AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Deep State Attempts to Resurrect RussiaGate as Trump Gains Speed

As former President Donald Trump began tightening his grip on becoming the Republican presidential nominee early this year, former intelligence officials began ramping up familiar rhetoric and fear-mongering among the American public — that he is pro-Russia and a vote for Trump is a vote for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The same players from “RussiaGate” — the failed deep state hoax to frame Trump for colluding with Russia to win in 2016 — are pushing the narrative, with some help from Never Trump allies who made their way into in the Trump administration.

One of them, Fiona Hill, a Russia hawk who was reportedly recruited into the Trump administration by K.T. McFarland and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Flynn, has been making the rounds in the media warning about Trump as the public face for those disgruntled former intelligence officials.

“He wants to weaponize the intelligence community. And the fact is you need to look with a 360 degree perspective. He can’t just cherry pick what he wants to hear when there are so many U.S. adversaries and countries that don’t wish the U.S. well,” Hill told Politico recently. “If he guts the intel on one thing, he’ll be partially blinding us.”

Hill had also just appeared on CBS News Sunday, where she said: “Former President Trump has made it very clear that he admires Vladimir Putin.”

Hill also had shady ties to characters involved in the debunked Steele dossier, which was the centerpiece of the Russia collusion hoax. Hill, a former National Intelligence Council analyst and a current senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, had worked closely with Igor Danchenko, an analyst at Brookings, and introduced him to the dossier author Christopher Steele. Danchenko would become the primary researcher for the dossier, which was later found out by then-House intelligence investigator Kash Patel to be surreptitiously funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. Hill would also allegedly introduce Danchenko to Charles Dolan Jr. — a Democrat operative who served as a “source” for Danchenko. Danchenko would later be indicted for lying to the FBI.

Along with figures like Hill, Democrats in Congress with deep ties to the intelligence community are also pushing the narrative.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), former member of the House Intelligence Committee before he was kicked off for his relationship with alleged Chinese spy “Fang Fang” and one of the lead pushers of RussiaGate in Congress, just recently posted on his social media accounts claiming that “Trump is Putin.”

As with RussiaGate in 2016, Swalwell and fellow hoaxers have begun misrepresenting Trump’s remarks on Russia from the campaign trail.

Trump at a campaign rally in February talked about a private conversation he had with then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel, where she allegedly had asked him if the U.S. would defend Germany against a Russian attack if Germany — the largest economy in Europe — did not meet its NATO obligation to spend two percent of its GDP on its own defense. Trump said he would not.

It was a private theoretical question, with a theoretical response. However, Swalwell later exaggerated that story, saying: “Donald Trump is at it again. This guy loves Russia. And he just said recently that basically, Vladimir Putin should invade any NATO country that’s not doing what Donald Trump thinks they need to be doing…He’s inviting an attack on our greatest allies.”

President Joe Biden also lied about that story during the State of the Union address, claiming that Trump actually told Putin to “do whatever the hell you want.” Biden claimed during the speech: “Now, my predecessor, a former Republican President, tells Putin, ‘Do whatever the hell you want.’ A former American President actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader. It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable.”

As in 2016, members of the mainstream media have been all too compliant to push that lie. A March 1 New York Times newsletter claimed:

If Trump wins a second term, he may go further. He has suggested that he might abandon the U.S. commitment to NATO, an alliance that exists to contain Russia and that Putin loathes. He recently invited Russia to “to do whatever the hell they want” to NATO countries that don’t spend enough on their own defense.

This was how Democrats first set the scene in 2016 for the Russia collusion hoax — taking campaign trail comments and jokes and suggesting Trump was colluding with Putin.

This time, Democrats are also attacking Republicans in Congress who oppose sending billions more in taxpayer money to Ukraine, despite valid concerns over the national debt and the lack of a winning strategy or endgame. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) recently declared, “There’s a growing pro-Putin faction in the Republican Party.”

In February, there was a drumbeat of articles tying Republicans to Putin:

On February 7, The Economist ran a piece titled, “House Republicans are helping Vladimir Putin”
On February 8, Never Trumper David French wrote a New York Times piece titled, “Why MAGA Loves Russia and Hates Ukraine”
On February 16, MSNBC’s Alex Wagner wrote a piece titled: “How Donald Trump is making the GOP the party of Putin”
On February 18, former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney warned of a “Putin wing” of the Republican party on CNN
On February 22, Time published a piece titled: “How Putin Co-Opted the Republican Party”
On February 23, Jonathan Chait — an original RussiaGate pusher — published a piece titled, “Trump has finally remade Republicans into Putin’s playthings”
On February 23, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough stated Republicans have decided, “We’re going to become the pro-Putin Republican Party”

Coincidentally amid this media offensive, the Justice Department indicted a longtime FBI informant, Alexander Smirnov, alleging he lied to the FBI when he said the CEO of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma told him he paid Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each to help him with an international corruption investigation he faced.

