The American politician, a presidential aspirant, was explicit in his secret-but-audacious message to the Russian leadership in Moscow: Help me win the White House, and then, once I’m in the Oval Office, I will return the favor.
The Russians carefully considered the American’s quid pro quo. And if it’s not so clear what Moscow actually did, or didn’t do, in response to the offer, well, what about Russia is clear? As Winston Churchill once said of the whole country, “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.”
So about the only thing we know for sure is that the American wanted to sell out his county for his own political advantage.
Is Virgil alleging treacherous machinations by Donald Trump, working with Vladimir Putin, to defeat Hillary Clinton?
Nyet! I am simply recalling the well-documented history of the multiple efforts by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) to conspire with Leonid Brezhnev and other leaders of the Soviet Union in the 70s and 80s, as he schemed to win the American presidency.
This disturbing bit of history was first reported in Great Britain in 1992, and has been recalled in the US many times since: notably, by historian Herbert Romerstein in 2003, by historian Paul Kengor in 2007, by writer Kevin Mooney in 2010, by Breitbart’s James Zumwalt on August 12, 2016, and by Mooney again on December 14.
Yet curiously, the Main Stream Media has never been interested in the voluminous Kennedy-Russia story.
The Washington Post, for example, has written hundreds of articles on the putative Putin-Trump connection just in the last two months; one of the most recent articles blared an emphatic headline: “We need an independent, public investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal. Now.” And yet for all of its inquisitiveness about things Russian, the Post seems never to have taken note of the Kennedy-Brezhnev scandal.
Okay, so much for history, now to the controversy of today. As we all know, allegations about Russian meddling in the recent US election are the latest MSM feeding frenzy. So what, exactly, is going on? Why all this angry drama?
To gain perspective, we might start by examining a December 13 speech that Newt Gingrich delivered to the Heritage Foundation. The onetime House Speaker compared Trump’s victory this year to previous Republican victories, that of Ronald Reagan in 1980 and of the Congressional Republicans in 1994 (the latter, of course, was led by Gingrich himself).
As Gingrich put it, those ’80 and ’94 victories were successes, but only partial successes, because the entrenched establishment resistance was so fiercely effective:
In the first two waves . . . the insurgents accomplished a great deal in a short time but the left-wing, bureaucratic establishment outlasted the popular surge and the old order took back power.
And while Gingrich declared himself to be optimistic that the “Trump Revolution” will be more successful than the GOP revolutions of the 1980s and 1990s, the forces in opposition to Trump, given their track record, will also have reason to be optimistic.
Here we can pause to note that the “left-wing bureaucratic establishment,” as Gingrich calls it, is another way of saying Deep State.
Ah yes, the Deep State. As Virgil wrote here at Breitbart on December 12, the Deep State is “the complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats that likes things just the way they are and wants to keep them like that—elections be damned.”
So by this author’s reckoning, the real story of the sudden squall of accusations that Trump is the “Siberian Candidate” is the effort of this Deep State to derail, or at least to de-legitimize, the Trump presidency.
One might ask: Is the Deep State really that arrogant and powerful? Can it really do what it wishes, even in defiance of a national election? Indeed, those are the questions now being put to the test: We will learn the answers in the years to come.
Yet the one thing we already know for sure: The Deep State has an intense aversion to Trump and his populist “deplorables.” Indeed, in that same December 12 piece, Virgil further quoted The Daily Beast, reporting that within the Deep State, specifically within the “intelligence community,” so called, “There’s a real revolt going on . . . they hate Trump’s guts.”
We can dwell on that word, hate. And so now we can conclude that if the Beltway Men, and Beltway Women, truly hate Trump, it’s easy to see them taking risks to thwart him, by any means necessary.
Thus when Virgil gazes upon the roiling political waters and sees all the foam and bubbles, he gazes further and sees something more: the submerged thrashings of the Deep State leviathan, a metaphorical Moby Dick, vortexing the waters around Trump, seeking, if it can, to sink his ship of state.
So with that image in mind, let’s consider the violently twisting currents of the Trump-Russia storyline:
Way back on September 5, The Washington Post headline declared, “U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections.” That story, relying on the proverbial “unnamed officials,” indicated that Russian hackers were aiming to “sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions.” If true, that’s plenty bad—all Americans should want honest elections, free from any kind of vote fraud, including foreign interference.
Yet three months later, and after the election, the MSM narrative had changed. And so on December 9 we got this Washington Post headline: “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House.”
That was the “bombshell” that got the Democrats, the MSM—and the whole of the Deep State—all into motion, even though, as the Post conceded and The New York Times also reported, there was no actual hard evidence that the Russians had wanted to help Trump.
Indeed, at the time, a news consumer couldn’t be sure what the news was actually supposed to be. Here’s The Washington Post on December 10: “FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s motives in 2016 hacks.” The Post story cited one insider indicating that on the issue of Russian culpability, “the bureau and the agency weren’t on the same page.” So the FBI and CIA have different views? Whom to believe?
To help the Beltway answer that question, the remnant of the Clinton campaign—still perhaps, keeping hope of victory alive—rushed in to clear up any confusion (that is, any confusion that was not to its partisan advantage). On December 15, Hillary’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which he spanked the FBI and demanded a special Congressional investigation:
The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets. . . . Congress should more vigorously exercise its oversight to determine why the FBI responded overzealously in the Clinton [e-mail server] case and insufficiently in the Russian case. The FBI should also clarify whether there is an ongoing investigation into Trump, his associates and their ties to Russia. . . . What’s broken in the FBI must be fixed and quickly.
Podesta’s op-ed, complete with its sly insinuation that surely the FBI is currently investigating the Trump campaign, hit its intended target with full force; after all, FBI Director James Comey has to eat lunch in this town. And so Comey’s FBI dutifully climbed aboard the Deep State bandwagon. Hence this December 16 headline in Politico, “FBI backs CIA findings that Russia tried to help Trump win election.” As Politico put it:
FBI Director James Comey now concurs in a CIA assessment that Russian hackers meddled in the U.S. presidential election to sway the race toward President-elect Donald Trump.
If the reader is starting to get the feeling that the Official Truth is something to be endlessly negotiated and wrangled—as opposed to firmly and finally decided—well, welcome to Deep State internal politics. That’s how the game is played, from R Street to Rosslyn, from Reston to Rockville.
As they say in DC, Where you stand depends on where you sit. And so, if you are part of the Deep State and wish to remain such, you’d better get with the Deep State program. After all, presidents come and go, but the Deep State is forever.
In the meantime, when specific facts are few, or even non-existent, then opinions—especially intense opinions—must inevitably loom all the larger. And it’s the intense opinion of the Deep State that Trump shouldn’t be president, or at least not a successful president.
Yet now we come to a heretofore unresolved question: If there was so much antipathy toward Trump, why didn’t all these accusations of Putin-Trump collaboration come out before the election, when the Russians-are-coming charge might have cost the real-estate mogul a state or two, or three?
Yes, that is indeed a puzzlement. But then on December 16, thanks to NBC News, came the answer: The Obama administration/Deep State didn’t get fully vocal before the election because they all thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win. Oops.
And given that misguided confidence, the silence was understandable. After all, leading pillars of the Deep State had predicated their policies, and their personal prestige, on the idea that Russia was not a problem, or at least not a big problem—and who in power wants to be proven wrong and thus look dumb?
Indeed, we all remember that President Obama had slapped down Mitt Romney in 2012 for being a hawk on Russia. In addition, Secretary of State John Kerry had intoned, dozens of times, that “climate change” was the greatest danger America faced. And United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power was insisting that the proper prime concern was humanitarian crises in such places as Darfur, Myanmar, South Sudan, and Syria.
So as we can see, none of these figures wanted Russia to surge back into the news in an embarrassing way. Thus the predominant thinking was, Let’s just keep this Russia business, whatever it is, quiet until Trump is defeated. Then, President Clinton 45 can sort it all out.
Yet there were some problems with this approach. To name one such, according to the Constitution, the Legislative branch is equal to the Executive branch, and so it deserves to be treated equally. And that means shared decisionmaking—and so the Obama administration had no right to do what it did, which was to keep Capitol Hill out of the loop. That is, if the administration had real evidence about the Russians, it had an obligation to share it with, at minimum, the House and Senate committees of jurisdiction. That’s how our national government is supposed to operate.
And yet that sharing of information didn’t happen. And why not? Most likely, because the Congressional leadership is Republican, and the Obamans, joined by the vast bulk of the Deep State, are Democrats (plus, of course, the usual-suspect contingent of NeverTrump “Republicans”).
You see, the hope was that Hillary would win the White House and perhaps, too, that the Democrats would win back the Senate, maybe even the House. And at that point, with the temporary blip of Republican power in the rearview mirror, the Democrats and the Deep State—the two are often hard to distinguish—could carry on their business as usual.
But then, on November 8, came the unforeseen calamity: The Republicans won everything.
So now the GOP is finally seeking to impose its authority on Deep State dead-enders. In the dry words of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, “We want to clarify press reports that the CIA has a new assessment that it has not shared with us.” And Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, recalling that his panel had also asked for a CIA briefing but had been refused, was even more caustic:
It is disappointing that the CIA would provide information on this issue to The Washington Post and NBC but will not provide information to elected members of Congress.
Indeed, the clandestine whispering campaign was intolerable to the always to-the-point Rep. Peter King (R-NY). And so King was willing to name names on ABC News’ This Week:
What infuriates me about this, Martha [Raddatz], is that we have John Brennan––supposedly John Brennan––leaking to The Washington Post, to a biased newspaper like The New York Times, findings and conclusions that he’s not telling the intelligence committee. . . . There should be an investigation of what the Russians did but also an investigation of John Brennan and the hit job he seems to be orchestrating against the president-elect.
There. King called out John Brennan, the long-time Obama administration hireling, currently the director of the CIA. Yes, the list of possible leakers should include Brennan, but should not be limited to him.
Meanwhile, the White House itself has been throwing logs on the fire. On December 15, White House spokesman Josh Earnest escalated the post-election attack, declaring that it was “obvious” that Russia had been interfering to help Trump. (Once again, if it was so obvious, why did the White House wait until after the election? Might it also be obvious that the Obamans had mixed feelings, deep down, about Hillary winning?)
Yet in the meantime, of course, Obama is still president, not inclined to cooperate with the GOP—and still possessed of the bully pulpit. And so he knew that he was escalating the Deep State’s war against Trump on December 16 when he declared, “We have said, and I will confirm, that this happened at the highest levels of the Russian government.”
Thus the accusation that the Russians elected Trump, or tried to, is out there, on the record. In other words, the Deep State needs no longer to skulk around beneath the surface of the dark water: It can now rise out of the briny depths into broad daylight with its angry calls for investigation, impeachment, indictment—anything it wishes. After all, if the great helmsman, Barack Obama, has said it in public, then it must be true!
Moreover, the 44th president won’t be going far. Come January, he’ll be moving just a mile or so uptown, to the swanky Kalorama neighborhood, where, it’s a safe bet, he’ll hold court as if he were still president. So the Deep State will still have a rallying point as it plots its next move against the Dreaded Trump. Or should we say, it will have another rallying point, because, in fact, it already has plenty.
The bitter election is over, dear reader, but the real storm is still to come.