MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow was once the go-to cable news host for the latest developments on what she believed was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Now, she seems to be steering clear of the latest developments that undermine the narrative she pushed for years.
On Friday, former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was expected to plead guilty to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the investigation into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign — the so-called Russia “origins” investigation — two sources close to the matter told Fox News.
Clinesmith was referred for potential prosecution by the Justice Department’s inspector general’s office, which conducted its own review of the Russia investigation.
Specifically, the inspector general accused Clinesmith, though not by name, of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say that Page was “not a source” for another government agency. Page has said he was a source for the CIA. The Justice Department relied on that assertion as it submitted a third and final renewal application in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
However, despite MSNBC covering the expected guilty plea earlier in the day, Maddow completely avoided the subject during her primetime show.
“The Rachel Maddow Show” has seen its ratings slide since the conclusion of the Mueller investigation — despite an unprecedented news cycle focused on the coronavirus pandemic, unrest in U.S. cities and the 2020 presidential election.
The Maddow slide also comes as millions of potential TV viewers have been largely confined to their homes because of virus-related shutdowns.
Late last year, Maddow similarly failed to mention the damning abuses of the highly controversial FISA application process uncovered by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz in her exclusive sitdown with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who earlier this year became an MSNBC contributor.
Maddow isn’t the only cable news personality to ignore Clinesmith’s guilty plea during primetime. CNN’s Anderson Cooper ignored the major news during his two hours on air. His colleague Don Lemon did the same in the 10 p.m. timeslot.
Among the evening broadcast programs, “NBC Nightly News” also skipped the FBI controversy while ABC’s “World News Tonight” and the “CBS Evening News” addressed it.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Bill Mears contributed to this report.