There’s No Smoke Without Fire
The meaning of the saying is that the rumours may be true, or at least partially true.
When you suspect something is suspicious, it’s similar to smelling smoke before you see where the fire is. Your senses aren’t lying to you, but explanations may create even more smoke in order to blind your eyes to the true state of affairs. Donald Trump’s troubles have the same effect: because he calls his legal challenges a ‘witch hunt’ he keeps hoping that his political base will stick with him. And as long as he keeps attacking his opponents, he hopes to keep people from seeing his true motives and character.
But here’s the thing: what if there really is no fire, and the media attacks are a smokescreen? Weird, eh?
And the modern take on the same idea?