Russia Meddled, Obama Did Nothing
Last month's Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki is still being talked about today, even after Trump clarified his agreement that Russia attempted to meddle in America's election. Correcting “would” to “wouldn't” in a press conference the next day, Trump clarified his stance on Russian meddling—but it was not good enough for the mainstream media, who had already lambasted him for throwing America's intelligence agencies under the bus, because they were set on perpetuating that narrative long before the summit even happened. In all of their theatrical outrage, the media forgot to give Trump credit for telling the truth about how the Obama Administration was aware of Russian meddling but did nothing.
Going as far back as 2014, Congressman Devin Nunes warned about Russia's influence on other democracies and Putin's growing aggressions. Writing for The Washington Times, Nunes said:
Public diplomacy will be a vital element of a new Russia policy – we must stop ceding the battle of ideas to our opponents without putting up a fight. If Putin became convinced that his belligerence would lower his standing among his own people rather than elevate his popularity to record levels, he may think twice before undertaking further foreign adventures.
The damage already done to the Russian economy does not seem to affect Putin’s calculations.
While he may be willing to sacrifice Russia’s own economy for his geo-political ambitions, we cannot afford to be a mere bystander as his destabilizing actions begin to threaten the economies of the Baltics and other NATO allies, possibly including our own.
As far back as 2014, how could any American president doubt that election meddling would be a possible tactic for Vladimir Putin and his “geo-political ambitions”? Immediately following the referendum in Crimea, the American establishement accused Russia of meddling in the vote and rigging the outcome.
Apparently, Barack Obama spent eight years in the White House acting completely oblivious to Russia's geo-political ambitions. Obama himself tried to make a fool of Mitt Romney by pointing out an assesment from his 2010 book, “No Apology: The Case For American Greatness”, in which Romney called Russia one of the biggest geo-political threats to the United States. Mockingly, Obama chided Romney to rave reviews from America's mainstream legacy media.
Almost six years later, here we are, accepting Russia as America's biggest geo-political foe. Everyone at CNN is on board, everyone at the DNC is on board and even some Republicans are on board—but Republicans have mostly been on board since 2014.
The question is not whether Russia tried to meddle in America's 2016 election, the question is whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to rig the 2016 presidential election. The media has spent a good part of the last two years attempting to conflate the two. The hardest pill for America's left to swallow is that Trump campaigned on improving relations with Russia and Americans voted for him. Ever since, the Russia collusion narrative has amounted to Trump denying collusion and then having his words spun into a denial of Russian meddling.
Russia meddling in our elections and Trump colluding with Russia are two very separate topics.
During his Helsinki summit with Putin, Trump gave the mainstream media exactly what they wanted when he misspoke and said, “I don't see any reason why it would be Russia.” The next day, he corrected his statement to “wouldn't”. Unfortunately, it was too late and the damage was done. Trump's past admissions on Russian meddling no longer mattered to journalists.
In June of 2017, Trump admitted Russian meddling in a tweet criticizing Obama. This was reported by Business Insider:
President Donald Trump appeared to admit that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election in a Friday night tweet in which he criticized Barack Obama for his handling of Russia's cybertattacks that were meant to swing the election away from Hillary Clinton.
"Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY," Trump asked.
In February of this year, Trump's White House acknowledged Russian meddling. This was reported by many mainstream sources, including Bloomberg:
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders acknowledged on Tuesday that Russia attempted to interfere in the 2016 elections but said the efforts didn’t play a role in President Donald Trump’s victory.
“It’s very clear that Russia meddled in the election. It’s also very clear Russia didn’t have an impact on the election,” Sanders said at a briefing today. "And it’s also very clear that the Trump campaign didn’t collude with the Russians in any way for this process to take place."
The president spent much of the holiday weekend tweeting about the Russia investigation after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals on charges that they carried out a multimillion-dollar operation to depress support for Democrat Hillary Clinton and boost backing for Trump in the 2016 election.
In most of their reporting on this, the mainstream media had only one thing in mind: continue conflating Russian meddling and Trump collusion. By publishing big headlines about Trump admitting meddling, mainstream journalists thought they could sell it as Trump admitting collusion.
This acts as more evidence that journalists will never be satisfied until Trump is impeached and a majority of Americans believe he colluded with Russia.
Following his Helsinki meeting, the spin was about making Trump look like a hostage to Putin. Before that, it was about linking “meddling” and “collusion” to make him look guilty. Journalists have proven that they will adapt to any given situation in order to destroy the Trump presidency. When he is admitting meddling, he is admitting collusion—but when he is denying meddling, he is covering up collusion. It is a total lose-lose situation for Donald Trump, no matter what he says on the topic of Russian meddling.
Had Donald Trump not misspoke and instead said, “I don't see any reason why it wouldn't have been Russia,” the mainstream narrative would have revolved around speculating what he and Putin spoke about behind closed doors for two hours, rather than about Trump being bold and standing up to Putin. The narrative would have been about creating suspicion over Trump's rebuke of Putin. Going into Helsinki, Trump was a loser in the eyes of the legacy media—no matter the real outcome.
In 2016, the Obama Administration was aware of Russia's attempts to meddle in America's elections. Donald Trump is accurate when he says that Obama did nothing about it because he (and the rest of the Democratic establishment) thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. The Obama Administration wasn't willing to change the trajectory of what polls showed would be a successful election for Democrats and Clinton. Obama did not want to add fuel to the conspiracies out of fear that it might somehow help Donald Trump—who was already complaining that the election would be “rigged”.
If Democrats truly believe that Russia changed the results of the presidential election and helped Donald Trump become president, they have no one else to blame but Barack Obama—the man who spent eight years denying Russia's geo-political tactics and who let Russia annex Crimea and send swarms of “Russian bots” into America's electoral battlefield to spread fake news.
For your viewing pleasure, here is Barack Obama saying, “Of course the election won't be rigged. What does that mean? This will be an election like every other election.” (1:45)
How times have changed....