Barely a week before the 2016 election, Slate ran a lengthy and technically complex story which exposed a private server inside Trump Tower that had been almost exclusively communicating with Russian government-controlled Alfa Bank. Numerous major news outlets criticized the story, presumably because they didn’t get the scoop, and it quickly faded. But now the server is back, and it’s a bigger deal than ever.
Actually, the Trump Tower server story never really went away. In February of 2017, for instance, Palmer Report discovered that the server had also been communicating with a Michigan health care company controlled by Betsy DeVos, who went on to become Donald Trump’s Secretary of Education after the election. Then, in March of 2017, CNN reported the “breaking news” that DeVos was connected to the Trump Tower server, without giving any attribution to Palmer Report, and then the story faded again.
This week the New Yorker published an extraordinarily detailed expose on the Trump Tower server. Among the glaring new revelations: the New York Times was working on this story during the election, and the FBI confirmed its legitimacy along the way, yet a Times editor inexplicably killed the story. This was the same summer in which the Times published a fake story claiming that the FBI didn’t see any connection between the Trump campaign and Russia, meaning that someone has a whole lot of explaining to do.
But what stands out to us in the New Yorker piece is that the mainstream media is finally acknowledging the connections between the Trump Tower server and Betsy DeVos: “Only one other entity seemed to be reaching out to the Trump Organization’s domain with any frequency: Spectrum Health, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Spectrum Health is closely linked to the DeVos family.” Yes, you read the same thing in Palmer Report a year and a half ago. And no, we don’t expect larger news outlets to ever give us credit for the story. But at least the mainstream media is finally running with it, which means we might finally get somewhere with it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report