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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Lefties now question the Russian narrative

Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor of the progressive magazine, The Nation. She is married to Stephen F. Cohen, her senior by 21 years. He is 79 and professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University.

In the latest edition of the Nation, Cohen questions the Democratic Party narrative, writing, "The publication of the Republican House Committee memo and reports of other documents increasingly suggest not only a 'Russiagate' without Russia but also something darker: The “collusion” may not have been in the White House or the Kremlin."

Cohen is troubled by one thing: it has been a year now and none of the 35 memos in the Russian dossier have proved true.

"Steele’s dossier, which alleged that Trump had been compromised by the Kremlin in various ways for several years even preceding his presidential candidacy, was the foundational document of the Russiagate narrative, at least from the time its installments began to be leaked to the American media in the summer of 2016, to the US Intelligence Community Assessment of January 2017 (when BuzzFeed also published the dossier), the same month that FBI Director James Comey 'briefed' President-elect Trump on the dossier—apparently in an effort to intimidate him—and on to today’s Mueller investigation," Cohen wrote.

He put briefed in scary quotes for a reason. I am guessing that like me, the two-page summary of  the memos was given to Trump just to get CNN to report on it. Comey leaked like a colander throughout his career.

But that is my thought, not necessarily Cohen's.

He is troubled by the facts.

There are not many.

"Even though both have been substantially challenged for their lack of verifiable evidence, the dossier and subsequent ICA report remain the underlying sources for proponents of the Russiagate narrative of Trump-Putin collusion," Cohen wrote.

"The memo and dossier are now being subjected to close (if partisan) scrutiny, much of it focused on the Clinton campaign’s having financed Steele’s work through his employer, Fusion GPS. But two crucial and ramifying question are not, Cohen argues, being explored: Exactly when, and by whom, was this Intel operation against Trump started?

"And exactly where did Steele get the informatio” that he was filing in periodic installments and that grew into the dossier? In order to defend itself against the memo’s charge that it used Steele’s unverified dossier to open its investigation into Trump’s associates, the FBI claims it was prompted instead by a May 2016 report of remarks made earlier by another lowly Trump adviser, George Papadopoulos, to an Australian ambassador in a London bar.

"Even leaving aside the ludicrous nature of this episode, the public record shows it is not true. In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee in May 2017, John Brennan, formerly Obama’s head of the CIA, strongly suggested that he and his agency were the first, as The Washington Post put it at the time, 'in triggering an FBI probe.'

"Certainly both the Post and The New York Times interpreted his remarks in this way. Equally certain, Brennan played a central role in promoting the Russiagate narrative thereafter, briefing members of Congress privately and giving President Obama himself a top-secret envelope in early August 2016 that almost certainly contained Steele’s dossier.

"Early on, Brennan presumably would have shared his 'suspicions' and initiatives with James Clapper, director of national intelligence. FBI Director Comey, distracted by his mangling of the Clinton private-server affair during the presidential campaign, may have joined them actively somewhat later.

"But when he did so publicly, in his March 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, it was as J. Edgar Hoover reincarnate—as the nation’s number-one expert on Russia and its profound threat to America (though, when asked, he said he had never heard of Gazprom, the giant Russian-state energy company often said to be a major pillar of President Putin’s power)."

This is brutal.

We have a lefty expert on Russia asking where the Russians are. This is the Emperor Has No Clothes moment in our scandal, in which the scandal reverses and brings down those who tried to bring the president down.

Presidenticide is like regicide. Those who attempt and fail must themselves fall.

"What was President Obama’s role in any of this? Or to resort to the Watergate question: What did he know and when did he know it? And what did he do? The same questions would need to be asked about his White House aides and other appointees. Whatever the full answers, there is no doubt that Obama acted on the Russiagate allegations. He cited them for the sanctions he imposed on Russia in December 2016, which led directly to the case of General Michael Flynn (not for doing anything wrong with Russia but for 'lying to the FBI'); to the worsening of the new US-Russian Cold War; and thus to the perilous relationship inherited by President Trump, who has in turn been thwarted by Russiagate in his attempts to improve relations through 'cooperation' with Putin," Cohen wrote.

The there is not there. And a few lefties notice -- the ones who are still afraid of a huge government that spies on its people.


From Leslie Eastman's review at Legal Insurrection:
Surber, a recovering journalist with over 30 years of experience, has been cataloging the #FakeNews that has been regularly offered as serious analysis of President Donald Trump’s actions, policies, and opinions. He has brought his enormous collection together in the longest, most serious book he has yet written: Fake News Follies 2017.
"Fake News Follies of 2017" is available on Kindle and in paperback.

Autographed copies are available. Email me at for details. I am including a "director's cut." I'll email you back the original Chapter 1 that I cut because while the chapter was amusing, it really had nothing to do with the "Fake News Follies of 2017."

Ben Garrison did the cover and I am so happy with it. I told him what the book was about, sent him a copy of the manuscript, and he came up with a perfect cover. I am so pleased.


