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Haley Accepts CNN’s ‘Election Hacks/Meddling’ Narrative

By  Robert Kraychik

United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley accepted the premise of Russian state “meddling” in and “hacking” of last year’s presidential election during a Sunday interview with CNN’s Dana Bash for State of the Union.

Bash framed the narrative of “election hacks” as prima facie true; standard fare across CNN. Haley did not challenge the narrative or its subtextual premises.

Since last year’s presidential election, left-wing and Democrat-aligned news media outlets such as CNN have framed the election of Donald Trump as a function of a political influence campaign executed by the Russian state at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Such news media outlets currently request fealty to the aforementioned narrative, framing it as axiomatic and a rejection of it as a form of dishonest or ignorant denialism.

Watch the moment below.

Partial transcript below (emphases added).

BASH: Ambassador Haley, there were conflicting reports about what happened inside President Trump’s much anticipated meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said that President Trump heard and quote accepts Putin’s very clear statements that Russia did not interfere in the U.S. election. Is that true?


So, I think we need to all step back and just look at what we wanted to have happen. We got two very important leaders together and said, OK, it’s time for them to meet. This was long time coming. What we know is that when President Trump meets with a leader, things do start to move. So, from my standpoint, and a lot of the administration, it was important.

What he did was bring up right away the election meddling, and he did that for a reason. One, he wanted him to basically look him in the eye, let him know that, yes, we know you meddled in our elections. Yes, we know you did it. Cut it out.

And I think President Putin did exactly what we thought he would do, which is deny it. And I think that is what it is. They’re going to always have two different stories on this. They’re going to always have two different stances on this. But at the end of the day, what was most important was for President Putin to hear from President Trump, we know you did this, we didn’t like it, don’t do it again.

BASH: I want to play what the President himself said about Russian interference, and casting doubt on the fact that they were really behind the election hacks. Take a listen.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) TRUMP: I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, and I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.


BASH: Now, Ambassador Haley, that was just a couple of days ago. “Nobody really knows for sure.”

With statements like that, can you understand why the Russians — at least they say that they took — what they took from President Trump’s private statements to Vladimir Putin?

HALEY: You know, what I understand is that President Trump let them know that, look, we know you did this, and cut it out.

And President Putin is never going to admit that they did it. And so they have to come back and they have to defend themselves. This is Russia trying to save face. And they can’t. They can’t. Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections.


Everybody knows that they’re not just meddling in the United States’ election. They’re doing this across multiple continents, and they’re doing this in a way that they’re trying to cause chaos within the countries.

And it’s not just going to be us saying this. I think you’re going to hear other leaders come out and say, cut it out. We’re not going to put up with it.

BASH: But you said everybody knows that the Russians meddled in the U.S. elections, and that the president said so behind closed doors with Vladimir Putin.

If that’s the case, why won’t the president say this in public? It would put a lot of these questions, and, frankly, the fact that a lot of your fellow Republicans are perplexed, it would put it all to rest. Why won’t he do it?

HALEY: I think that you can ask him.

I mean, I think that that’s one of the things. Let him say this. We heard a lot of people saying that about Article 5 and NATO, that, why didn’t he say it, why didn’t he say it? He didn’t say it then because he wasn’t changing policy.

So, you heard this — when he was in Poland, give a fantastic speech, and he said that he supported Article 5. And he said that he supported our NATO allies.

And so I think everybody’s trying to nitpick what he says and what he doesn’t, but talk is one thing. Actions are another. He confronted President Putin. He made it the first thing that he talked about. And I think we have to now see where it goes from here.

At no point in the interview did Bash or Haley qualify “meddling” or “hacking.”
Bash presents herself as a politically objective and non-partisan news media figure. CNN similarly markets itself as politically objective and non-partisan, describing itself as “The Most Trusted Name In News.”
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.
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