News and Commentary

There’s Just One Problem With Those Russia Collusion Charges: No Evidence
After Hillary Clinton stunningly lost the 2016 presidential election, she lobbed out a jumble of excuses: She was robbed, Barack Obama didn’t work hard enough, the FBI screwed her. But her biggest canard was that the Russians – yes, the Russians – had somehow sneaked into every voting booth in every tiny precinct across the United States and pulled the lever for Donald Trump.
Actually, she said Russia “influenced” the election, but she never really said how. WikiLeaks had dumped a load of embarrassing emails, but founder Julian Assange asserted that they didn’t come from the Russians. And Russia has been – let’s be honest – not exactly the foe it was during the Cold War. On the list of what Americans most cared about, Russia didn’t even make the top 10.
Yet Hillary and her cronies, along with the mainstream news media, have been pushing the storyline ever since Nov. 9: The Russians (“The Russians?“) decided the entire election.
Of course, as the MSM does, they haven’t offered any evidence. The canard spread via social media until there were millions who, without any evidence whatsoever, simply believed that the Russians had influenced the election.
The FBI has offered no proof, even while not stepping in to completely wipe away the allegations. And Democrats keep alluding to Russian influence while also failing to provide evidence. That, though, is changing, reports Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept, just as FBI Director James Comey prepares to testify on Capitol Hill on Monday.
“Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence,” he writes.
The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”
Obama’s former CIA chief also cast serious doubt on the credibility of the infamous, explosive “dossier” originally published by BuzzFeed, saying that its author, Christopher Steele, paid intermediaries to talk to the sources for it. The dossier, he said, “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”
Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. “We had no evidence of such collusion,” Clapper stated unequivocally. Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013 but remains very integrated into the intelligence community, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on January 20.
Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote.
Trump weighed in again on the issue. “The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!” Trump tweeted early Monday. “The real story that Congress, the FBI and others should be looking into is the leaking of Classified information. Must find leaker now!”
Comey will be able to clear up a lot of questions should he choose to. Yet at this point, it seems unlikely that the MSM or top Democratic lawmakers will ever acknowledge that there simply isn’t any evidence that Russia actually influenced the 2016 election.
But then, Democrats never let facts get in the way of a good story. No wonder Trump wins big whenever he mentions “fake news.”