The media, albeit dishonestly, is alleging that President Trump is willing to take opposition research on an election opponent from a foreign government.
“I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump continued. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”
— ABC News, 6/13/19
While President Trump specifically told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he might take info from a country like “Norway”, the media has concluded he’d take damaging information on a political rival from… RUSSIA?
New York Times: Trump Says ‘I’d Take It’ if Russia Again Offered Dirt on Opponent
Washington Post: Trump just invited another Russian attack.
As has been stated by people not in the professional media on many occasions, “collusion” is NOT a crime. Obtaining political dirt on a political opponent, let alone the from a foreign government like Russia is NOT a crime but it didn’t take long for Democrats to cry foul.
More than a dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates rebuked President Donald Trump on Wednesday night after he said he would consider taking information on his political challengers from a foreign government. Many renewed calls for impeachment, further raising the profile of a highly charged and divisive cause, while also voicing new concerns about the security of American elections.
— Washington Post, 6/13/19
But can any of them explain the actions of House Intelligence Chair Representative Adam Schiff who essentially did just that in 2017?
Granted, Schiff was suckered by Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, two Russian pranksters known as Vovan and Lexus, and Schiff later claimed he knew he was being punk’d and was just playing along.
A spokesman for Schiff said, “Before agreeing to take the call, and immediately following it, the committee informed appropriate law-enforcement and security personnel of the conversation, and of our belief that it was probably bogus.”
— The Atlantic, January/February 2018
That kinda’ defies common sense when you consider how valuable his time should be and how long he played along.
Kuznetsov and Stolyarov immediately sent the recording to Kremlin-friendly media, which gleefully made hay of it: another dumb American, ready to believe the most-ludicrous stories about a Russia run by sneaky, evil spies. Any Russian listening to the tape would have instantly recognized how silly the conversation was.
Aside from the “dumb American”, Schiff sounded all too eager to accept any and all opposition research damaging to Donald Trump and relished in the opportunity. Think about it: he clearly warned “Andriy Parubiy, the speaker of the Rada, the Ukrainian parliament” that others may be listening; something he wouldn’t have said if he was goading someone possibly nefarious, and if Adam really believed the call was “bogus”, he’d have a staffer take the information, not the congressman himself for precisely the reasons the recording illustrates.
Or maybe Adam Schiff IS that dumb…?
It would be interesting to read the report sent (if it even was) to “appropriate law enforcement and security personnel” considering there was never any major coverage of this attempt to give a committee chairman compromising information on the President of the United States or followup.
If Donald Trump is to be criticized for saying he might take information from a foreign source, shouldn’t Adam Schiff be made to answer for his clear and willing acceptance of political dirt?
h/t Laura Parks