The Russian plan to install Donald Trump as president of the United States has resulted in a payoff that has “succeeded for the Russians beyond their wildest expectations,” according to conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, as quoted by AlterNet on Sunday.
Speaking on the MSNBC AM Joy program, Rubin said that the Russian success is documented by a 278-page trove of “secret memos” from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the alleged Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election. The documents were released as the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the online publication BuzzFeed News.
Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered what former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called a “massive” operation to get Donald Trump elected president of the United States. That was not only Clapper’s personal conclusion, but the findings of the entire U.S. intelligence community, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Mueller, as well.
The previously secret Mueller investigation memos were posted online Saturday by Buzzfeed via Document Cloud. Among other revelations, they show that as far back as 2016, Trump’s campaign chief Paul Manafort pushed an unfounded conspiracy theory that Ukraine, not Russia, was behind the election cyberattack. Trump quickly adopted the conspiracy theory as his own.
“This whole presidency succeeded for the Russians beyond their wildest expectations,” Rubin said on the AM Joy broadcast, as seen in the video above. “It’s all about the Ukrainians. This is preposterous. We know our entire intelligence community confirmed it’s the Russians.”
Rubin added that Trump “is still obsessed with this.”
In fact, the conspiracy theory was the basis for one of the “investigations” requested by Trump in his July 25 phone call with new Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump’s attempt to pressure Zelensky to open that investigation, and another into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, is the basis for impeachment proceedings now underway in the House of Representatives.
The theory also appears to be, at least in part, the basis for an investigation currently being carried out by Attorney General William Barr, in which he is reportedly attempting to discredit the U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.
In 2017, Trump tweeted that Ukraine had attempted to “sabotage” his campaign and “boost” his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton.
As Politico correspondent Natasha Bertrand noted Saturday on her Twitter account, in his 2018 book Fear, Watergate reporter Bob Woodward wrote that after that tweet, Trump’s then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster called the Ukraine conspiracy theory “clearly Russian propaganda.”
McMaster expressed concern that Trump had simply “picked it up and shot it out,” according to Woodward’s book.