On Trump-Russia, Right from the Very Beginning

Virginia Heffernan reports Early on, Trump-Russia obsessives were marginalized; they’re prophets now:

“I felt like the guy in ‘Rear Window,’ ” David Corn, the coauthor of “Russian Roulette,” told me this week.

Corn was referring to his affinity for James Stewart’s character, L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies, in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece film. Jeff witnesses a crime across the courtyard from his New York City apartment. But when he talks about it no one believes him.

Corn, likewise, had a period in 2016 when he saw a massive global crime going on right outside his window. The Kremlin was waging war on America. And that November, it captured the White House. But for an agonizingly long time, as the media critic Liz Spayd put it at the time, “the majority view [was] that there wasn’t enough proof of a link between Trump and the Kremlin to write a hard-hitting story” during the campaign.


Corn says he felt “lonely,” even as his stories about the Russia affair gained traction. Others who reported early about curious Trump connections in Moscow — Franklin Foer in Slate, for example — have said the same thing.

But they’re not lonely now. And this is mostly because even while some media organizations sidelined, or cautiously framed, the Trump-Russia story, a much more important group of commenters were far less timid. Let’s give a round of retweets for the concerned citizens of the United States.

Take one look at Twitter: swelling numbers — initially thousands, then tens and perhaps even hundreds of thousands — gather now to raise their voices to undo Trump’s constant gaslighting about the Mueller investigation, which is decidedly not a witch hunt.

From all quarters, these citizens have kept the Trump-Russia story front and center for the electorate, and provided analysis and even scoops that clarify and help to remedy the global catastrophe that is Trump’s presidency.

Millions of concerned citizens of the United States knew from reading and observing – of politics, history, economics, law, and philosophy, of what they teach about human nature and human behavior – that known connections between Trump and foreign nationals suggested venality and betrayal.

These last two years of scrutiny have confirmed our concerns.

On Trump-Russia, regrettably and tragically (for we never wanted America under a foreign dictator’s heel), those who have been concerned have been proved right from the very beginning.


4 comments for “On Trump-Russia, Right from the Very Beginning

  1. joe
    12/11/2018 at 12:06 PM

    Do you suppose that the NRCC hack of two years ago has anything to do with the Wisco-Kid having a sudden zeal for spending more time with his family? Enuf zeal to give up the possibility of inheriting the presidency?? It has always seemed odd that the relentlessly politically ambitious Ryan would just chuck it all, with no discernible plan other than picnicking in Rotary Park, with his family, in Janesville, down by the river, on nice summer dayz. Does it also seem plausible that nobody would have told Ryan about the hack? My credulity is showing stretch-marks..

    Could Yertle be similarly compromised? The NRA dumped tons of Russian money into senate campaigns. That is the same NRA that is now in deep financial trouble. Also the same NRA whose president is Ollie North, a convicted felon arms trafficker, and a certificated traitor. How coincidental…

    It is starting to look like the entire Republican Party is a subsidiary of Putin. The recent plea of Maria Butina can have no good results for the NRA. It has been fascinating, and depressing, to watch the NRA morph from a hunter safety group to the enforcement arm of the Republican Party to enablers of mass murderers to a group actively conspiring with the Russians to (successfully) overthrow the elected government of the US.

    And all the while, they wave their American flags proudly….

      12/11/2018 at 1:12 PM

      It’s really interesting what you ask, because some of these men (including the ones you’ve mentioned) act as though they’ve been compromised. The prevailing theory is that they are all afraid of Trump’s base (where Trump’s base means ‘deplorable.’).

      I’m not convinced it’s simply fear of Trump primary voters. For some, perhaps; for all of them, it seems unlikely.

      The great advantage Putin has is that the ones who may be truly compromised can say they’re just bending to the will of (reactionary) primary voters, and thereby escape the indelible stain of compromise to a hostile foreign power. (Being under the thumb of the hostile domestic powers of neo-Confederates is bad enough, of course).

      When we look back on this, I think we’ll see that this has been one of the most devastating foreign policy losses in our history. Not one of the officials who turn a blind eye to this wears an American flag on his or her lapel with anything other than hypocrisy.

  2. George Bailey
    12/12/2018 at 9:02 AM

    Don’t leave out “first-choice COS replacement”, Nick Ayers (Pence’s right-hand), who at the modest age of 36 has “inexplicably” amassed a $54m fortune and also opted out of the running for COS. Kompromat abounds. The other side is not immune. Jill Stein, Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders are also very Kremliny in their actions. GOP is hypocritically complaining about the cost and length of the SC investigation. The Starr investigation took more than 6 years and $70m in 1990’s dollars. It’s not about the depth of the hole digging into this investigation, rather it is the sheer acreage…

      12/12/2018 at 10:44 AM

      It’s true that more than one supposed alternative to Trump is, in fact, a bad alternative. There was helping Trump, and there was hurting Clinton, and both served Putin’s goals (unfettered action in Europe, an end to sanctions). After the election, I wrote that the Libertarian Party (as a third party) wasn’t a good option for anyone – a dilution of the anti-Trump vote was, and would be, a mistake. So I left the party, but not – needless to say – libertarianism. Indeed, a libertarian perspective seems to be more necessary than ever.

      I’m proud to say, however, that a third-party vote was not a mistake that I made in 2016. I read carefully what LP vice-presidential candidate William Weld wrote about the two major candidates, and taking that Libertarian Party candidate’s observations seriously when I went into the voting booth, I voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

      Each day confirms the soundness of that decision.

      A libertarian perspective offers much to others, but libertarians as I am (old family, movement, ‘Bleeding Heart,’ etc.) cannot contribute effectively as a third way against Trumpism. It’s a grand coalition of opposition and resistance, or ruin.

      There’s nothing in between.