In an interview on Fox News Sunday, with Chris Wallace, Senator Chris Coons was discussing the mounting story of President Trump and the supposed involvement of Russia. The interview reveals the chasm that has long existed in the “Russian Scare” involving Donald Trump: the supposition of wrongdoing, and the proof anything specific.
On Friday Coons was speaking with Andrea Mitchell, and declared flatly, “There are transcripts that provide very helpful, very critical insights, into whether or not Russian intelligence and senior political Russian leaders — including Vladimir Putin — were cooperating, were colluding with the Trump campaign at the highest levels to influence the outcome of our election.”
Two days after Wallace challenged Coons on this, asking if he even knows these transcripts exist. After a lengthy response from the Senator he asked him directly if he knew of any hard evidence the Russians interfered in the election, and evidence of collusion?
- Chris, I have no hard evidence of collusion. I think what hard evidence there may be, will be discovered either through a full release of President Trump’s financial interests and concerns and taxes, or the intercepts that I believe our intelligence community and FBI have of conversations between and among Russian officials.
This illustrates the practice from the Democrats and many in the media. Without anything concrete the narrative of Russian collusion in our political leadership is allowed to broaden and become accepted as fact.
This follows a week filled with hysterics over the Trump administration. Attorney General Jeff Sessions meeting a Russian ambassador has led to his recusal of involvement in any investigations. It was capped by The President yesterday accusing the Obama administration of wiretapping his phones. Throughout the Session “controversy” one glaring point is frequently NOT made: What was the violation?
Trump’s claim of wiretapping was another flashpoint. The press went into overdrive (over)reacting to the suggestion. Trump was scorched for saying this to be the case without offering proof, and all manner of excuse was dispensed to distance Obama from involvement. The he-didn’t-order-it firewall went up rather quickly from Obama acolytes. Amid the furor created by that Trump tweet are two specific details that need to be acknowledged — two that most in the media were unwilling to delve into.
First, there was in fact a FISA request to access the servers at Trump Tower. This has – possibly unintentionally – been made verifiable by Obama’s defenders.
John Favreau stated “I’d be careful about reporting that Obama said there was no wiretapping; just said that neither he nor the WH ordered it.” The effort to elide Obama essentially becomes a significant admission. Saying “Obama did not order it” acknowledges that “it” does exist. Then you have a curiously interpretational statement from Former President Barack Obama’s spokesperson, Kevin Lewis:
- A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Justice Department. As part of that practice, neither President Obama, nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.
Note the very careful use of language here. The main question was not if the White House “interfered”, it was did they order it? Additionally, the comment of “surveillance on any US citizen” is a legal sidestep. The FISA request was not directed at Trump, but at the servers of the building. That is an important distinction, since the initial FISA request was denied, specifically because it named Trump. This becomes a legalese escape hatch for the Obama Administration.
The second item the media will not address is that with all the admission of information gathering there is no significant information gathered. The outrage at Trump’s “outrageous” comment is pure smokescreen. It was in January that the New York Times had an article stating the investigation existed, prior to the Inaugural:
- American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump …The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him.
This springs off of the FISA order, placed back in last October, which was spurred by investigations that began last summer. With all the collecting taking place if there was anything approaching proof it is safe to say something tangible meant we certainly would have heard of it. We are hearing about Russian ties right now, when there has been zero concrete evidence of any Russian collusion.
Sen. Chris Coons has just shown us this is in fact the case.