Dan Rather, the former “CBS Evening News” anchor who famously quit his position after airing “fake news” in 2004, is now unloading on the “spigot of lies” coming from President Donald Trump, claiming the administration’s ties to Russia could be a bigger scandal than Watergate.
In a scathing post on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Rather wrote:
“The White House has no credibility on this issue. Their spigot of lies – can’t we finally all agree to call them lies – long ago lost them any semblance of credibility. I would also extend that to the Republican Congress, who has excused away the Trump Administration’s assertions for far too long.
“We need an independent investigation. Damn the lies, full throttle forward on the truth. If a scriptwriter had approached Hollywood with what we are witnessing, he or she would probably have been told it was way too far-fetched for even a summer blockbuster. But this is not fiction. It is real and it is serious. Deadly serious. We deserve answers and those who are complicit in this scandal need to feel the full force of justice.”
The veteran journalist was writing in response to the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as well as a New York Times report claiming aides to Trump were in contact with Russian officials during last year’s presidential campaign.
Rather also evoked the Watergate scandal, which eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
“Watergate is the biggest political scandal of my lifetime, until maybe now. It was the closest we came to a debilitating Constitutional crisis, until maybe now. On a 10 scale of armageddon for our form of government, I would put Watergate at a 9. This Russia scandal is currently somewhere around a 5 or 6, in my opinion, but it is cascading in intensity seemingly by the hour. And we may look back and see, in the end, that it is at least as big as Watergate. It may become the measure by which all future scandals are judged. It has all the necessary ingredients, and that is chilling.”
When we look back at Watergate, we remember the end of the Nixon Presidency. It came with an avalanche, but for most of the time my fellow reporters and I were chasing down the story as it rumbled along with a low-grade intensity. We never were quite sure how much we would find out about what really happened. In the end, the truth emerged into the light, and President Nixon descended into infamy.
This Russia story started out with an avalanche and where we go from here no one really knows. Each piece of news demands new questions. We are still less than a month into the Trump Presidency, and many are asking that question made famous by Tennessee Senator Howard Baker those many years ago: “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” New reporting suggests that Mr. Trump knew for weeks. We can all remember the General Michael Flynn’s speech from the Republican National Convention – “Lock her up!” in regards to Hillary Clinton. If Hillary Clinton had done one tenth of what Mr. Flynn had done, she likely would be in jail. And it isn’t just Mr. Flynn, how far does this go?
At least one person agreeing with Rather is former Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook, who told MSNBC: “Everyone should be incredibly alarmed by this situation. The parallels to Watergate are eerie.”
Like the reporting you see here? Sign up for free news alerts from WND.com, America’s independent news network.
But other reaction from media personalities found Rather’s viewpoint laughable.
- “No, the Flynn thing isn’t 9/11, Watergate, or Iran-Contra. Get a freaking grip, media” (DailyWire Editor Ben Shapiro).
- “Dear left: When everything is an outrage, nothing is an outrage. Flynn misleading Pence is a problem, it isn’t Watergate” (Townhall Editor Katie Pavlich).
- “Watergate is thrown around way too casually by operatives on both sides. Everyone pick up a history book before devolving into hysteria” (Democrat consultant Lis Smith).
President Trump, an expert Twitter user himself, had plenty to say about the matter on Wednesday, posting a series of tweets indicating:
- “This Russian connection non-sense is merely an attempt to cover-up the many mistakes made in Hillary Clinton’s losing campaign.”
- “The fake news media is going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred. @MSNBC & @CNN are unwatchable.”
- “The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!”
As WND reported, in an interview with Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, Dan Rather seemed to have little problem with lying.
“Who among us have not lied about something?” Rather asked.
“I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”
Watch Dan Rather’s remarks to Bill O’Reilly:
Rather himself became the focus of “fake news” when he reported on 2004 that there were a series of discovered memos critical of President George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service during the Vietnam War.
The documents were quickly found to be forgeries. CBS retracted the story and fired Mary Mapes, the story’s producer. Rather subsequently retired from his broadcast position in 2005. The entire scandal has become known as both “Memogate” and “Rathergate.”
During the height of the scandal, Rather said, “If I knew then what I know now, I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.”
However, in 2007, Rather sang a very different tune as he defended his reporting on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” saying, “Nobody has proved that they (the documents) were fraudulent, much less a forgery. … The truth of this story stands up to this day.”
In 2015, radio host Rush Limbaugh noted of Rather and Mapes, “There is no doubt in anybody’s mind that these two people made this story up or accepted a forged bunch of documents that contributed to it being a story because they wanted to affect the outcome of the 2004 [presidential] race.”
Follow Joe Kovacs on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews