Four years ago, President Barack Obama taunted Republican challenger Mitt Romney: “… [A] few months ago when you were asked, what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia … And the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because, you know, the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Today, Obama’s first Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, sees Russian conspiracies everywhere, all leading to Donald J. Trump.
Welcome back to the McCarthy era.
It is now an article of faith in the Democratic Party that: 1) Russian President Vladimir Putin wants Donald Trump to win the U.S. election; 2) Email hacks of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta help Donald Trump; 3) Russia can be held responsible for the hacking — rightly or wrongly; 4) Trump called upon Russia to hack Clinton’s email (actually, he just joked about it); 5) Trump is responsible for Wikileaks, and perhaps guilty of treason as well.
The Russian conspiracy theory, for Democrats, obscures whatever the leaked emails contain — be they Hillary Clinton’s closely-guarded Wall Street speeches, which Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) sought and failed to uncover; or be they a question passed by CNN contributor (now DNC chair) Donna Brazile to the Clinton campaign to give her an advantage in a town hall debate with Sanders in March.
Brazile’s version of the conspiracy theory was evasive yet concise: “Our intelligence community has made it clear that the Russian government is responsible for the cyberattacks aimed at interfering with our election, and that WikiLeaks is part of that effort. This revelation should deeply trouble all Americans in both parties. And yet, Donald Trump continues to deny that Russia is behind these attempts to meddle with our electoral process and cheer on these efforts to undermine our democracy.”
The excuse is always the same: You cannot trust the emails, because of Russia, and Trump.
It is entirely plausible that Russia is, in fact, hacking the Democrats — perhaps for fun, and perhaps for profit. Though it is a mystery why Putin would prefer Trump to Clinton, because Russia used Clinton to achieve everything it wanted in foreign affairs.
Thanks to Clinton’s Russian “reset,” Russia reversed American plans for missile defense in Europe; set the stage for the invasion and annexation of the Crimea; and expanded nuclear cooperation with Iran, which still wants nuclear weapons.
Lately, Russia has begun to replace the U.S. as the pre-eminent outside power in the Middle East. That is largely the fault of Clinton’s successor, the hapless John Kerry, who bumbled his way into a phony chemical weapons agreement that effectively accepted the Assad dictatorship as a permanent fixture.
But Hillary Clinton did nothing on Syria — despite self-serving claims in her memoir, Hard Choices. The “hard choice” would have been to resign rather than accept genocide, and she declined it.
The Washington Post tried to make excuses for Hillary Clinton’s “reset” policy, as it gave her its endorsement. “When Ms. Clinton launched the policy, Dmitry Medvedev, not Vladimir Putin, was president of Russia, and nobody — maybe not even Mr. Putin — knew how things would play out.” Rubbish — everyone knew. As Clinton’s own running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in the vice presidential debate, you would have to be ignorant of Russian history to trust Vladimir Putin — at all.
The Post also claimed: “As Mr. Putin reasserted himself and Russia became more hostile, Ms. Clinton was clear-eyed about the need to adjust U.S. policy.” Really? Did she speak up in 2012 when President Obama leaned across to Medvedev over a hot mic and said those infamous words, meant to be conveyed to Putin: “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” That was near the end of Clinton’s term, when she was supposedly wiser. Yet she said nothing in protest.
Of interest: the fact that the Obama administration chose to blame Russia, publicly, for the hacking. That accusation was very convenient for the Clinton campaign, which now cites it at every opportunity. But the accusation makes no sense, if national interest is considered. If the accusation is false, then the White House has alienated Russia for no reason. And if it is true, the administration has just advertised the weakness of our cyber-defenses. Politics, as always for Obama and Clinton, came first.
The Clinton campaign likes to argue that Trump is friendly to Russia because of his own business interests. But as Clinton Cash revealed, and as Wikileaks has now confirmed, the Clintons and their entourage — including Podesta — courted Russian business and patronage. Clinton allowed the State Department to approve the infamous Uranium One deal, which placed 20% of U.S. uranium resources in the hands of a Russian firm controlled by Putin — greased by a Clinton Foundation donation.
It is horrific to watch Russia march across land frontiers in Europe as if international law simply did not exist, and to watc assist the Assad regime’s mass murder. And yet the grim reality, which only Trump seems to grasp, is that Russia is also a strategic partner against Islamic terror (which Clinton refuses even to call by its proper name). Russia’s other interest is in creating chaos in the international system. So we are, at best, “frenemies” — but not friends one election, enemies the next.
Democrats like to accuse Trump of xenophobia, but their Russian hysteria is actually worse, echoing their absurd pretense in the 2010 midterms that foreign donors were using the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to influence our elections — even as real-life foreign donors were lining up at the Clinton Foundation to bribe their way into Hillary’s good graces and largesse.
The Clinton campaign’s Russia conspiracy theory is little more than the Clintons’ latest, last, desperate attempt to hide the truth.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.