Wednesday, March 27, 2019

61 Hacks Who Peddled Russian Collusion And Should Never Be Trusted Again

Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has closed the door on Russian collusion hysteria, let’s take a look back at the Most Mistaken Men and Women in America.

Since 2016, some big names—both inside the government and out—have peddled the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy with such vigor you’d think they invested their life savings in Reynolds Metal Company. Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has closed the door on such hysteria, let’s take a look back at the Most Mistaken Men and Women in America (and the world).

Christopher Steele: Is there anywhere else to begin, really? The former British spy destroyed any semblance of seriousness when he included reports of the pee-prostitutes in his dossier. But the rest of the report was equal parts claptrap.

There was no secret meeting between Kremlin courtiers and former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. No trip to Prague by Michael Cohen. No quid pro quo election assistance for the lifting of sanctions. No there there. Yet his so-called report was a key basis for this entire Russian hoax saga.
Of course, all those taken in by Steele—or assisting him in trumping up years of investigations of a U.S. president based on smoke and mirrors—make the list too: Glenn Simpson, DOJ lawyer Bruce Ohr, the former FBI duo of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, fired FBI heads James Comey and Andrew McCabe, dossier courier David Kramer, and former senator Harry Reid, among others.

Then there’s Jane Mayer, whose ode to Steele at The New Yorker sought to prop up the un-propable. Former National Security Agency lawyer Susan Hennessey, a CNN contributor, also gave credence to the dossier constantly, in one instance claiming “the intelligence community and law enforcement seem to be taking these claims seriously.”

Yes, U.S. intelligence leaders were taking those claims seriously. Too seriously. Case-in-point: Former CIA director John Brennan. At least Steele was getting paid for his—to borrow a word from Brennan—hogwash. Brennan sold collusion from both inside the White House and out.

So did Obama national security director James Clapper, who played a key role in both creating the Russian collusion hoax and perpetuating it over the next two years as a CNN contributor. According to a declassified congressional report, “Clapper leaked details of a dossier briefing given to then-President-elect Donald Trump to CNN’s Jake Tapper, lied to Congress about the leak, and was rewarded with a CNN contract a few months later.”

As The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway reported, Clapper’s leak seems to have been done in coordination with Comey as a setup to give the false dossier legitimacy. Regardless, Washington Post factcheckers went to bat for Clapper, purporting to prove that he wasn’t really lying when he lied to Congress. The outcome is not only the end of credibility for Clapper but also for the Washington Post.

Former NSA analyst and counterintelligence officer John Schindler, a New York Observer columnist and sometimes CNN guest, also beclowned himself, claiming NSA Director Mike Rogers told his staff “there is no question that we [meaning NSA] have evidence of election involvement and questionable contacts with the Russians.”

Schindler then noted that “although Rogers did not cite the specific intelligence he was referring to, agency officials with direct knowledge” have “reports from 2016 based on intercepts of communications between known Russian intelligence officials and key members of Trump’s campaign, in which they discussed methods of damaging Hillary Clinton.”

Schindler also posited that when Rogers reportedly told Trump “I know you won’t like it, but I have to tell what I have seen,” it was “a probable reference to specific intelligence establishing collusion between the Kremlin and Team Trump.” That aged well.

Former CIA acting director John McLaughlin also pushed the Trump-Russia “relationship” narrative, telling MSNBC’s Andrew Mitchell that “the president is an intelligence recruiter’s dream.” To top it all off, after Mueller issued his report, “Russian security expert” Malcom Nance, a NBC and MSNBC contributor, immediately pivoted to even crazier conspiracy theories about Mueller perpetrating a coverup and more.

Over the two years of the Russia hoax, The New York Times added several more conspiratorial types to the ranks, including columnist Michelle Goldberg. Goldberg actually wondered aloud about the president whether “Putin is his handler, his hero or his co-conspirator,” adding that it’s “obviously where his loyalty lies as opposed to lying with the American people.”

The New York Times go-to-man, Paul Krugman, and front woman Maggie Haberman, also round out the newspaper of record’s decent to dithering dingbattery.


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