Streetwise Professor

June 18, 2018

Putin’s Very Useful Idiots

Filed under: Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 2:28 pm

This article is of interest primarily because it represents an inversion of, a retreat from, and a repudiation of, the collusion narrative:

[Former CIA Moscow station Chief Dan Hoffman] points to the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting, which he says was a deliberately discoverable Russian operation.

“I think what Vladimir Putin was thinking is the best way to soil our Democratic processes, link the Trump campaign in some conspiratorial way, because it’s Russia, back to the Kremlin.”

Two years on from that meeting, President Donald Trump and his team are still being investigated over allegations of Russian collusion.

. . . .

Mr Hoffman says the Trump Tower meeting has the Russian President’s fingerprints all over it.

“It wasn’t meant to be a clandestine operation, that’s the last place he would ever do that. There’s too much security, too much press, too many people there,” he said.

“What I think Vladimir Putin was doing, was deliberately leaving a trail of breadcrumbs from Trump Tower to the Kremlin.

“I see the full spectrum of Russian intelligence operations and frankly, if the media can find something that Russia did, like the meeting at Trump Tower, then it was meant to be found.”

. . . .

Mr Hoffman believes Mr Putin’s intention was to spark a media frenzy.

“[It was] kind of like a poison pill. Eventually the media will expose them,” he said. [Emphasis added.]

In other words, the politicians and journalists (and special prosecutors?) who have freaked out about the Trump Tower meeting are the ones who fell for Putin’s machinations. It is the politicians and journalists (and special prosecutors?) who have been Putin’s instrument in destabilizing American democracy.  It is they who have been Putin’s pawns, not Trump.  In their unreasoning hatred of Trump, they fell right into a trap that Putin laid.

This was my first reaction to the Trump Tower meeting “bombshell” back in 2017.  It’s not that complicated to figure this out–there would have been no reason for the meeting if Trump had been colluding with Putin all along.  It is the allegations of collusion that have advanced Putin’s interest, not collusion itself–and setting up a meeting like that in June, 2016 was an obvious way of stoking those allegations.  But to see someone from the CIA endorse this rather obvious logic is quite interesting.  It signals that the collusion story is effectively dead, and never should have drawn a breath in the first place.

Von Mises (not Lenin) wrote that communists called western liberals who were “confused and misguided sympathizers” for the USSR “useful idiots.”  (This phrase is typically attributed to Lenin.) Today’s western media and establishment politicians are fully deserving of the epithet.  But they do the 1920s and 1930s-era unwitting dupes for Lenin and Stalin one better: rather than being sympathizers (confused or otherwise) they advance the objectives of someone they claim to despise in every way, and in so doing they damage the very thing they claim they are protecting. Given this, “useful idiot” seems rather generous, doesn’t it?

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  1. this is excellent but there is ONE flaw. Why did Trump Junior, Manafort, Kushner not mention this meeting in conversations with the FBI and Congress.
    If there was nothing then why did they all hide the fact that there was a meeting. I don’t care if it was Putin who purposely set it up.. possible but the key is the cover up and lies. Trump junior said in a public forum and on Hannity within a week of the meeting that “no one in our campaign had any meetings with Russians.” boy does he have a short term memory loss.

    that’s the key. it is the cover up that got Nixon and Clinton.

    Comment by phil beck — June 21, 2018 @ 8:40 am

  2. It seems more likely that Putin was trying to get at both sides. If you’re trying t undermine democracy you don’t much care if your “candidate” wears red or blue. On balance,Putin probably had a small preference for Hilary, a known figure on whom he’d have more dirt.

    Comment by used to be in france — June 23, 2018 @ 4:15 am

  3. A kind of a follow-up to the previous comment.
    What I could understand from all I had read and heard about KGB deeds from 1980s to the present is that they try to participate at all sides and in all acting groups. Logically perfect: no matter who wins they’ll have their share.
    If Clinton was the one to win the presidency they should have tried their best to have something to influence her afterwards, and they should’ve been doing it much more eagerly than digging for approaches to Trump. It is simple stupid, but those general conditions absolutely coincide with the facts they did succeed to get (some of) Clinton papers and that they were so “unheedful” in the case of Trump.

    Comment by Kirill — July 16, 2018 @ 6:13 pm

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