In a truly pointless report, CNN is going after private text messages exchanged between Meadows and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) as well as Meadows and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX). For how much CNN loves to tout the over 1,400-word exclusive that took the work of four people for the piece, there's really little to nothing there, though.
One only needs to get to the fourth and to realize as much, if they haven't realized already:
When situated in the overall timeline of events between the election and January 6, the series of texts from Lee and Roy provide new details about how two Trump allies went from fierce advocates of the former President's push to overturn Joe Biden's win to disheartened bystanders. By January 3, Lee was texting Meadows that the effort "could all backfire badly."
The following paragraph is one short sentence. "But shortly after the election, both men were encouraging Trump to keep fighting," it read.
The piece is about Sen. Lee and Rep. Roy, but for Republican members of Congress to be "encouraging Trump to keep fighting" could refer to just about anyone in the days following the election, especially in a presidential election involving many concerns.
And then the next paragraphs read:
In a series of texts to Meadows on November 7, Lee offered his "unequivocal support for you to exhaust every legal and constitutional remedy at your disposal to restore Americans faith in our elections."
Lee went on: "This fight is about the fundamental fairness and integrity of our election system. The nation is depending upon your continued resolve. Stay strong and keep fighting Mr. President."
Oh, the horror.
NewsBusters' Curtis Houck tweeted strong words about the report.
Overall, this story is an absolute nothingburger and total sham, leaked by Adam Schiff and his buddies at the January 6 Committee to their BFFs at CNN.— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 15, 2022
When you're seeing leaks increase and they're sloppy like they are now (see the faux "gap" in Trump's phone logs), it's bunk.
On the substance, you notice that *both* Lee and Roy voted to certify the 2020 election. Period. They believe Joe Biden is the President.— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 15, 2022
That should be enough, but it's not for CNN as they're still out for blood.
All told, this was a desperate attempt to smear @ChipRoyTX and @SenMikeLee, two terrific men and public servants.— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) April 15, 2022
That this article was such a "nothingburger" didn't stop "Mike Lee" from trending on Twitter on Friday. Sen. Lee's opponent, Evan McMullin, who is running as an independent, tweeted his outrage about the senator, claiming Lee "was far more involved in the scheme to overturn the election than we previously knew."
McMullin pointed out that Lee was "even pursuing loopholes in the law to send illegitimate electors from key states."
Something tells me that @EvanMcMullin did not actually bother to read the CNN report he himself is tweeting. https://t.co/vTZ2xQv7Mf— Rebecca Downs (@RebeccaRoseGold) April 16, 2022
The CNN report has this to say, though:
In a January 3 text to Meadows, Lee argued that Trump's effort to have states send alternate slates of electors to Congress was not legitimate.
"I only know that this will end badly for the President unless we have the Constitution on our side," Lee texted in a note to Meadows. "And unless these states submit new slates of Trump electors pursuant to state law, we do not," Lee wrote to Meadows.
It's worth emphasizing that even CNN noted, multiple times, that Sen. Lee and Rep. Roy both voted to certify the election results.
To be fair, though, McMullin is running a desperate campaign to unseat a senator in a bright red state that is regarded as being as safe as possible.
Many others took to Twitter to rant against Sen. Lee and Rep. Roy, and did so in ways that showed they truly didn't get much else, if anything, from the report except that they were supposed to be outraged about some Republican members who texted things about the 2020 election. Rep. Roy's communications director, Nate Madden kept track of some of the particular hot takes.
Use the whole quote, Einstein https://t.co/oUKHRoMdDP pic.twitter.com/LxErwDbGCT— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) April 15, 2022
Or you could be honest and post the whole quote and realize that he was in fact arguing against doing this— John Smith (@smi76674008) April 15, 2022
That's really interesting framing.— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) April 15, 2022
Apparently looking into something and asking for evidence of it now counts as "vowing" ?? https://t.co/iFfGmP18B3
The report came out on Good Friday, a particularly holy day for Christians, and Rep. Roy tweeted that he had been off Twitter for most of the day, though he did acknowledge the report.
Been off social media this Good Friday, but apparently there’s quite a stir. I’ll say this once. No apologies for my private texts or public positions - to those on the left or right. I stand behind seeking truth, fighting nonsense, & then acting in defense of the Constitution.— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) April 15, 2022
Madden is quoting in the CNN report as telling the outlet that the text messages "speak for themselves."
Sen. Lee did not address the report on Twitter, though his communications director, Lee Lonsberry did speak to CNN. "In a statement to CNN, Lee's communications director, Lee Lonsberry, said, "I'd like to highlight that Senator Lee has been fully transparent," pointing to how Lee had called for an investigation into claims of fraud in the 2020 election but ultimately recognized Biden as president-elect and voted to certify the electoral results on January 6," the report mentioned.
It's seriously worth wondering who this audience is that CNN is trying to rile up and appeal to. Perhaps they themselves don't even know.
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