Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t just pay for the Kremlin-aided smear job on Donald Trump before the election; she continued to use the dirt after the election to frame her humiliating loss as a Russian conspiracy to steal the election.
Bitter to the core, she and her campaign aides hatched a scheme, just 24 hours after conceding the race, to spoon-feed the dirty rumors to an eager liberal media and manufacture the narrative that Russia secretly colluded with her neophyte foe to sabotage her coronation.
But it was Hillary who was trying to kneecap Trump, even after he licked her, fair and square, in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other blue states.
Exhibit A is the book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. In light of this week’s revelation that Hillary’s campaign funded the dirty anti-Trump “Steele” dossier, the book takes on a new significance. It reveals:
“Within 24 hours of her concession speech, [campaign chair John Podesta and manager Robby Mook] assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”
The plan, according to the book, was to push journalists to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign,” and it succeeded to a fare-thee-well. After the election, coverage of the Russian “collusion” story was relentless, and it helped pressure investigations and hearings on Capitol Hill and even the naming of a special counsel, which in turn has triggered virtually nonstop coverage.
A new Media Research Center study finds that, since the inauguration, major TV news networks have devoted an astonishing 1,000 minutes out of a total 5,015 minutes of Trump administration coverage discussing speculation that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Moscow in hacking Clinton campaign emails, “which means the Russia story alone has comprised almost one-fifth of all Trump news this year.” In contrast, they so far have devoted just 20 seconds to the more substantive scandal of Hillary and her husband possibly trading US uranium rights for Russian cash.
MRC analysts also found that more than a third of the networks’ Russia “scandal” coverage was based on anonymous sources who worked in the Obama administration, including Hillary’s State Department.
Though some of that coverage has proved erroneous, leading to retracted stories and fired reporters, the damage is done. Trump’s approval ratings have suffered, and the Russia investigation has distracted the administration.
Which was also part of Hillary’s plan.
In March, former Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri summed up the post-election strategy in a Washington Post column comparing “Russiagate” to Watergate and encouraging the press and other Democrats to “turn the Russia story against Trump.”
“If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they’ll be with us,” she advised. “Polls show that voters are now concerned about the Russia story and overwhelmingly support an independent investigation.”
In short, Hillary couldn’t beat Trump with the political dirt she secretly purchased during the campaign, so she tried to cripple his presidency with help from an overwhelmingly anti-Trump media. Framing Trump as some sort of modern-day KGB plant was an easy sell, since the pro-Democrat media were also searching for a scapegoat to rationalize the crushing defeat of their shared liberal agenda at the polls.
The irony is, it may have in fact been Hillary who came closer to colluding with the Russians in smearing Trump as a Russian traitor than anything Trump did in trying to beat Hillary. The information in the dossier she bought for millions came from Russian intelligence sources, and her lawyers brokered the deal with a Kremlin-tied lobbyist. When it failed to stop Trump, the Russia paymaster turned into the Russia spinmeister.
Now we really know “What Happened.”