Markey Spreads Malarkey On CNN

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The office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey, who claimed on national television in an interview with CNN earlier this week that a grand jury had convened in New York to investigate President Donald Trump’s campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, was forced to backpedal on the claim after multiple outlets revealed that Markey’s source for the claim was likely a series of left-wing conspiracy blogs.

“Senator Markey does not have direct intelligence that is the case, and the information he was provided during a briefing is not substantiated,” Markey’s spokesman Giselle Barry told the Boston Herald after the longtime pol was questioned regarding the authenticity of his claim.

“Subpoenas have been issued in Eastern Virginia, but Senator Markey apologizes for the confusion.”

Following Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, Markey appeared on CNN Wednesday morning, telling hosts Poppy Harlow and John Berman that Comey’s dismissal in the midst of an investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia meant “this country could be careening towards a constitutional crisis.”

After telling Harlow and Berman that he and other Democrats plan on demanding the naming of a special prosecutor to continue the investigation, Markey stated as fact that “a grand jury has been empaneled up in New York.”

The hosts did not question Markey’s New York grand jury claim, but instead pressed him on his view that the matter equates to a “constitutional crisis.”

“What I’m saying is that the constitution of the United States provides for the election of a president that is not influenced by foreign countries,” Markey continued.

A reporter for the Guardian pointed out, after Markey’s New York grand jury claim began to generate buzz, that the Massachusetts senator’s information more than likely came from conspiracy bloggers:

The Atlantic, a left-of-center magazine, has labeled sites such as the Palmer Report as “progressive fake news,”  

Immediately after Markey delivered his “not substantiated” claim on CNN, Bill Palmer, founder of the Palmer Report, posted a story on his website boasting how a “U.S. Senator confirms grand jury is now underway in Donald Trump case in New York State.”

Palmer notes that Markey took to Twitter immediately after his appearance on CNN to tout his claim:

Despite his spokesman’s apology “for the confusion,” Markey has yet to delete his tweet, which as of Friday afternoon had been retweeted more than 1,200 times.

Mensch, a former British Member of Parliament who now lives in New York City, works as an investigative journalist. She once admitted to a U.K. paper that her past drug abuse resulted in “long-term mental health problems.”

Earlier this week she likewise parroted Markey’s erroneous claim, which she too had previously claimed as fact:

According to the Daily Caller, a top aide for Markey admitted that the senator’s source for the claims was in fact Mensch and Palmer. The Daily Caller notes that the conspiracy theories originated from former Clinton White House staffer Claude Taylor, now a travel photographer.

Markey has represented Massachusetts in Congress since 1976, first in the U.S. House of Representative until 2013 and then in the Senate following a special election.