According to several liberal rags, including Vanity Fair, the Republican spin machine is working overtime to get Americans to believe that it actually matters whether or not Hillary Clinton’s campaign funded the Russian dossier that supposedly links Donald Trump to the Kremlin in many nefarious ways. But none took this storyline as far as Paul Waldman in the Washington Post, who said the GOP’s spin on the dossier story was nothing more than “disingenuous nonsense!”
“There may be no talent the Republican Party and the conservative movement have that is more astounding than the way they are able to take a ludicrous idea with zero relationship to actual facts, light a fuse on it, and turn it into an explosive firework of spin that manages to confuse everyone who tries to look at the issue that started the whole controversy,” Waldman writes.
The fact that this is being published in a once-respected newspaper that has entirely sold its soul to the forces of fake news over the last couple of years would be ironic if it weren’t par for the course. We’re beginning to get the idea, though. If a legitimate news story happens to paint Democrats in an unfavorable light, it’s just the Republican spin machine. If it happens to paint Trump in a positive light, it’s Republican fiction. If it does neither, it’s publishable in the pages of the Washington Post.
Of course, what’s funny about this particular story is that it was BROKEN by the Washington Post just the day before Waldman wrote this little editorial. So to be clear, Waldman isn’t alleging that the reporting is fake; he admits over the course of his op-ed piece that it’s all true: Marc Elias, a lawyer for both the Clinton campaign and the DNC, paid Fusion GPS who, in turn, paid former British spy Christopher Steele to compile the dossier on Donald Trump. Of course, he adds some flourishes – (the dossier was subsequently found to contain some information that was later confirmed) – that we would question, but he seems to accept the basic premise of the story. Said premise being: This dossier full of rumors and innuendo was a piece of political propaganda bought and paid for by Trump’s political enemies.
And he thinks that means…
“If Elias did lie about it, it’s not clear why he would have, since every presidential campaign funds opposition research.”
Hmm. Was that Waldman’s response to the Don Jr. meeting with the Russian lawyer? Was it his response to the revelation that Cambridge Analytics spoke to WikiLeaks about the Clinton emails? We thought there was something treasonous about working with foreign agents during an election?
“It’s also unclear how much the Clinton campaign itself knew about the work, since Steele was a subcontractor to a subcontractor to a law firm representing the campaign, and the dossier itself read like an early draft, not remotely like a finished product that would be presented to the campaign,” he writes.
Well, that’s rank speculation, now isn’t it? And you’re accusing the REPUBLICANS of spinning this story?
Waldman’s argument is that it makes no difference who paid for the dossier, and that’s true to the extent that the information contained in the dossier is factual. So far, however, with the brightest investigators in the country having been on the scent for more than a year, there is literally zero evidence to suggest that. And knowing that this piece of tabloid fodder was paid for with Clinton money and remains utterly unsubstantiated, we have to wonder to what extent its existence is responsible for the multiple federal investigations into Trump’s supposed collusion. 50%? 25%? 90%?
As a piece of political opposition research, it’s fine. It is what it is. But as the basis for actual charges of collusion and treason? As the basis for impeachment talks? We need to know the full and complete pedigree of this dossier and we need Americans to know where it came from and why it exists in the first place. That’s the opposite of spin. That’s the unvarnished truth.