Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein issued a rallying call to American journalists reporting on the Russian investigation, saying more details about the affair will keep cropping up each day now, reports the Washington Examiner.
Speaking to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Bernstein also slammed Donald Trump’s “witch hunt” defense, saying the “fiction” that the president had concocted about the Russian investigation being an invention of the Democrats is well and truly dead following the indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officials this past week by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Bernstein, whose reporting along with fellow journalist Bob Woodward was instrumental to Richard Nixon’s downfall in the 1970s, said it was imperative that journalists stop focusing on how Trump has shaped his defense, instead asking them to use their energies on keeping up with the extraordinary amount of detail that seems to be emerging from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. He also dismissed the idea that Trump cannot be trusted to represent the American grievance during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, which is set to take place later today in Helsinki, Finland.
“We have to assume what we saw with Rod Rosenstein on Friday is very much part of the dynamic of Helsinki, and that indeed the president’s object has been, throughout, to make this appear as a ‘witch hunt,'” he said.
“It is now demonstrable to all, for all to see, this is not a witch hunt. And if he tries to use Helsinki with Putin to once again claim that this is a witch hunt, as we heard in that setup, the idea somehow that the press or that the investigators are responsible for the horrors of undermining our elections in a way that has been shown definitively in what Rod Rosenstein laid out on Friday, that’s part of the story.”
Earlier in January this year, Bernstein had rued the fact that Donald Trump’s base seemed to be falling for his “witch hunt” defense, but with the evidence of Russian tampering being so readily available for all to see, Bernstein believes there will be a shift in Trump’s approach. And there has been, as the Inquisitr reported last week. Trump’s first official reaction to the news of Russian indictments was to blame former President Barack Obama for not doing anything about it — a notion that has already been quashed.
But at the very least, from considering the Russian investigation a work of fiction, the American president now acknowledges that there was interference. Whether or not he will bring that up with Putin is another matter, but Bernstein believes that journalists have to be on their toes because the current White House is “very porous” and therefore an instrument of its own downfall.