The Washington Post continues to promote the “Russia collusion” hoax, eighteen months after it was revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had found no evidence anyone on the Trump campaign had worked with the Russian government.
In an op-ed published Monday, reporter Tim Weiner called the question of Trump’s imagined fealty to Russia a national “crisis” with “no end in sight.” In that way, he said, it was worse than the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which rival superpowers faced off on the brink of global thermonuclear war, but which mercifully only lasted for several days.
Despite the investigation by former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, despite the work of congressional intelligence committees and inspectors general — and despite impeachment — we still don’t know why the president kowtows to Vladimir Putin, broadcasts Russian disinformation, bends foreign policy to suit the Kremlin and brushes off reports of Russians bounty-hunting American soldiers. We still don’t know whether Putin has something on him. And we need to know the answers — urgently. Knowing could be devastating. Not knowing is far worse. Not knowing is a threat to a functioning democracy.
Once in the White House, Trump was shielded in the invisibility cloak of presidential power. If the counterintelligence agents wanted to follow the money, and they did, how could they get to Trump’s tax returns or the records of his 500-odd limited liability companies? And how could they do it in secret — an imperative for a counterintelligence investigation?
They had other theories of the case to weigh. There are many kinds of foreign agents. And one is the agent of influence. That’s a term spelled out in the American counterintelligence handbook: someone who uses their power “to influence public opinion or decision-making to produce results beneficial to the country whose intelligence service operates the agent.” Did Trump fit the description? The old hands from the CIA and the FBI think so. Leon Panetta, the veteran politician who ran the CIA and the Pentagon under President Barack Obama, told me he has no doubt about it.
Also left unexplained: why former President Barack Obama declared a “reset” on relations with Russia, after the supposed hostility of the George W. Bush years; why Obama betrayed U.S. allies in Eastern Europe by abandoning U.S. missile defense against Russia; why Obama promised Russia “more flexibility” on missiles after his re-election; why Obama agreed to a one-sided nuclear arms reduction deal with Russia; why Obama offered Russia a new nuclear deal despite knowing Russia was already cheating on past agreements; why Obama accepted Russian assurances on Syrian chemical weapons; why Obama allowed Russia to invade Crimea; why Obama denied lethal aid to Ukraine; and why Obama allowed Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.
Moreover, also left unexplained: why Trump launched airstrikes on Russia’s Syrian ally; why Trump has applied more sanctions to Russia in four years than Obama did in eight; why U.S. soldiers wiped out a group of Russian mercenaries in the Middle East; why Trump opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will allow Russia to export more natural gas to Europe and expand its geopolitical influence; and why Trump supports fracking and the U.S. domestic energy industry, which have dislodged Russia from its spot as the world’s number-one oil producer.
Weiner won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.