From The National Observer.
Russian interference decided the election
One thing is certain, it’s impossible to overstate the impact of Russia’s interference in the election, which was decisive. People, especially Democrats, should dispense with the mantra that it had no effect.
Average voters aren’t news junkies like you. Most people have no idea of the difference between Wikileaks and the FBI investigation into Clinton emails.
For the average voter, Wikileaks and Comey were two sides of one coin: emails. Which became shorthand for “Hillary lies.” When Comey’s letter came, it electrified the election because the public had already been primed to distrust Clinton by Wikileaks.
Trump knew it. He pounded the Wikileaks drum relentlessly, mentioning them a total of 164 times in the last month of the campaign alone. Half the time he did it on free national television coverage as his speeches were broadcast live.
The media danced so hard to Putin’s tune you could write a Broadway musical just from the headlines.
It was because of the relentless pounding of the Wikileaks stories that Comey’s letter nailed the Clinton coffin shut. (Comey himself is now under investigation.)
Data trackers Echelon Insights reports that, with 33 million mentions, the Wikileaks hacking stories were by far the most talked-about election issue on Twitter, closely followed by Clinton’s email (Comey). Together they combined for an astonishing 54 million mentions–about ten times the impact of the Access Hollywood tapes.
So what remains today is the suggestion, through this mysterious document, that the Kremlin and Trump campaign sought to benefit themselves by supporting Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein. There’s no evidence that either knew about this plot, if it existed.
All of it worked, and it worked on the left as well as the right. All of it damaged trust in Clinton. Having maintained approval ratings well over 50% for 15 straight years, over the course of the campaign Clinton’s positives plummeted into the 30’s almost overnight.
The single most damaging narrative, that Clinton was untruthful and untrustworthy, only got traction when Julian Assange and Vladimir Putin, intervened to help Sanders, Stein, and ultimately Donald Trump.
If the Steele memo is to be believed, a very great deal of the pro-Stein and Sanders, anti-Hillary Clinton rhetoric was a Russian propaganda op. It certainly silenced and intimidated a great many of Hillary’s supporters who deeply wanted to cheer for her unabashedly and without reservation.
That gap gave doubt an open runway.
In the end, the election turned on about 100,000 votes in three states. That’s .07% of the electorate, while Clinton won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes.
By any objective standard, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence suggests that Americans were deprived of the president they chose because of Russian interference.
Putin “hated and feared” Clinton
The propaganda effect continues today. Despite having the most popular outgoing president in recent history, Democrats are so demoralized by internal divisions that they haven’t been able to mount a serious challenge to Trump, whose legitimacy is surely poisoned. They should flat out repudiate his inauguration. Until he is cleared by an independent investigation, Trump’s victory is no more legitimate than an ill-begotten Russian Olympic gold medal.
This scandalous conspiracy cannot be rewarded by handing him control of all the levers of power that assert the rule of law in America.
I would add one final note, perhaps the most important sentence in Christopher Steele’s entire dossier.
In describing the coordinated plotting between the Kremlin and Trump campaign, one of Steele’s sources said: “the two sides had a mutual interest in defeating… Hillary Clinton, whom President Putin apparently both hated and feared.” (Emphasis added)
At this moment in history, the United States deserves a president that Vladimir Putin is actually afraid of, instead of the reverse.