If you ever find yourself in need of a cheap cheat sheet of ever-cited-but-never-substantiated “Trump colluded with Russia” allegations, look no further than a smorgasbord of hyperbolic conclusion-leaping disinformation recently regurgitated in (where else?) The New York Times by a predictably-disingenuous leftist media parrot named Nicholas Kristof.
Not one to hide his remarkable banality beneath the grey lady’s moldy corset, this over-exercised Russia conspiracy theorist moonlights as an occasional blathering head from the bustling stable of Trump-deranged zealots regularly rotated into guest appearances on (where else?) MSNBC.
Just last week Comrade Kristof treated all five MSNBC viewers to a taste of his eminent journalistic credibility by viciously slandering House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, calling Nunes a ‘stooge,’ not just of the White House but of Vladimir Putin himself.
As seems to be the case with every progressive fellow traveler in the American media elite, Kristof appears to have soured on mother Russia, probably sometime around the minute that it ceased to be Soviet Russia, no longer a global model for socialist workers’ paradise.
Now that the U.S.S.R is just plain old Russia, run by ex-KGB rather than practicing communists, and comrade Nikolai has ‘progressed’ into a neo-liberal chickenhawk, it would seem that fear, loathing and collusion conspiracy fantasies are the order of the day for Kristof, preferably with a new cold war to bolster his neo-McCarthyite proclivities.
Soviet Russia’s manipulative kangaroo legal system clearly informs Kristof’s approach to “due process.” This is abundantly evident just in the deceptively-condemnatory title of Kristof’s third-rate propaganda piece, “President Trump, if You’re Innocent, Why Act So Guilty?”
This thoroughly-disingenuous ‘guilty-until-you-prove-your-innocence’ premise that subsumes every word or thought about Donald Trump ever conjured up or vomited out by Kristof, and every sleazy leftist propaganda-peddler like him, is proof enough of the fundamentally-dishonest partisan animus behind the deplorable dreck they churn out under their journalistic false flags.
No standard of proof is needed for smarmy arrogant self-important hypocrites like Kristof because no amount of evidence will ever be enough, in their minds, to exonerate the president, or anyone associated with him, from their endless stream of slanderous accusations and phony contrived charges.
Nearly two years into their incessant, obsessive campaign to inflict their Trump-addled delusions on the American body politic, Kristof and his cohorts remain no more credible than they were when they first dreamed them up.
The laundry list of supposed Russia links Kristof very-thinly laid out in his 12-point hit piece amounts to nothing more than a mind-numbingly repetitious recycling of the same lies, exaggerations and baseless innuendo that every brainwashed Hillary-bot in North America has been peddling for a couple years now.
In fact, none of these increasingly-hysterical self-appointed persecutors from the “elite” Clintonite media has EVER produced a single shred of credible evidence of anything even remotely resembling “collusion” with the Russians, or ANY foreign person or power, by President Donald Trump or his 2016 campaign.
Clearly, for these degenerate partisans anything President Trump ever does or says will always be twisted and distorted into his somehow “acting guilty.”
So, now that we know what we are really dealing with in Kristof’s cheap essay, let’s see how efficiently we can dispatch him and a few of his grasping, groping non-sequiturs:
“Russia interfered in the U.S. election”
And? This establishes nothing having anything to do with Donald Trump or his campaign and, if anything, as recent revelations concerning the Steele “dossier” and Clinton collusion with corrupt Department of Justice and national security officials would indicate, any interference by Russian assets came by invitation of Hillary Rodham Clinton, not Donald Trump.
“Trump has longstanding business interests in Russia”
This capital offense was unheard of before Donald Trump came along. Trump is an international hotelier who has business interests all over the world. Citing the fact that some of these have been in Russia over a number of years is yet more grasping at straws by unhinged Trump-haters who see a Russian bear behind every bush, and think the bear must be an escaped felon.
“Trump has consistently displayed a soft spot for Putin”
The only soft spot here is in Kristof’s head. Anyone with more than mush for brains would certainly not be so daft as to conflate public comments not parroting the antagonistic rhetoric of war hawks towards Russia with anything in the same dimension as working with a foreign nation, much less a potential adversary, to obtain some type of aid or assistance for a presidential election campaign.
If this absurd pole-vault logic doesn’t bely New York Times Nikolai’s capacity for rational thought, it certainly betrays any presumption that he possesses even bare-average ability to deduce the likeliest motives behind a few purposeful public displays of contrarian sentiment by a politician widely known as a clever provocateur of his opponents’ most militant rhetoric or stances.
With a mere sprinkling of choice off-handed comments cutting against the Clinton/neo-liberal orthodoxy that Russia is our enemy and Putin the anti-christ, Donald Trump brilliantly trolled Kristof, along with every other pants-wetting Putin-ophobe like him. Such ersatz rhetorical tweaks, if anything, weigh decidedly against any logical inference that they are part and parcel of some illicit collaboration with the foreign power that is so unequivocally the subject of these tweaks.
Kristof concedes as much, concluding his own piece by undercutting much of it:
“Actually, I doubt that there was anything so straightforward as a secret quid pro quo. Indeed, some of these links are so blatant that they seem confusingly exculpatory: Why would anybody conspiring with Putin raise suspicions by publicly praising him?”
Frankly, Kristof sounds confused, but his doubts are part of the rationality his partisan animus has forced him to toss aside.
It is safe to say that even the clumsiest of political novices would not accompany covert acceptance of foreign aid in an election campaign with serial issuance of noticeably-favorable public comments towards that same foreign entity.
If anything, a cunning political cutthroat would more likely bury their secret exploitation of a foreign government for their own campaign beneath a regular barrage of hostile, bellicose criticisms, perhaps even accusing their opponent of the collusive activities in which they are themselves secretly and exclusively engaged.
