Barack Obama’s political Svengali, David Axelrod, appeared on Wednesday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC to respond to the latest revelations regarding the Obama Justice Department’s extensive investigation into Associated Press reporters, including secret wiretaps and collections of phone logs of the reporters and their sources.
When asked about the “chilling effect” on reporters and sources due to the signal sent by the intrusive investigation, Axelrod slipped right into talking point spin zone and actually blamed Scarborough and others who had called for investigations into national security leaks in the Summer of 2012.
Last summer, I appeared with you, and you challenged me with the same tone, actually, on these leaks and said, ‘When is the president going to send a strong signal to people that leaking classified information won’t be tolerated?’ ‘When is is he going to make people accountable for these leaks?’ They’ve apparently interviewed 550 people and went to court and got a subpoena to do what they did. In order to do what you and others said should be done.
Scarborough, to his credit, pushed back on the false narrative and pressed Axelrod for a direct answer to the question rather than seeming to shift the argument onto the media and politicians who pressed for action against the leaks:
I’ve heard the president’s defenders try to say this, and I congratulate you guys for going off into a room and calling each other and coming up with this bogus argument, but never did I suggest that 100 AP reporters have all of their phone records seized, their private cell phone records seized, their home phone numbers seized. So please save that for somebody else that’s going to buy into that. Don’t shift this to me! Answer my question: Will sources, confidential sources inside the federal government be intimidated because of what this administration, according to The New York Times, has been doing from the very beginning?
After giving lip service to the freedom of the press, and reminding Scarborough that he too was once a reporter, Axelrod continued to press the narrative that the DOJ investigation was borne out of an effort to respond to critics of the Administration’s handling of leaks: “The fact is, that everyone in the summer was clambering for an investigation to do exactly what you now say you’re concerned about, which is chilling people who would leak.”
Watch the entire segment here: