While the media regularly characterize the news in partisan terms to fit their anti-Trump narrative, there are two Trump/Russia conspiracy theory storylines that are particularly deceptive, lazy and persistent.
The first is that Trump admitted he fired Comey in order to end the Russia investigation, and the second is that Russia wanted to help Trump win the election.
TRUMP ADMITTED HE FIRED COMEY OVER RUSSIA
President Trump told Lester Holt that he thought about Russia while firing Comey because he knew that people would wrongly assume he did it to interfere with the investigation. But CNN and others selectively edit the interview to leave that part out. The really sad part about this fake news story is that even with the selective editing, they still aren’t actually presenting President Trump “admitting he fired Comey over Russia” as they so persistently claim. Instead, all you get is a clip of Trump saying he was aware of “the Russia thing” while showing Comey the door. And that’s when Jake Tapper, Chuck Todd and the rest instruct viewers to conclude that Trump fired Comey in order to end the Russia investigation. He never actually says that. Or anything even close to it. But by editing out the complete thought and repeating the lie enough, the media have even convinced some typically more thoughtful pundits like Brit Hume that that’s exactly what happened. It’s a lie, and it’s a big one, and it merits some sunlight.
RUSSIA WANTED TRUMP TO WIN THE ELECTION
On the second fake news story, I’m still waiting for evidence — real, actual evidence — that Russia actually wanted to help Trump win the election. Right now the only evidence we’ve seen is that they wanted to hurt Hillary. That means helping Trump was a byproduct of the meddling, as opposed to the purpose for it. The media and their pro-Resistance allies say evidence of Russia’s pro-Trump intent exists in an Intelligence Community report from January 2017, and in Mueller’s indictment of the 13 Russians. No such evidence exists in those documents. And the more recent Senate Intelligence Committee finding, which also asserts that the Russians wanted to help Trump, leans on those same documents. No new evidence is presented. The evidence we do have suggests that if Trump were the front-runner, then the Russians would have tried to hurt him (and thus, as a byproduct, help Hillary). But since Hillary was the front-runner, the Russians tried to hurt her (and thus, as a byproduct, helped Trump). But there’s an enormous difference between Russia wanting to help Trump, versus Russia wanting to hurt the front-runner, whomever that may have been. It’s not a small, semantic distinction. It’s a landscape-shifting one. If they wanted to “help Trump,” it implies that they thought he’d be valuable to them as POTUS. And that’s a big deal. And I want to see what the actual evidence is for the claim. But as it stands right now, the only actual evidence we have is that they wanted to hurt the front-runner regardless of who it was. And since it was Hillary, she’s the one they went after harder. Had it been Trump, the evidence we do have suggests it would have been him they went after.
Again, I want to see the actual evidence. I want to see the smoking gun where Russia said “We are meddling in your election to help Trump because we want him to be POTUS,” or anything even close to it. Russia’s goal, as most of us know by now, was to sew distrust and disunity. And when the media and their pro-Resistance swamp dependents dishonestly say the goal was actually to get Trump elected, they’re only creating more distrust and disunity — which is exactly what Russia actually wanted. Granted, there may be evidence I haven’t seen. And that’s what I’m asking for. If it’s out there, please share it. But if the evidence is “It’s clear they wanted to hurt Hillary, and that means they must have wanted Trump to be POTUS,” that’s not good enough. If the evidence is “They once said a great way to create disunity is to prop up Trump and Bernie while others get attacked,” that’s not good enough either. Saying Russia wanted Trump to become POTUS because they thought it’d be good for them is an explosive accusation, and I’d like to see some evidence beyond speculation or conjecture that actually backs it up. I’ll wait.
UPDATE, 7/17/18 at 12:36PM ET (2 weeks after original publishing of this piece): At a press conference with President Trump yesterday Putin said he wanted Trump to win because Trump talked about repairing relations with Russia. That concession is not the evidence I’m looking for. That is Putin on a stage in front of microphones telling the whole world that good relations with the US matter to him, and that he envisioned a better shot with Trump than with Hillary and her reset buttons. But in terms of Russia’s covert operations to sow discord, distrust and disunity — the only evidence we have still suggests that if Trump were the front-runner, then Russia would have gone after him with more vigor than they went after Hillary. Ultimately: What Putin says in front of the cameras and what Russian intelligence/spies are doing behind the scenes, are two very different things. So no. Putin’s diplomatic and probably even personally true answer still doesn’t prove that Russia’s operation was designed or even intended to elect Trump. It was designed to mess with our nation, and it started long before Trump came along. It’s a distinction that matters. And apparently our IC and Congress has evidence to the contrary. I simply want to see/know what that evidence is, besides “It’s obvious because they wanted to hurt Hillary.”
As noted at the onset, while the swamp-dependent media spend virtually all of their time framing the news in partisan terms that fit their anti-Trump narrative — some of the lies they tell and mischaracterizations they present carry more weight than others. And relating to Russia, these two — that Trump admitted he fired Comey over Russia, and that Russia’s goal was to get Trump elected — are particularly persistent and destructive. And lots of really smart people seem to just gloss over them without applying a lot of intellectual curiosity, honesty or integrity. And that’s not okay, and it merits some sunlight. This post is intended to enable some of that sunlight.
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