Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell came out today with as strong a statement as a turtle with an agenda can make. Note particularly the end of his remarks, where he says with a great deal of conviction that he knows exactly what Russia did in 2016 and they will not allow it to happen again.
Well yes, apparently that's a vow he can make in 2018 when Trump isn't on the ballot. But when Trump was on the ballot, it was a different story altogether.
Turn the clock back, back, back with me to December, 2016 when reports of Russian attacks on the 2016 election were oozing out. In particular, let us recall together what active measures Senator Mitch McConnell took to make sure we, the people, had no clue about what they were doing.
Please compare and contrast McConnell's 2016 behavior with his 2018 behavior:
The Democratic leaders in the room unanimously agreed on the need to take the threat seriously. Republicans, however, were divided, with at least two GOP lawmakers reluctant to accede to the White House requests.
According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.
Now. This is not stopping Donald Trump from making outrageous claims. Here, he also admits that everyone knew about the 2016 Russian attacks in SEPTEMBER 2016. He also admits that nothing was done about it.
He gets everything more or less right, except that it was Senator Mitch McConnell who stopped that disclosure, and it was Mitch McConnell who made the threats to turn it into something political.
Mitch McConnell cold-cocked justice and he did it for Donald Trump. He tied Obama's hands behind his back and bragged about it. And on the very same day where Donald Trump reads prepared talking points intended to mitigate his treacherous ways by shoveling blame onto Obama, Mitch McConnell blew it all up by admitting in loud and clear words that a) he knew about the hacking; and b) he knows Russians were responsible for it.
Unspoken but still crystal-clear? McConnell knew all of this in September, 2016 when he had ZERO doubts about the intelligence but claimed he did in order to hog-tie President Obama from informing the American people.
These are the criminals running our government right now and gaslighting us in the process. They routinely lie and gaslight the public, ripping a page straight out of Vladimir Putin's playbook when it comes to communications strategies.
Chessmaster Garry Kasparov summed it up in a December podcast with Preet Bharara, as he described Putin's way of lying to Russians.
"They develop great technique in selling this message in Russia by taming the minds of intelligent people," Kasparov explained, "because the whole concept is simple: truth is relative. Putin is more like merchant of doubt. Oh yes, we are corrupt, but everybody is corrupt."
For McConnell, it was fine for him to say he had "doubts" when he didn't, because he knew he could head out to Fox News and light up conservative media by shouting about "deep state" and how the facts were in doubt when they were in fact NOT in doubt.
Now you see Trump doing the same thing. Just plant the doubt, send the message you want to send to the people you want to send it to because in Trumpworld, there is no objective truth. Nor is there in McConnell-land. Mitch McConnell feels perfectly fine in admitting that he absolutely knows now as he knew then that the intelligence was solid. But he, too, was fine planting the doubt in order to maintain power.
Here's a summary of what they just did, as explained by Kasparov:
Since they have-as you pointed out, since they have many channels, they can afford to empower these channels with negative stories. They can criticize Putin. So, you immediately see that this channel is credible, but it has a story to sell. And then another channel sells another piece of story. It’s very hard for—even for an advanced audience to actually follow it, because they’re so quick.
And again, remember: truth is relative. Yeah, they say, oh, we don’t know who shot the MH-17, the Malaysian Boeing. Yeah, but it could be different versions. To show you the paradoxical situations in Russia, that at the same evening, two different channels on Russian TV presented two different versions of the MH-17 being shot. One is by Ukrainian missile, one is by Ukrainian military jet. So, you say, how come? Who cares? It’s all about different versions. Some people heard this one. Some people hard that one. We don’t know what’s happened.
Bharara sums it up this way: "It’s about making people believe you can’t trust in any truth."
Yes. So. Here's the truth you need to remember, as I wrote in 2016:
I have been saying for months that the hacks into the DNC computers and attempts to compromise state voter databases were the equivalent of a 21st century Watergate break-in. But now this has taken a deeper, darker, more sinister tone even than Watergate, where at least it was engineered by Americans.
Mitch McConnell, James Comey and others intentionally aided and abetted foreign aggression against American democracy.
I haven't changed my mind about Comey. While he was letting McConnell walk all over the intelligence community with his lies about the veracity of their findings, he was sitting on information about the Weiner laptop and ultimately revealed its existence one week before the election while sitting on the fact that the FBI was investigating Russia for hacking on Trump's behalf.
But today, McConnell and Trump are the bigger problems. They are desperately working to spin their own subjective truths with the assistance of online right-wing news outlets and Fox News.
We have to stop it, and keep stopping it. McConnell knew, he's admitted he knew, and he covered up those reports to get Trump elected. He is as complicit in the treason as Trump. Maybe even more.