Posted by Curt on 3 December, 2018 at 2:42 pm. 2 comments already!


The NeverTrump movement has gone from pushing allegations that Donald Trump treasonously colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election from its rightful owner Hillary Clinton, to pretending that his attempts at business deals in Russia, which were legal and the subject of widespread reporting during the election, are evidence of unspecified crimes.

The main barrier to the Russia-Trump collusion theory — an information operation that was secretly bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, spread by a compliant media, and weaponized by the highest levels of federal agencies — is the lack of evidence for it. But that lack of evidence hasn’t been much of an obstacle for either the so-called mainstream media or the leaders of the NeverTrump movement.

The news that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen pled guilty to a process crime was enough to convince them of Trump’s guilt, despite the lack of evidence. The guilty plea was reportedly related to Cohen lying to Congress about when he talked to others about attempts at a deal in Moscow. Yet the attempts at a deal in Moscow have been known for years.

In fact, a major reason anyone knows in-depth details about the Trump Tower Moscow plan that went nowhere is that Donald Trump, Jr. testified about the plans beginning more than a year ago, in front of multiple committees in 2017. Transcripts of that testimony were made publicly available last May. It’s unclear why some journalists and media activists are attempting to spin this information as shocking and new since it’s been public for months, even before this testimony. Here’s The New York Times talking about the Moscow Trump Tower in August 2017, for instance.

For the most recent hysteria, various pundits took information that had been public for years, threw some fresh wrapping paper onto it, and claimed that this public information, which clearly wasn’t evidence of treasonous collusion with the Russian government to steal an election from Hillary Clinton when it was initially reported, became new bombshell evidence because they finally managed to hear about it, despite touting themselves as experts on the matter since 2016.

Steve Hayes

The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes wrote an article headlined “How Trump’s Lies About Russia Were Exposed.” (Disclosure: This writer’s husband is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.) Hayes’ article characterizes Trump’s statements that he had no business deals in Russia’s as “lies” because the global businessman quite publicly spent many years attempting to make business deals in Russia.

Sure, Trump is technically correct, since no deal was ever actually consummated, yet Hayes accuses Trump of lying without ever pointing to a specific lie that was told. Hayes merely lists a number of Trump’s denials and says, “Virtually all of those statements were misleading. Many of them were lies,” without specifying which is which. If there’s a smoking gun here, he ought to be able to say what it is.

It’s worth remembering that Trump was the target of a partisan information campaign to portray him as a tool of Russia. It was in this context of being called a stooge of Putin, rather than a global businessman who had publicly talked about his desire to develop a property in Russia, that he said, “I have nothing to do with Russia.”

As evidence that Trump lied about whether he’d sealed property deals in Russia, Hayes points out that Trump family members have previously said Russians have bought Trump properties outside of Russia. Unless The Weekly Standard blocks Russian IP addresses, The Weekly Standard is generating revenue from Russians who read their articles online. That doesn’t, however, mean they’re doing business with Russia.

Hayes also suggests that Cohen’s admission that he was trying to do a business deal with Russia for several months in 2016, instead of just one month, is proof of something nefarious by Trump. It’s unclear what crime Trump committed here is suggested.

Hayes deliberately conflates Trump’s strenuous denials that he’s a compromised stooge of Vladimir Putin who treasonously colluded with the modern-day KGB to steal an election that apparently belonged to Hillary Clinton by birthright, with the widely known news that Trump is a global businessman who attempts deals around the globe.

Bret Stephens

NeverTrumper Bret Stephens, a columnist at The New York Times, takes it a step further. He argues that the United States should dramatically escalate tensions on the Sea of Azov by sending in U.S. warships in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. This is an unsurprising suggestion from the foreign policy wing that regularly encourages invasion in response to global conflicts.

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