Two days ago the media and TDS sufferers everywhere got a fresh hit of dopamine from the latest Trump scandal: the Oval Office telephone call logs had a seven-hour gap on January 6, 2021, when the “insurrection” was under way up at the capitol. This made the famous 18 minute gap in Nixon’s Watergate tapes seem minor league by comparison. Trump must have been using “burner” cell phones to direct the action up in the capitol! Impeach him a third time! Exile him to Elba now!
Like so many previous Trump scandals, this one has fallen apart too, though rather more quickly than many of the others, like the Russia collusion narrative. None other than CNN is walking it back:
Official review of Trump phone logs from January 6 finds record is complete
The mystery of the seven-hour gap has fueled furious speculation as to why calls are missing. That includes allegations that Trump was using “burner phones” (which he has denied) or that the logs were purposely suppressed.
But the gap might have a less mysterious explanation.
According to multiple sources familiar with Trump’s phone behavior and the White House switchboard records, the January 6 log reflects Trump’s typical phone habits. He mainly placed calls through the switchboard when he was in the residence but rarely used it when he was in the Oval Office. The fact the log does not show calls on January 6, 2021, from the Oval Office is not unusual, said the sources, because Trump typically had staff either place calls directly for him on landlines or cell phones. Those calls would not be noted on the switchboard log.
The six pages of White House switchboard logs for January 6, 2021, are completely based on an official review of White House records, according to a source familiar with the matter. There are no missing pages and the seven-hour gap is likely explained by use of White House landlines, White House cell phones and personal cell phones that do not go through the switchboard.
The missing calls also underscore something more endemic: the imperfect and antiquated system of tracking a president’s communications. The White House call log is generated by a switchboard system that dates back to the 1960s, according to the National Archives.
This part is especially interesting (in no small part because it appears CNN doesn’t have proofreaders any more—note the mis-spelling of Obama’s first name):
Another explanation could be that Trump had aides place direct calls from the Oval Office, bypassing the switchboard.
A former White House staffer who served in the Obama administration told CNN that if then-President Barrack Obama wanted to make a call to someone from the Oval Office, he would normally ask an aide seated nearby to dial the person. The aide would then call the number and hit transfer to connect the caller to the President.
That call would not go through the White House switchboard and therefore would not be recorded on the White House switchboard log, the former staffer said.
Maybe it is time to acknowledge that Emily Litella seems to be the managing editor of the mainstream media these days.