Senate Intel Committee Knows GOP Ukraine Conspiracy Theories Are Horsesh*t But SHHHHH DON'T TELL!
Look, it's more news you probably missed this week because there are too many newses!
But first, we need to do a quick review:
- Every journalist who has looked into spurious conspiracy theories that UKRAINE was the REAL COLLUSION in 2016 has found that it's bullshit. (Ken Vogel's New York Times piece on the Bidens and Ukraine was debunked within HOURS. Vogel's 2017 Politico piece, which started it all, and which Republicans referred to incessantly during the impeachment hearings, admitted that there was "little evidence of a top-down effort by Ukraine" to fuck with our election. Finally, John Solomon does not get to be included among "journalists," because that's not quite what he does for a living.)
- Donald Trump's first homeland security advisor, Tom Bossert, has specifically said that Trump's "Ukraine stoled the DNC server and buried it in the backyard" conspiracy theory is fully debunked horseshit, and expressed distress that people fill the president's brain with things like that. "It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again," said Bossert in September, confirming Trump is very stupid.
- Many impeachment witnesses, most notably Dr. Fiona Hill, who used to work for the Trump administration as the National Security Council's top Russia adviser, informed Congress that conspiracy theories about Ukraine meddling in the 2016 election are bullshit, and also Russian propaganda. Hill said this in her opening statement, right to Devin Nunes's face.
- Democratic lawyer Daniel Goldman repeatedly showed a slide during those hearings with a quote from a Vladimir Putin press conference in early 2017, where Putin can be seen personally planting the seeds of the conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine and not Russia that attacked our election in 2016, to help Hillary Clinton steal the election from herself.
- The intelligence community has specifically briefed the United States Senate and told them that shit is a Kremlin conspiracy theory, thereby strongly implying that Republicans like Senator John Kennedy and Devin Nunes and Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump really need to STFU about it.
That's a pretty consistent and strong record.
But did you know that the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee has also studied the issue and made that same determination for itself? And that there is a report on that sitting at the office of the Director of National Intelligence that mysteriously hasn't been cleared for release, even though it is all finished?
WHOA IF TRUE! (It is true.)
A few news sources have broken their own versions of this story over the course of the week, each with interesting details. Natasha Bertrand reports at Politico that the committee interviewed Alexandra Chalupa, best known as the name Devin Nunes screams during hearings like he has Tourette's, and came up with nothin'. (Part of the GOP conspiracy theory is that Alexandra Chalupa, a former DNC consultant, did ... something bad! ... with Ukraine to help Clinton and hurt Trump. Or something. They're really pissed she was looking into Paul Manafort's Ukraine crimes.) She did tell them that she "had been targeted by a Russian active measures campaign," though, as Bertrand writes.
Jake Tapper reported at CNN that the committee also interviewed Shawn Henry, who is the president of Crowdstrike, the cybersecurity company Donald Trump referred to in his treason call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and which Trump thinks buried the DNC (cloud) server in the backyard to hide Hillary's Deep State secrets from him.
Tapper adds that "[s]ources tell CNN that no US intelligence agency has ever produced a product accusing the Ukrainian government of interfering in the 2016 US election." There's no disagreement. There's no agency out there going "Yes but maybe!"
And the bipartisan, GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee agrees!
This, of course, is not the first time the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is again led by Republicans, has studied the 2016 election attacks and ended up with the same conclusion as every other sane human in the world, including every single US intelligence agency and Robert Mueller's report, which is that Russia attacked the election in one-thousand metric fucktons of ways.
So ... Can We See The Report Now? And If Not, Why Not?
Rachel Maddow reported Thursday night that the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on this is literally finished, and it's been "sitting in the office of the Director of National Intelligence for months awaiting declassification." Wonder why!
Could it be because committee chairman GOP Senator Richard Burr -- who has always been two-faced and according to the Mueller Report might have dirtier hands than he'd like us to believe when it comes to covering up Trump's crimes -- is out there trying to muddy the waters like a common Bill Barr, in order to make people think Ukraine actually did meddle, despite what his bipartisan committee determined? Is the office of the DNI keeping Burr's own committee's report hidden, so he and senators like John Kennedy and Ron Johnson can spread mouth-breathing Kremlin propaganda in service of Trump? We are just asking.
Consider these quotes from Burr over the past week. From Natasha Bertrand in Politico:
In a brief hallway interview after this story was published, Burr declined to say if he believes Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. But, he said, "The elected officials in Ukraine had a preference. Her name is Hillary Clinton."
And here's Vice with another Burr quote:
"There's no difference in the way Russia put their finger early on in the scale for one candidate, and everybody called it meddling. Ukraine did it, it's still meddling," Burr told reporters Tuesday.
And here's what Burr told NBC News on Monday:
"Every elected official in the Ukraine was for Hillary Clinton. Is that very different than the Russians being for Donald Trump?"
YES, ASSHOLE, IT IS. Every thinking person on the globe hates Donald fucking Trump and is (or should be) free to say so. That's different from, as Robert Mueller put it, a "sweeping and systematic" campaign directed by Vladimir Putin to literally attack the 2016 American election!
Burr did at one point make his comments this week a little bit saner -- and contradicted himself -- telling CNN, "I don't think anybody interfered in the same way Russia did." Neither does anyone else! Except possibly Richard Burr, who just said "there's no difference," goddammit, Richard, what the fuck are you talking about?
"But it's a legitimate argument that they interfered -- that [Ukrainians] were active."
Oh Jesus Christ.
(And can we again point out that the reason many Ukrainians didn't like Donald Trump during the campaign is because HE SUPPORTED RUSSIA'S SIDE IN RUSSIA'S ILLEGAL WAR ON UKRAINE, WHICH INVOLVED THE INVASION AND STEALING OF THE CRIMEAN PENINSULA AND THE SUBSEQUENT MURDER OF LOTS OF UKRAINIAN PEOPLE?)
Republicans want you to think that Ukraine attacked our election, and they want you to believe that a handful of Ukrainians expressing their preference for Hillary Clinton on Facebook in 2016 is equal in nature to Russia's "sweeping and systematic" Putin-directed attack on the 2016 election to install President Shit-King in office.
Don't take it from us, take it from Marco Rubio, as quoted by CNN, who says "nothing compares to the Russian effort" to attack the 2016 election, and that a few Ukrainian officials following Hillary Clinton on Facebook is "not even in the same universe" as what Russia did.
Well, no shit!
Republicans can go fuck themselves. Especially Richard Burr.
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