Networks Kept ‘No Collusion’ Senate Investigation Result Off Evening Newscasts, Report Says

February 15, 2019 Updated: February 15, 2019

Major broadcast networks excluded from their evening news the results of the Senate Intelligence Committee investigation, which found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, in the past two years, the evening newscasts dedicated over 2,200 minutes, nearly fifth of their Trump-related reporting, to the Russia investigation, according to the right-leaning nonprofit Media Research Center (MRC), which went through coverage on ABC’s “World News Tonight,” the CBS “Evening News,” and the NBC “Nightly News” between Jan. 21, 2017 and Feb. 10, 2019.

After interviewing more than 200 witnesses and reviewing 300,000 pages of documents, the Senate Intelligence Committee has found no evidence of collusion between the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and the Russian government, according to both Democratic and Republican sources on the committee.

But the networks not only shut the news out of the nighttime news, but, in case of the NBC and CBS, from their flagship morning shows as well.

“NBC’s failure to mention this on either Today or the Nightly News is especially egregious, since the story was broken by the network’s own Ken Dilanian on Feb. 12,” MRC stated in a Feb. 14 report.

“Over the past two years, broadcast evening news shows have spent more than 36 hours haranguing viewers about potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Given their keen interest in the subject, you might expect a bipartisan group of investigators finding ‘no material evidence’ of collusion to be newsworthy. But evidently, you’d be wrong.”

ABC’s “Good Morning America” dedicated less than one minute to the news on Feb. 13.

Extensive Investigation

The committee’s investigation started more than two years ago and appears to be close to a conclusion. Its chairman, Richard Burr (R-N.C.), told CBS in an interview published Feb. 7 that investigators have found no evidence to support the allegations of a conspiracy between the campaign and Russia. Anonymous Democratic sources on the committee did not dispute Burr’s statements, according to Dilanian’s report.

The committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, disputed Burr’s characterization of the evidence, but didn’t offer examples.

The president has denied the allegations. Instead, Trump suggests that his opponent, former State Secretary Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia. The president has pointed to the fact that the Clinton campaign paid for a dossier of the opposition research on him compiled by a former British spy using sources with ties to the Kremlin. The FBI used the dossier, without due verification, to spy on a former Trump-campaign associate Carter Page.

The findings by the Senate mirror those released last year by the House Intelligence Committee, which concluded that there was no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating the collusion allegations concurrently with the congressional investigations. Mueller issued multiple indictments, but none for colluding with Russia.

Both Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee are expected to conclude their investigations soon. Burr said there were “no new questions” left to answer. Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who is overseeing Mueller’s probe, said the investigation is “close to being completed.”

Epoch Times staff members contributed to this report.

Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab
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