"There is a global information war that is under way that is being directed by Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation," and it's aimed at the United States, Schmidt said.
January 31, 2018

Steve Schmidt did not mince words when he appeared with Nicolle Wallace yesterday.

Heilemann said, "I want to say one thing quickly. Here's the great thing about the list. Mike Allen put it together this morning. He added some stuff to the list. You know what the defining characteristic of everything on that list is? None of it's dossier. None of it."

"Great point," Wallace said.

"None of if is contested material, the Trump dossier, conspiracy theory. Those are all big, huge, undisputed facts reported that no one denies. These are all just facts. And they're all big giant things that have happen," Heilemann said.

"They're not the product of fever dreams or conspiracy theories or the Trump dossier. And if it you lay them all out together, and you have those things in the Obama administration, Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the opposite party and the party of the president, all of them, would have been up in arms in Washington, D.C., in unison looking at this and saying, this is a gigantic problem and, yet the Republican party right now in -- obviously the Trump administration, but the Republican party right now says, no big deal. The Republican party's attitude is, nothing to see here."

"What is wrong with Paul Ryan?" Wallace said. "I agree with John's characterization of the Republican party, but why is the man who was the vice presidential nominee of the Republican party, why is he where John just described, nothing to see here?

"You had Sally Yates coming -- I mean, these are -- what all the people that have been fired and smeared also have in common is, they're all career public servants. Matt has covered some of these people as long as he's covered the Justice Department. There are people who've been in the offices, moved around when you get different directors and different presidents who have different priorities. These are -- I mean, what, Sally Yates, Andy McCabe, Jim Comey, the general counsel, Baker was his last name, the people who have been fired all have in common, they were all witness to the interactions with a new president who was at best bizarre, at worst, obstructing justice in an ongoing way."

"Look, step back for a second," Schmidt said. "There is a global information war that is under way that is being directed by Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation, and it is aimed squarely at the western democracies and states, but it's acutely focused on the United States and the aim of that campaign is to weaken the faith of the American people in vital American institutions.

"The point of the campaign is to sow chaos. When trust in institutions collapses, what happens next is there's faithlessness in the systems. Free market American capitalism, republican democracy. All of these things become questioned, to the material benefit of the Russian Federation. What we're seeing now, and I don't know what Devin Nunes' most recent investigation is, I do believe he has a record of acting in bad faith," he said.

"But clearly, the actions of the Republican majority are lined perfectly with the interests of the intelligence services of the Russian Federation with regard to this matter. and now we routinely see on a cable news station, calls for senior law enforcement officials to be locked up. Political opponents to be locked up.

"And the bottom line is this: You can bring political pressure and crush the independence of the American justice system, the Department of Justice, concepts of the rule of law. That makes the United States military vulnerable to political influence, makes other independent agencies vulnerable to political influence. If you were to look in Turkey at Erdogan and his blueprint for establishing a Turkish autocracy, it begins with the attacks on the fake news and the press. And then the relieving of senior military officers, and then the relieving and questioning of judges and prosecutors, the weakening of institutions.

"That's what's going on," Schmidt said.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.