Lefty swamp thing, Mike Allen, turns into a raving Russia conspiracy nut
Conspiracy theories are a sign of desperation, and nowhere is that more evident than on the left, with its cratering 'Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election' narrative. Axios' Mike Allen, who has always seemed like a sensible fellow even a figure of the Washington establishment, has offered us a beaut.
In a piece titled '10 undisputed facts behind the Russia probe, he strings together ten (oh how conveniently ten!) factlets and then puts them together to claim there's something there to Robert Mueller's increasingly futile bid to pin something on the Trump campaign over Russia. Each fact has nothing to do with a broad conspiracy, and everything to do with a string of unrelated events with the word 'Russia' and 'Republican somewhere on them.' None of them have anything to do with one another. But as Allen opines, in his 'be smart' section:
Be smart: No sane person looking at those known knowns would say this is a crazy investigation.
- Yes, FBI agents have probably said things in texts they shouldn't have. Yes, former FBI Director James Comey was clumsy in his comments about Hillary Clinton. But none of that changes what this investigation is really about.
Sane? Allen needs to take a gander at himself and what this failing investigation is doing to him. Take a look at these and 'the smoke clears considerably'? This kind of certainty is complete conspiracy nut stuff.
Here's a point-by-point refutation of his 'undisputed facts' list and my take on why it doesn't matter:
- At the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the Trump campaign, chaired by Paul Manafort (since indicted), worked behind the scenes to weaken the party platform's anti-Russia stance on Ukraine.
Apparently, no one is allowed to have a Russia-friendly stance without being a spy, saboteur, wrecker and colluder.
- "Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting."
Beginner's slip-up, converted to indisputable collusion.
- Top Trump campaign officials met at Trump Tower with sketchy Russians who had offered dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Allen forgot that the meeting was a set-up by the president's enemies with the bait of free opposition research, something the Clinton campaign was all into, and its smear arm, Fusion GPS, probably involved. In any case, there was never anything illegal about Don Trump, Jr. meeting with Russians who claimed to want to tell him stuff, which it turns out they didn't.
- On Air Force One, Trump helped his son, Don Jr., prepare a misleading statement about the meeting.
It's his son, moron. You help your son, particularly since he had little experience in either politics or the ways of the swamp. That's normal.
- Trump, contradicting what his staff had said earlier, told NBC he fired FBI Director James Comey because of "this Russia thing."
A junk investigation means holding officials accountable - and the wisdom of that is particularly obvious in light of the roles of Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe and the other Trump-hating lovebirds among them.
- Michael Flynn, later Trump's first national security adviser, talked privately about sanctions with the Russian ambassador during the transition, then denied it to Vice President Pence.
Guy got fired for that, Mike. In any case, there would have been nothing wrong with it had he been straight with Pence.
- Flynn (who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI) failed to disclose payments from Russia-linked entities. Trump has repeatedly defended Flynn.
Trump defended Flynn because Flynn was a friend and he liked Flynn. Amateurish as that was out in swampland, it's not impossible to understand out here in normal America. Guy still got fired. Oh and by the way, the real problems were with his relations with Turkey, not Russia.
- During the transition, Jared Kushner spoke with the Russian ambassador "about establishing a secret communications channel between the Trump transition team and Moscow."
Sounds like a good idea, given the atmosphere in Washington. In any case, secret channels certainly weren't unknown among the Obamatons on Cuba, Iran and other hellholes, as well as among other administrations.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions, then a U.S. senator, spoke twice the Russian ambassador, then didn't disclose the contacts during his confirmation hearing.
A gladhand? A nice ta meetcha? Yup, sounds like a conspiracy to me.
- When Bob Mueller was named special counsel, Republicans widely praised him.
Proof of Russia collusion? Sounds like Allen was straining for that tenth point.
Obviously, the collapse of the Russian collusion narrative is driving some people bonkers. None of these things points to "what this is about" as Allen puts it. They are all disparate, unrelated facts, some distorted, which point to not a conspiracy, but a conspiracy theorist.
Snap out of it, Mike.