Now that a summary letter of Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation has concluded that President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign did not collude with the Kremlin, it’s worth highlighting again how Hillary Clinton hatched a plan and personally placed blame for her election loss on Russia just “twenty-four hours of her concession speech.”
The stunning revelation was reported by journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, who methodically detailed in their Clinton campaign tell-all, Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign how Clinton helped fan the flames of “Russian collusion” by blaming her election loss on the FBI investigation into her private emails and Russian interference.
“She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,” a longtime Clinton confidant told Allen and Parnes. The pair detailed how Hillary Clinton’s Russia-blame-game was spurred by her senior campaign staffers John Podesta and Robby Mook, less than “within twenty-four hours” after she conceded to Trump.
That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.
The Clinton camp’s Russia propaganda strategy was two-pronged: first, they encouraged a willing and sympathetic media to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio,” while “hammering the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, which had created a cloud over her candidacy,” Allen and Parnes wrote.
“The press botched the e-mail story for eighteen months,” one person who was part of the strategy is quoted by Allen and Parnes. “Comey obviously screwed us, but the press created the story.”
Indeed, President Donald Trump was vindicated on Sunday when Attorney General William Barr sent a summary letter to Congress announcing that the Special Counsel investigation found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” Barr’s letter to Congress, quoting from Mueller’s report, said. “The evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference.”