Despite Smirnov pleading non-guilty and yet-to-be-convicted, Democrats and the media have characterized him as a liar and compromising the House Oversight Committee’s entire investigation into the Biden family.

House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) responded in a statement to CNN that his investigation does not revolve around Smirnov, but instead a “large record of evidence, including bank records and witness testimony, revealing that Joe Biden knew of and participated in his family’s business dealings.” He also noted the FBI had said Smirnov was “credible and trusted, had worked with the FBI for over a decade, and had been paid six figures.”

A spokesperson for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who had released the FBI’s record of its conversation with Smirnov, told CNN that the DOJ’s “indictment isn’t enough.” He added: “The public has a right to see all the underlying evidence supporting the Biden Justice Department’s case. The Biden administration must show its work.”

The New York Post‘s Miranda Devine has called the attempt to discredit Smirnov “Russiagate 3.0.”

Anonymous intelligence community officials have increasingly appearing in media pieces criticizing Trump.

One example is the aforementioned Politico piece, which cited anonymous current and former intelligence officials.

Another example is a February 25 New York Times piece citing CIA anonymous officials on the deep cooperation between the CIA and Ukraine, questioning whether Republicans would “abandon” Ukraine.

Some former CIA officials are penning pieces themselves. Rob Dannenberg, former chief of operations for CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, wrote an open letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) encouraging him to bring up Ukraine aid for a vote.

Former CIA official Marc Polymeropoulos, who worked with former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell to write the letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials claiming the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation, recently amplified a piece warning about Trump soon being given intelligence briefings as the Republican presidential nominee.

 In recent days, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has echoed those warnings and on Thursday, the Atlantic published a piece by Never Trumper Tom Nichols titled, “Donald Trump Is a National-Security Risk: The GOP candidate should not be given intelligence briefings.”

 Schiff and other original Russia collusion hoaxers are warning that Russia will definitely interfere or is already interfering in the 2024 election — which they previously argued meant the 2016 election was illegitimate.

Schiff recently said on MSNBC, “We should fully expect them to engage, it’s just a question of how much they engage.” And Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), who was the lead counsel in the first impeachment hearings against Trump, recently claimed on CNN: “It now appears the House Republican majority is being used by Russia to interfere in the 2024 election.”

The Republican National Committee summed up the new RussiaGate push in a recent press release:

Democrats have nothing in their playbook, so they’re resorting to a familiar theme: ‘RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA!’ It has been the same old sad story for the better part of the past decade – and it’s becoming increasingly delusional.

These are the same Democrats who leveraged mouthpieces in the so-called ‘intelligence community’ with their backers in the media to launch multiple impeachment hoaxes, declare Hunter Biden’s laptop Russian disinformation, and question every aspect of the Biden family corruption scandal.

While the same players’ fingerprints are all over this year’s attempts to push the narrative, what is not clear yet is whether it is just an attempt to stop Trump’s election, bat down unflattering coverage of Hunter Biden, or potentially gin up a new Russia collusion or some other hoax.

Patel, who uncovered RussiaGate while serving as the lead investigator for then House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and later joined the Trump administration as a senior national security official, told Breitbart News in an interview:

Whether it’s the media, people in the executive branch, Congress, or even the judicial branch with some of these judges, the chorus of people now going out there and pushing the narrative that Donald Trump is going to be dictator over the intelligence community and use it to be a dictator is the height of hypocrisy.
The are the ones that authored the largest criminal corruption scandals in DOJ, FBI and the intelligence community’s history — i.e. Adam Schiff and RussiaGate. And now Adam Schiff is calling for President Trump to receive dumbed down versions of intelligence briefings because he thinks he’s going to jeopardize American national security? Says the guy who held up an envelope and told the world he had evidence of Russia-Trump collusion, and that envelope was empty.
These are the people coming forward, whether it’s Fiona Hill at Brookings, who in the private sector hired the main source of the Steele dossier, who ended up being charged federally, and introduced him to Steele and Charles Dolan. And both of these ‘sources’ turned out to lie to Christopher Steele and provide him with false information. This person is telling us that Donald Trump is going to weaponize intelligence? She literally took political information she knows to be false and fed it into the federal bureaucracy to take out a sitting president of the United States.
So when they say these things, that circle is complete. You’ve exposed their weaponization of intel, law enforcement, and defense, and the only thing they can do — like Cheney today — is make baseless personal attacks and say, ‘Orange Man bad.’ I think the American people finally are finally saying, ‘Wait a second. These epople lied to me. Them and their partners in the media lied to me, like Politico and the Times and the Washington Post. None of it was true.

He concluded, “The only thing that was true was Donald Trump exposing their corruption.”

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