‘Why Appear on a Kremlin Propaganda Network?’: Stelter Confronts Guest on Russia Today

Today on CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Brian Stelter brought on former CIA analyst Larry C. Johnson to discuss the recent controversy over White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer using commentary from Fox News’ Andrew Napolitano that claimed British spy agency GCHQ had been wiretapping Trump Tower. As Stelter noted at the beginning of the segment, it appears that one can trace back Napolitano’s comments in numerous Fox segments to Johnson, who has been cited as one of the judge’s sources. (Johnson is a former Fox News contributor who is likely most known for pushing a Michelle Obama hoax.) Johnson noted that the day after Trump sent his infamous wiretap tweets, he was interviewed on Russia Today and stated that he had known that GCHQ was passing information, though it wasn’t done at the direction of former President Barack Obama. Johnson pointed out heard about this from two different people within the intelligence community. “You had this second hand,” Stelter asked. “You didn’t get this information directly — you’re hearing it from others?” “I’m hearing it from people who are in a position to know,” Johnson responded. “That’s correct. I posted that on the discussion board and one of the individuals there shared that with the judge.” He added that he’s unsure who Napolitano’s other sources are. After a little bit of a back-and-forth over the influence and availability of RT as a media source, Stelter straight up asked Johnson, “Why appear on a Kremlin propaganda network?” “It’s not a Kremlin propaganda network,” Johnson retorted. He then praised the network for not doing pre-interviews with their guests. “I’m glad you’re hear, I’m just concerned about the sourcing,” the CNN host replied. “The credibility here. you say it’s not a Kremlin propaganda network, we’ll put that to the side. It’s funded by Moscow. That’s why I say it that way.” Stelter then shifted back to Napolitano, wondering if Johnson felt it was appropriate for the judge to say what he did based on third and fourth-hand sourcing. Watch the exchange above, via CNN. [image via screengrab]Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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