  1. James Comey 'briefed' President-elect Trump on the dossier—apparently in an effort to intimidate him

    That is a brutal —and intriguing — analysis. Too bad the multiple Congressional investigators aren't nearly as good at bringing events and motivations into such sharp focus. They've plodded along and made a big muddle of it; this guy goes right to heart of it.

    1. Comey briefing President Trump wasn't to intimidate him. It was so it could be leaked as an "official" briefing to the media. Before it was deemed "official" they wouldn't touch it. - Elric

    2. Of course they would touch it. Before the election they didn't think they needed to publish it because Hillary was going to win. After Trump's victory, all the parties who had already been approached by Steele could publish it, citing an anonymous source. But if Comey leaked it to them, why, so much the better, because then they could cite the anonymous source as a "high government official who was close to the investigation." Corey's brief of the president was his best take off on J.Edgar Hoover: "Hey, Mr. President, look what the FBI agency I run knows about you and could use to make your life miserable. You've got a nice little presidency there. It would be a shame if something happened to it."

  2. If the Left ever knew anything about strategy, they seemed to have unlearned the lesson in recent years.

    Trump is teaching them time and time again, that a tactical defeat can be justified if it brings a great strategic victory.

    Example from history: only five of the fourteen merchant ships of the “Convoy of Santa Maria” (Operation Pedestal) made it to Valletta’s Grand Harbour In 1942, but Malta was resupplied when it was on the point of starvation, and almost out of fuel and munitions.

    The Left pays and pays again for its disdain of Western history.

  3. Plenty of there there, only turns out it's on the wrong side of the ledger.

    The big question that your source seems to be asking in indirect and nuanced ways is "where do we go from here, and what are our talking points?"

    They've lost control mof the narrative and they don't know what to do.

    Most of the time scum -- excuse me -- democrats resort to their standard standby fallbacks: "see? Everybody does it." Or "Nothing to see here. Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes."

    We need mass executions.

  4. Van Den Heuvel was a commie when being a commie wasn’t cool. I am sure her husband is a true comrade in arms. If you’ve lost Cohen, you are in trouble.

    1. Didn't that chick play bass for the classic 90s band Hole, led by Courtney Love? Dial up Awful and tell me that I'm wrong.

    2. Commies like Van Den Heuvel sure make a fine living off the free market system they despise.

  5. This is interesting. Comey throws Priestap under the bus early in the second video at the link:

    --In essence, Bill Priestap was James Comey’s fall guy. We knew it at the time that Bill Priestap would likely see this the same way. The guy would have too much to lose by allowing James Comey to set him up.

    Immediately there was motive for Bill Priestap to flip and become the primary source to reveal the hidden machinations. Why should he take the fall for the operation when there were multiple people around the upper-levels of leadership who carried out the operation.

    Our suspicions were continually confirmed because there was NO MENTION of Bill Priestap in any future revelations of the scheme team, despite his centrality to all of it.
    Without Bill Priestap involved, approvals, etc. the entire Russian/Trump Counterintelligence operation just doesn’t happen. Heck, James Comey’s own March 20th testimony in that regard is concrete evidence of Priestap’s importance.
    With all of that in mind, there is essentially no-way the participating members inside the small group can escape their accountability with Mr. Bill Priestap cooperating with the investigative authorities.

    Now it all makes sense. Devin Nunes interviewed Bill Priestap and Jim Rybicki prior to putting the memo process into place. Rybicki quit, Priestap went back to work.

  6. Van den Heuvel is similar to Camille Paglia, she may be on the other side but she is incredibly smart. She is a must read for me.

    The reason this affair is dragging is that the American people have to be on board for what is coming up. I note a poll in the last day or two that shows more than half of the public believe that the FISA warrant was phonied to go after Trump. That may be the trigger to set off the bombs.

  7. Steele got the dossier info from FusionGPS. It was round-tripped through him to give it an air of legitimacy.

    1. Some time ago, there was a post at The Conservative Treehouse, which seemed well thought out and claimed the dossier originated within the FBI. I have no thought on whether that may be true, but if it is, then I can see Nellie Ohr, the wife of DoJ official Bruce Ohr who was a member of the inner circle forming the conspiracy, as a possible conduit for passing the document to FusionGPS. So perhaps the provenance of the dossier is even more sinister than you wrote.

    2. I beleive the dossier was plan A in the several plans running concurrently. Hillarys team of destroyers and conspiracy authors like Sid Blumenthal created a theme partly with open sourced info that was given to Simpson to create the desired narrative. The contract with Fusion was solely to give the data credibility when released. Didn't really matter if the data was unverified all it had to do was create the October Surprise to damage Trump in the eyes of the voter. You can imagine how angry hillay was when the MSM wasn't reporting the dossier prior to the election. After Trump get's elected shift gears to plan B

  8. The dam is starting to break, and a few of the smarter leftists can see it and are getting out from in front of it

  9. ATTENTION! ATTENTION! Runaway Caterpillar D-10 coming your way!

  10. Cohen might be a member of an endangered species, an intellectually honest liberal.

    1. I completely agree about Cohen's honesty. Have see him several times on Tucker's show and I could swear he was a conservative intellectual.

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