“Trump picked people with ties to Russia”
Kristof cites Carter Page and Paul Manafort, and a purported pro-Russia ‘tweak’ to the GOP’s boilerplate platform at the convention. Once again, this is seriously-thin gruel on which to hang the very serious allegations that the Clinton-Democrat-NY Times fantasists have been peddling for the last 18 months.
The Russia collusion screamers are fond of claiming that Page had been under watch as far back as 2013, as if being investigated by overly-suspicious, hyper-aggressive federal cops is enough in itself to smear someone as an unsavory character, if not as a criminal. And yet, after all this, the Clinton minions both in and out of government have yet to produce a shred of evidence of any illegal or untoward conduct by Carter Page, or anyone connected to him.
Paul Manafort has been a friend of mine for over 30 years. The suggestion that he is, or would ever be, some sort of conduit for Russian, or any foreign, influence on any official of our government is patently ludicrous. Beyond that, Manafort’s tenure as Trump campaign manager lasted barely 60 days, out of a nearly two-year effort. Even if he were some Russian agent, it would not have made a dime’s worth of difference to the election of Donald Trump, one way or the other. That Kristof cites Manafort in his hit job is on par with the ongoing railroading of Manafort.
As far as the GOP platform tweak, even the greenest of reporters knows that party platforms aren’t worth a hill of beans and any moderately-informed political observer would know that this would be a truly-bizarre way to somehow provide covert support to a foreign power in exchange for campaign help.
What is clear is that defamation artists like Kristof and his other Clinton-stroking cohorts, in their deranged mania to harm Donald Trump, are perfectly fine with smearing anyone using anything, any sort of dishonest tactic, available.
“Russia confided in the Trump campaign”
Kristof dredges up the hyped-up George Papadopoulos pseudo-scandal to support the absurd claim that “Russia” (the whole country, one must surmise) “confided” in the Trump campaign (also the whole entire campaign).
This nonsense is a perfect example of the utterly disingenuous — if not flatly dishonest — coverage you get from the nether regions of the anti-Trump media. Any media figure who actually tries to cite this incident in any serious way is either so completely naïve and clueless that they should never be allowed near any news outlet, or so cynical and manipulative as to be automatically discredited forever.
No credible journalist or politico with even rudimentary understanding of how campaign organizations work — particularly a presidential campaign — would ever seriously think that Papadopoulos was anything but a marginal, inconsequential, purely-honorific campaign volunteer.
Papadopoulos barely got responses to emails he sent to mid-level operatives in the campaign. His most pressing overtures flowing from his supposed Russian “contacts” were summarily dismissed, through a subordinate, by Paul Manafort, the only top Trump campaign staffer who ever even heard the name Papadopoulos.
The assertion that Papadopoulos’s bizarre little interlude with a Russian “professor” he met in a bar and a murky Russian femme fatale somehow amounts to a real Russian government connection to the actual Trump Campaign (not just to some marginal hanger-on), much less to Trump himself, is beyond absurd.
“Trump aides secretly met with Russians”
Kristof obviously has an extremely-encompassing definition of the word “secret,” to the extent that any action or communication that one does not somehow broadcast publicly is, therefore, “secret.”
By Kristof’s definition every email or phone call you made today was a “secret” communication, if you didn’t make certain to announce it or publicly distribute it.
I urge you, the savvy reader, to click over to the Atlantic article Kristof cites as evidence of “secret correspondence” between Donald Trump, Jr. and WikiLeaks.
The title and the premise of this pseudo-reportage are so misleading that you may laugh when you see what these “secret communications” actually amount to. (Perhaps playing some soundtrack music from a suspense movie in the background would make Kristof’s paranoid conspiracy seem less ridiculous.)
Spam messages on social media would sooner constitute “secret” communications than anything that flowed between Trump Jr. and Wikileaks.
This is one of countless examples of how bizarre and tortured a manner in which these Trump-hating hacks have to present their laughable “gotcha!” claims to even publish them with a straight face.
Ordinary campaign or political activities are sensationalized, hyperbolized and hyper-dramatized to make up for the fact that the underlying assertion of their being nefarious activities would otherwise be outright ridiculous.
Kristof drags yours truly into his nothing-burger of a gossip column, employing the same sort of ham-handed hyping and faux-gravity generation.
In this case, the misleading formula goes thusly:
1. Kristof strings together a couple sentences of the most generalized, context-divorced characterizations possible of my barely-glancing, arms-length, substanceless, de minimus interaction with some entity on Twitter alleging to be Guccifer 2.0 and my admittedly-separate Tweet predicting inevitable scrutiny for the crooked Podesta brothers;
2. He then throws “Russian military intelligence” into the mix, as a speculative proposition, of course, and in the passive voice, too boot;
3. He completes the non-sequitur by adding that John Podesta’s emails were subsequently released by Wikileaks.
4. Kristoff misses the fact that my now totally public exchange with Guccifer 2.0 is innocuous, banal and takes place six weeks after Wikileaks published the DNC material
The result: post hoc, ergo proper hoc, and the band of nonsense keeps playing on.
I will not bore you any further trying to dissect Kristof’s latest rubbish. Like the vast swath of corporate media output since Donald Trump’s political ascension, it is all so much partisan hogwash.
For those of us on the receiving end of the bottomless duplicity and endless sophistry of muckraking partisan hacks like Nicholas Kristof, their seemingly-endless spewing of irresponsible, misleading dreck has gone from annoying to just plain old and stale.
Roger Stone is a legendary Republican political consultant and a veteran of many national Republican presidential campaigns. He’s also the men’s fashion correspondent for The Daily Caller and editor of StoneColdTruth.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.