RUSH: So I have to admit I'm somewhat distracted today, folks. I'm doing my best to stay focused here. What is distracting: I just got an email. You wouldn't believe how many people are little helpers out there. "You won't believe what just happened on CNN! You won't believe what just happened on Fox! You won't believe...!" I'm gonna have to shut the email down, otherwise I'm gonna get overloaded. I just... There's not a single break. Even as well as I multitask, there isn't a single person that could keep up with all this. But one of the things that I did see, "Oh, no, Rush! Oh, no! CNN says there's 18 contacts between the Trump administration and Russia. Oh, no! Is it over?" So I said, "Okay, what's this?" Not being one to panic. No need to panic. So I went out there, and it's from Reuters. It's a Reuters story. "Exclusive: Trump Campaign Had At Least 18 Undisclosed Contacts with Russia -- Sources." And here's how the story begins. And it's by... Have you noticed the number of people the Drive-Bys are assigning to every story? The New York Times sometimes assigns four people to a 500-word story. Three people here, two people over there. Mountains of people are being assigned. In this case, three people: Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel are writing exclusively for Reuters. "Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters." It's yet another group of unknown, unseen, anonymous current and former officials. "The previously undisclosed interactions..." Like these 18, they're brand-new, folks. Nobody knew about 'em 'til we at Reuters ferreted them out. "The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia." So again, we have an article presented without evidence and which is based entirely on anonymous sources. The only surprise being that it wasn't leaked to the New York Times and Washington Post, but I guess the deep state's getting guilty. "You know, we're giving so much to the Post and the Times, we gotta spread it out." So they decided to give some of this anonymous crap to Reuters. Maybe since so much of the anonymously sourced articles have turned out to be fake. Do you realize how much of this is made up and fake and has been proven to be fake? "Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said. ... The people who described the contacts to Reuters said they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far." What? What! W-w-w-what? What? Let me read this again. "Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak" that's the Russian ambassador "accelerated after the Nov. 8" election, which Trump won, as Flynn and the Russian ambassador "discussed establishing a back channel" so Trump and Putin could talk to each other. So as to hide their conversations from anybody else, particularly the intelligence community! That's the assertion: That Flynn was working with the Russian ambassador set up a red line, a red phone for only Trump and only Putin to chat on so the intel community could not monitor it, would not know it. The national security apparatus would be totally unaware. "The people who described the contacts to Reuters said they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far." Well, then what is the story? If the people who described the contacts to Reuters said they've "seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the communications," that's like every other story. No evidence! They tell you all these allegations, all these possibilities, all these suppositions, and in every story there's always this little line: "So far, no evidence has been presented to confirm the charges." So now Reuters is engaging in fake news. This... I don't know what it is -- media malpractice or whatever -- but if you drill down into the article, you discover the sentence that I just shared with you: "Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote..." So we're supposed to be outraged that the Trump transition team would be in contact with the Russians government. There's nothing unusual about that! Yet this headline: CNN, Reuters: Eighteen contacts! Eighteen conversation between the Russians and Trump! Of course there were! It's what happens if transitions. It's being portrayed here as sinister and sly. Plus, are we to believe also...? Have you ever heard of the red phone? You know back in the Cold War days there was an Oval Office phone, and if you picked it up, it only connected with the leader in the Kremlin. This isn't even new but they're trying to make it look like Trump and Putin? "Man, they're blood brothers! "Trump and Putin, they ran a scam here! Trump and Putin want to be able to talk and do whatever without media or anybody else being able to overhear," as though standard operating procedure is the media does get to listen to Trump call Putin. All of this is flat-out absurd! Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts! It just means you didn't know about it when it happened. It doesn't mean they're trying to keep you from learning about it. It's a transition! And then the killer: "The people who describe the contacts to Reuters said they have seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion." Well, then what's the story? The "18 undisclosed contacts"? I'll tell you how this works, 'cause the people that send me this on CNN think it's another nail in the coffin. "Oh, my God, Rush! Oh, no, and it's right before Trump's press conference at 3:45! Oh, no." There's no news here. There literally is no news. BREAK TRANSCRIPT RUSH: You know, this mythical contact between the Trump transition team and the Russians -- and there's nothing illegal about it, which Reuters has to admit after two or three paragraphs of drama. By the way, new presidents, new administrations have conversations with foreign governments. It's standard operating procedure. Reuters: "18 previously undisclosed..." People have forgotten. You know what? It may not be that people have forgotten. It may well be that most people never even knew. Are you aware of all of the back-channel conversations Obama had with real enemies of this country? Iran, for one. I have here a piece from John Hinderaker at Power Line from the 15th of February this year. "n 2008, while he was running for the presidency, Barack Obama deliberately undermined American foreign policy by secretly encouraging Iran's mullahs to hold out until he became president, because he would be easier to deal with than President George Bush. I wrote about the Obama scandal here: 'How Barack Obama Undercut Bush Administration’s Nuclear Negotiations With Iran.'" Obama's not even elected and he is undermining American foreign policy, secretly encouraging Iran's mullahs to hold out, to suspend any talks until Obama becomes elected. This is like Obama talking to Dmitry Medvedev in 2012 somewhere. There's an open mic, Obama's coming up on reelection in 2012, and he says to Dmitry Medvedev, "Tell Vlad to be patient. I'll have more flexibility after I win reelection." They were talking about the American nuclear arsenal and Obama's expressed desire to reduce it.
"In 2008, the Bush administration, along with the 'six powers,' was negotiating with Iran concerning that country’s nuclear arms program." This all didn't start with Obama, by the way. You know, Obama, the media wants you to think Obama got elected, then we got serious talking to. No, it was all going on before Obama even got elected. "The Bush administration's objective was to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. "On July 20, 2008, the New York Times headlined: 'Nuclear Talks With Iran End in a Deadlock.'" What caused the talks to break off? Here's what the Times said: "Iran responded with a written document that failed to address the main issue: international demands that it stop enriching uranium. And Iranian diplomats reiterated before the talks that they considered the issue nonnegotiable." The Iranians held firm to this position 'cause they knew that help was on the way. They knew that Obama was probably gonna get elected, and if Obama got elected, they were gonna be much less controlled. They'd have many more options. So they just stalled negotiations -- which, if you're the Iranians, you don't blame 'em. You know, Bush is leaving. Bush is the hardliners. Bush doesn't want you to get nuclear weapons. The incoming guy might be sympathetic. So you freeze negotiations 'til Obama gets in, and you do that based on Obama's assurances as a candidate. This is obscene!