Lee Smith has an excellent article for Real Clear Investigations where he outlines two strategic phases of the media and FBI/DOJ officials collaborating to create, and later defend, the ‘Trump Russia Narrative’. It is well worth reading:
[Via Lee Smith] … RCI has found that the anti-Trump leaks fall into two broad categories, or phases. Initially the leaking was an offensive operation aimed at disrupting Trump’s agenda, especially through leaks alleging connections between his campaign and the Russians. Its early successes included leaks of highly classified material that led to the firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions from overseeing that probe.
The second phase – which began roughly a year into the Trump administration – has been more defensive, pushing back against congressional oversight committees that had uncovered irregularities in the FBI’s investigation of Trump. This phase has been marked by the willingness of press outlets to run stories backing off earlier reported leaks that proved to be deeply misleading – including the roots of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign and the relationship between Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr and the opposition research firm that produced a central document of that probe, the largely discredited “Steele dossier.” Continue reading