEAKERS!
If you'll recall, a former staffer for the Senate Intelligence Committee, James Wolfe, was indicted on several counts of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Watkins, with whom he used to have a sexxxytime romance. In the process of its investigation, the government only spied on Watkins a little bit, so it's probably no big deal.
The Washington Post broke new details Tuesday night about the lengths the Trump administration went to in order to stalk Watkins, and they are a teensy bit creepy. Apparently last June, a government agent from Customs and Border Protection (CPB) named Jeffrey Rambo emailed Watkins from his personal email, without giving his name, to say he wanted to meet with her at a restaurant and tell her some journalism scoops. Journalists love journalism scoops! Instead, when they met, he started interrogating Watkins about how she did her reporter work, and also about Wolfe:
Rambo asked Watkins, then a reporter at Politico, about her relationship with James Wolfe, then the director of security for the Senate Intelligence Committee. He gave her accurate dates and destinations for trips the two had taken together overseas — a revelation that left Watkins rattled, a person familiar with the events said.
WEIRDO. Did James Rambo also meet Stormy Daniels behind the gym and say "pretty kid you got there, shame if anything were to happen to her mom?" WE ARE JUST WONDERING.
WaPo reports that Rambo also brought with him "what appeared to be a sheet of information about Wolfe, as well as the Senate staffer's current wife and his ex-wife," and also asked Watkins to help him wage Trump's war on the leakers, because that's totally what reporters are there for.
Now, Rambo is being looked at by the CPB's Office of Professional Responsibility because it's slightly weird for somebody from their agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, to be doing investigative work into leakers, because isn't that DOJ/FBI's job? It was DOJ, after all, which decided to get years of Watkins's phone/email records. (Which remains fucking ridiculous and bad.) But hey, maybe somebody at the White House called in a favor! Maybe one of the goons in the National Security Council said, "Hey, could you please abuse your access to detailed information about American citizens in order that we may further destroy American democracy in service to a conspicuously orange child king with front paws the size of a kitten's and haunches like a hippopotamus?"
IT COULDA HAPPENED THAT WAY.
Also, in another weird twist in the case, the New York Times is now "conducting a review" of Ali Watkins's past work, because obviously that is what they should be doing instead of screaming from the mountaintops about press freedom. So get ready for her to get thrown under the bus and for NYT to continue sucking!
After all, how else are they going to live up to their journalism motto, which is "Democracy dies in HEY LOOK, MAGGIE HABERMAN GOT SOME NEW LIES FROM THE WHITE HOUSE FOR US TO PUBLISH VERBATIM!"
Just kidding, that is not NYT's motto, but it should be.
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