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December 18, 2018

The ‘Likely False’ Dossier and Other Collusion Fairytales

A vote of no confidence in the dossier and a report about Russian social-media manipulation.

Sometimes rehearsing history is the only way to keep the 24/7 media churn in perspective. In 2016, Hillary Clinton and the DNC funded the phony dossier on Donald Trump that kicked off the whole “collusion with Russia” fiasco. As part of this opposition-research-as-intelligence scheme, Clinton’s corrupt cronies tipped off Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff, who was among the first to report on the dossier. Clinton then referred to “media reports” on the stump so she could smear her opponent. Former FBI Director James Comey, the Clinton partisan hack who now says he bears no responsibility for the diminished credibility of the FBI, slyly used the dossier and other flimsy “evidence” including Isikoff’s report as justification to launch surveillance of Trump’s campaign and then Robert Mueller’s probe. Other Barack Obama hacks like former CIA Director John Brennan also played key roles.

Fast-forward two long years swamped with investigations and Democrat efforts to undermine Americans’ faith in our election integrity, and Isikoff now says many of the claims in the dossier “will never be proven and are likely false.” But why worry about facts when there’s an elected president to undermine? After all, Isikoff still insists the dossier author, Christopher Steele, “was clearly onto something” regarding “a major Kremlin effort to interfere in our elections” and help Trump.

That latter point brings us to the latest story from The Washington Post: “A report prepared for the Senate that provides the most sweeping analysis yet of Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 election found the operation used every major social media platform to deliver words, images and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office.”

The Post reported on the study and then gleefully editorialized that it is now indisputable that Russia supported Trump. Is it? Not so fast.

It may be true that Russians targeted the American electorate with messages supporting Trump, and we agree with the WaPo that “this foreign intervention [is] absolutely intolerable.” (It was also intolerable when Democrats sought Soviet help to defeat Ronald Reagan in 1984.) But to think a spate of social-media posts containing thoughts already widely reflected among voters somehow swung the 2016 election — much less that Trump was complicit in it — strains credulity. In fact, we in our humble shop have always believed Russian interference boiled down to this: The Kremlin, along with nearly everyone else, assumed Hillary Clinton would win in 2016, and thus sought to sow discord among American voters that would then weaken an already reset-compromised Clinton, with whom Moscow would rather deal.

That the Russians succeeded beyond their wildest dreams is an indictment of Democrats, Obama “intelligence” hacks, and the Leftmedia, not of Trump.

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