Memo to the Democrats and the Media: It's Not the Russians Meddling in our Elections, It's You

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Investigative journalist John Solomon joined Fox News’ Lou Dobbs on Friday night to discuss the left’s latest attempt to resurrect the Russia collusion story and where this latest “leak” had come from. Solomon noted that, “Sometimes, Russians know we’re [U.S. intelligence agents] listening to them, and so they leak something that will cause the sort of distress whoever leaked this did.”

He said he had recently spoken with one of his intelligence community sources, who said, “Putin, in his wildest dreams, could never have imagined he could have done what he did in 2016 if it weren’t for the U.S. media and the Democrats.”

Dobbs replied, “Can you imagine the delight that the Russian intelligence folks and, of course, Putin have had as they watch? All they have to do is just sprinkle this nonsense across our media and they rise like Guppies to it predictably and destructively just as it’s intended.”

It’s remarkable that the liberal elites running the Democratic Party and the major U.S. media outlets, who consider themselves to be the smartest, savviest, and most highly educated of Americans, don’t see that the Russians have played them like a fiddle. Since the early days of the 2016 presidential election season, they’ve reacted to the slightest Russian provocation as if it’s a five alarm fire. When the news first broke that the Russian government was trying to sway American voters and sow political and social discord via ads on newly created social media accounts, the alarm was sounded. The ads were all pro-Trump, the media told their audiences.

The reality is that “some may have been, but most were not.” Here’s how The Washington Post’s Tony Romm explained it:

In many cases, the Kremlin-tied ads took multiple sides of the same issue. Accounts like United Muslims of America urged viewers in New York in March 2016 to “stop Islamophobia and the fear of Muslims.” That same account, days later, crafted an open letter in another ad that accused Clinton of failing to support Muslims before the election. And other accounts linked to the [Kremlin-sponsored Internet Research Agency] sought to target Muslims: One ad highlighted by the House Intelligence Committee called President Barack Obama a “traitor” who had acted as a “pawn in the hands of Arabian Sheikhs.”

It might surprise the left to learn that billionaire Michael Bloomberg is now using a similar tactic and on a far bigger scale than Russia ever did. The Wall Street Journal reported that the campaign is “hiring a social-media army to promote Bloomberg to all their contacts.” Workers will be paid $2,500 per month. This is being rolled out only in California for now, but if it appears to work, they will deploy the program nationwide. This program will reach many times the number of voters that were targeted by the 2016 Russian ads. But, hey, when you’re trying to beat Trump, all is fair.

Democrats and the media reacted to every perceived message from the Russians that fit their narrative. I don’t know if the rest of the Russia collusion hoax would have followed if it hadn’t been for Russia’s early social media campaign. Either way, it was only part of the story. It provided a reference point for future events brought to us courtesy of the Democratic Party and promoted by the U.S. media.

For example, when the DNC announced their server had been hacked, they immediately blamed it on the Russians. After all, the Russians had already interfered in our election, hadn’t they?

The story grew even bigger once a pro-Western Ukrainian lawyer and activist named Alexandra Chalupa became involved. Chalupa had worked as a consultant for the DNC and for Democratic politicians including several Clinton campaign officials and was well-connected in Washington as well as in Ukrainian diplomatic circles.

She hated Paul Manafort for his role in the re-election of pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in 2010 and his subsequent work for the pro-Russian party in Ukraine. She even quit her job to devote herself entirely to discrediting Manafort.

Once Manafort became associated with the Trump campaign, her efforts intensified. In his book, “Spygate,” Dan Bongino wrote that “allegations of Trump-Russia collusion started to gain steam” once Manafort joined the team and much of this narrative was driven by Alexandra Chalupa.”

In the spring of 2016, she worked feverishly to destroy Paul Manafort and to promote the theory that Trump was colluding with the Russians to win the presidency. Chalupa’s smear campaign involved journalists and diplomats as well as contacts inside the DNC.

It’s unknown whether or not Chalupa played a role in the The New York Times’ August 19, 2016 article. The Times reported that a ledger had been found in Ukraine which alleged that a $12.7 million cash payment had been made to Manafort by the pro-Russian Party of Regions. (Solomon reported several months ago that this ledger turned out to be a fake.)

Once this story broke, Paul Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign. The narrative the Democrats had worked so hard to promote since they’d learned about the Russian’s social media interference, grew more plausible.

And finally, the all-important Christopher Steele dossier, a collection of fictional stories the FBI used as the basis for obtaining a warrant from the FISA Court to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. The dossier, paid for by the Clinton campaign and the DNC, was believable because of the Russian social media campaign. ‘See, it’s true, Trump was working with Russia.’

So, Russia’s early interference, had it stopped there, would have amounted to nothing. But the Democrats and the media pointed to it, over and over again, to give credence to their own actions – the phony story that Russians hacked the DNC’s server, Chalupa’s obsessive efforts to bring down Manafort and the Trump campaign, and the commissioning of a fake dossier to discredit Trump.

If this were a game, the score would be:

Russians: 1

Democrats and the U.S. media: 10

It’s pretty clear who really interfered in the 2016 election.

Elizabeth Vaughn
Writer at RedState
Former financial consultant, options trader
MBA, Mom of three grown children
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