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Trump Campaign Asks Producers to Reconsider Booking Critics Who Claimed Collusion

By Ted Johnson

LOS ANGELES (Variety) – WASHINGTON — A day after Attorney General William Barr released a memo summarizing the findings of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the Trump campaign has sent one of their own.

The memo was sent to TV producers, and singles out a list of guests the campaign says made “outlandish, false claims” of collusion between the Trump team and Russia. In his memo, Barr wrote that Mueller concluded that there was not evidence to prove such a conspiracy.

“Moving forward, we ask that you employ basic journalistic standards when booking such guests to appear anywhere in your universe of productions,” the memo read. “You should begin by asking the basic question: ‘Does this guest warrant further appearances in our programming, given the outrageous and unsupported claims made in the past?‘”

The memo, written by communications director Tim Murtaugh, lists Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former CIA Director John Brennan. It cites specific statements made by each of the individuals in appearances on various cable and broadcast news shows.

For example, the memo cites Brennan’s remark, made on an Aug. 19 appearance on “Meet the Press,” in which he said, “I called his behavior treasonous which is to betray one’s trust and to aide and abet the enemy and I stand very much by that claim.”

The Trump campaign says that if the guests do appear again, they should “replay the prior statements and challenge them to provide the evidence which prompted them to make the wild claims in the first place.”

Brennan was asked on “Morning Joe” about Barr’s memo. “I don’t know if I received bad information, but I think I suspected that there was more than there actually was,” he said.

He said that he was “not all that surprised that the high bar of criminal conspiracy was not met.”

In response to the Trump campaign memo, Swalwell wrote on Twitter, “The only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump. If he thinks I’ve made a false statement, he can sue me. And I’ll beat him in court.”

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