Case in point: Trump lashed out The New York Times on Saturday over a story claiming his administration has been ramping up cyberattacks against Russian power infrastructure, calling the report untrue and labeling it a "virtual act of treason."
The paper reported that the U.S. is increasingly targeting the Russian electric power grid, including the insertion of code designed to debilitate it on command:
The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said.
In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections.
The Times noted further that the operation is the first time the U.S. has targeted the electric grid of a foreign power. The paper also cited a pair of administration officials who said that the president was allegedly never briefed about the operation.
Trump lashed out at the Times report on Twitter, writing, "Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country," The Hill reported.
In addition, Trump claimed the story was "NOT TRUE."
"Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today," he added, according to The Hill. "They will do, or say, whatever it takes, with not even the slightest thought of consequence! These are true cowards and without doubt, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!"
For its part, the Times responded to the president on Twitter as well, saying that "accusing the press of treason is dangerous," The Daily Caller noted.
Besides reporting that Trump may not have been told about the operation, the Times also said it's possible that the National Security Council didn't object to the publication of the story because "some of the intrusions were intended to be noticed by the Russians," the paper said. (Related: Trump declares Pravda media’s ‘FAKE NEWS’ our greatest threat: Here’s why he’s RIGHT.)
The Times said that the operation targeting Russian power infrastructure was part of the Trump administration "using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively."
The paper also said that the U.S. operation comes after years of reports claiming Russia, among other countries, had planted malware in the U.S. power grid, oil and gas refineries and plants, water treatment systems, and other vital infrastructure that could be targeted during a conflict.
So, how about that “Russian collusion” narrative now — huh, NYTimes? The paper’s own reporting puts that nonsensical fabrication to shame; why would a U.S. president ‘beholden’ to Vladimir Putin employ some the world’s most sophisticated cyberwarfare tools against his master?
Beyond that, however, as The National Sentinel’s Jon Dougherty notes, is the fact that the paper, by publishing that purposely leaked information, just put the national security of some 312 million Americans at risk.
“The Times editors know this. They understand full well what revealing this kind of highly classified information can mean to an adversary. And yet, they published it anyway. Just to ‘get Donald Trump,’” he wrote.
What does that say about them? It says — again — that the president has been right about our own press since he took office: They are more of an enemy than some of our adversaries.”
Unbelievable that one our own media outlets thinks war with a nuclear-armed adversary is justified just to get rid of a president they can’t stand.