By: Philip | 12-28-2018 | Opinion
Photo credit: Dimbar76 |

Fact Checking HuffPo's Misleading Russiagate Story

Another smoking bullet in the saga of Russiagate or another example of misleading journalism in action? You be the judge.

Obama's State Department Distributed Russiagate Documents To Senators Ahead Of Trump Inauguration

The esteemed Huffington Puffington has recently broke the story wide open on the Trump-Russia ties. Yup, we finally found where it all starts. It all begins with "[a] newly unearthed New York Times Magazine report from January 28th, 2001" on Mark Burnett, the producer of The Apprentice negotiating with "none other than" Vladimir Putin.

Luckily, no more than 55 words into the article the author admits the connection "could be a mere coincidence" despite claiming it "raises new questions" about the possibility of Putin-Trump ties. Would maybe be nice if they mentioned how absolutely inconsequential this is from a legal perspective.

FBI Informant Douglas Campbell Names Obama In Uranium One ScandalFBI Informant Douglas Campbell Names Obama In Uranium One Scandal

The "talks", far from being "unearthed" are easily accessible from the internet despite the lead of the article using language to suggest this was hidden info that had just become available. A semantic quibble, I know. Besides, "I recently unearthed a publicly available article following a Google search and then either am uninformed enough about the situation to think Russia was sanctioned at the time or am purposefully being intellectually dishonest" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

What's most relevant here is the when of what happened. 2001-2004 is when the negotiations occurred according to the New York Times magazine article, but the Magnitsky affair wouldn't occur until nearly a decade later and sanctions shortly after that. At the time though, there was nothing untoward about rapping about the possibility of turning the Russian space station Mir into a reality television show (no, seriously, that's what they said the potential deal was).

I honestly wonder how many people when they hear "the Russians" even know why there would be any more controversy over meetings with Natalia Veselnitskaya (who met with Fusion GPS before and after meeting with Trump Jr.) than there is over the (also illegal) purchasing of opposition research from Christopher Steele, a foreign national and intelligence agent.

More interesting to me than whether the guy who today "is running Trump's inaugural festivities" has to do with Russia after the Mir deal fell apart is how and why Bill Browder's Fusion GPS keeps showing up on both sides of these affairs. Then there're guys like Robert Mueller in charge of investigating Russiagate what would he have to gain from us going to war with Russia potentially? Well, banking against currently nationalized natural gas could be a winning position if we weakened the current Kremlin rule.

I started to notice some funny Cold War style reindeer games with the US playing Maverick to Putin's USSR in a revamped IRL Top Gun back around 2011-2012, but in following the story since I see it really started heating up a year or two before that.

The Twisted Tale of Russiagate Just Gets Trickier

One of the key things to understand about the whole Russiagate affair is the sanctions come after the Magnitsky affair, which, by the way, is no more damning than Abu Ghraib. Take that how you will, my point being, we're not necessarily the "good guys" here and we're certainly not much better, if any, than Russia. In other words, "it's all about politics."

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