Kremlin puppet

April 18, 2019 – The Mueller Report richly cites liberal media that pushed Trump-Russia collusion

(Credit: TruthFeed)

“Special counsel Robert Mueller relied on the media to feed his Russian election interference report, citing scores of stories mostly from news outlets that promoted the debunked Trump-Kremlin election conspiracy.

Mr. Mueller’s staff of Democrat-aligned prosecutors favored The New York Times over other publications. The 448-page report cited The Times more than 60 times, mostly in footnotes for articles that weave through the report’s main narrative.

The report refers to The Washington Post, another Trump-critic news site, at least 40 times. CNN, principally an anti-Trump network, has about a dozen citations. NBC News has about 10 story mentions, and its anchor, Lester Holt, is the lone journalist to appear in the report’s personalities glossary for his May 2017 interview with President Trump.

During the 22-month investigation, The Times, The Post and other mainstream media generally gave Mr. Mueller uncritical and favorable coverage, conservatives say.

“The media stoked this, so it makes sense they’d have a steady diet of liberal reporting,” Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign media adviser, told The Washington Times.

For more than two years, The New York Times suggested a Kremlin conspiracy in its stories and editorials and won a Pulitzer Prize — as did The Post. The Times focused on listing Russian contacts with Trump associates. Some purported Trump links, such as a line of communication with Kremlin intelligence, didn’t occur.

Volume I of the Mueller report, the section on Russian election interference, features news media citations to set the atmosphere in Washington.

Volume II, the section on potential obstruction of justice, uses media stories to show what Mr. Trump was hearing as he talked inside the White House of ousting Mr. Mueller and tweeted complaints about the special counsel’s “18 angry Democrats.” It was a common Trump insult for Mr. Mueller’s hand-picked staff of Democratic Party donors.” (Read more: The Washington Times, 5/05/2019)

March 27, 2019 – Opinion: Stephen Cohen – The Real Costs of Russiagate

Rachel Maddow (Credit: The Nation)

(…) “Contrary to a number of major media outlets, from Bloomberg to The Wall Street Journal, nor does Mueller’s exculpatory finding actually mean that “Russiagate . . . is dead” and indeed that “it expired in an instant.” Such conclusions reveal a lack of historical and political understanding. Nearly three years of Russiagate’s toxic allegations have entered the American political-media elite bloodstream and they almost certainly will reappear again and again in one form of another.

This is an exceedingly grave danger because the real costs of Russiagate are not the estimated $25 to $40 million spent on the Mueller investigation but the corrosive damage it has already done to the institutions of American democracy—damage done not by an alleged “Trump-Putin axis” but by Russsigate’s perpetrators themselves. Having examined this collateral damage in my recently published book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, I will only note them here.

— Clamorous allegations that the Kremlin “attacked our elections” and thereby put Trump in the White House, despite the lack of any evidence, cast doubt on the legitimacy of American elections everywhere—national, state, and local. If true, or even suspected, how can voters have confidence in the electoral foundations of American democracy? Persistent demands to “secure our elections from hostile powers”— a politically and financially profitable mania, it seems—can only further abet and perpetuate declining confidence in the entire electoral process. Still more, if some crude Russian social media outputs could so dupe voters, what does this tell us about what US elites, which originated these allegations, really think of those voters, of the American people?

— Defamatory Russsiagate allegations that Trump was a “Kremlin puppet” and thus “illegitimate” were aimed at the president but hit the presidency itself, degrading the institution, bringing it under suspicion, casting doubt on its legitimacy. And if an “agent of a hostile foreign power” could occupy the White House once, a “Manchurian candidate,” why not again? Will Republicans be able to resist making such allegations against a future Democratic president? In any event, Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign manager, Robby Mook, has already told us that there will be a “next time.” (Read more: The Nation, 3/27/2019)

Tales of the New Cold War: 1 of 2: The Russiagate damage comes home to America. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

Tales of the New Cold War: 2 of 2: The Russiagate damage comes home to America. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

August 21, 2016 – Clinton campaign manager, Robby Mook, pushes Russiagate false narrative on ABC News

“Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager said Sunday there are serious questions about whether Donald Trump is a “puppet” for Russia.

“We now need Donald Trump to explain to us the extent to which the hand of the Kremlin is at the core of his own campaign,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said on ABC’s This Week. “There’s a web of financial interests that have not been disclosed. And there are real questions being raised about whether Donald Trump himself is just a puppet for the Kremlin in this race.”

Mook said that the departure of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from the campaign last week “doesn’t mean that the Russians have been pushed out of this campaign.”

Manafort resigned Friday amid reports about his business dealings with Ukrainian leaders aligned with Russia. Those reports involved allegations of millions of dollars in cash payments and secret lobbying efforts in the U.S. Manafort has denied the allegations.

“The hand of the Kremlin has been at work in this (Trump’s) campaign for some time,” Mook said. “It’s clear that they are supporting Donald Trump.” (Read more: USA Today, 8/21/2016)