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Trump Times: Make America (nyet) Russia Great Again! (Washington Diary)

IANS  |  Washington 

If Mikhail Gorbachev lost the Cold War for the Soviet Union, is winning version 2.0 for

Putin has been ruling the air waves in America for months with on the minds of pundits, politicians and press since US spooks accused his spies of helping Donald Trump win the presidency defying all prophets.

Days after a combative interview with former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, a four-hour-long documentary by Hollywood filmmaker Oliver Stone tracing his rise from a KGB agent filled the week.

Some leftist critics were quick to attack Oliver Stone, the director of "Snowden," a film about the American whistleblower who exposed widespread global snooping by the US National Security Agency (NSA), as "Putin's lapdog."

Others dismissed his fairly balanced film that took two years in making with 20 hours of interviews, as a "wildly irresponsible love letter" to the Russian President.

But with lawmakers, leakers, newsmakers all scrambling over each other to keep the pot boiling, Putin needs no lap dogs to achieve what Barack Obama's spooks accused him of doing during the 2016 presidential election.

As Stone points out, there is pretty thin evidence that Putin ordered "an influence campaign" to "harm" Trump's rival Hillary Clinton's "electability and potential presidency".

But if Russia's chief "goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process", as attributed to "17 intelligence agencies," then the spectacle of the "Deep State" going after a duly elected President, is giving Putin what he wanted on a platter.

The "unanimous judgement" of 17 agencies is also a myth. The report was largely the handiwork of CIA led by Obama appointee John Brennan. The FBI and the NSA bought into his report only after some cajoling with "moderate confidence".

If something did influence the outcome of the 2016 election, besides Clinton's poorly-run campaign, it was clearly the fired FBI Director James Comey.

He first labelled Clinton "extremely careless" in handling the nation's secrets and yet let her go scot free. Then just 11 days before the election, he reopened the FBI probe into her email scandal only to drop it nine days later.

Comey also admitted during his much-hyped testimony before a senate panel that he relabelled the FBI "investigation" into the scandal as a "matter" using the Clinton campaign formulation at the behest of the then attorney general Loretta Lynch.

Then using this as a pretext, Comey "usurped" the authority of the Justice Department, as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein noted in his memo to Trump recommending Comey's firing, to rule against Clinton's prosecution.

A bitter Comey also admitted that it was he who leaked the story of Trump "hoping" Comey would "let go" the fired NSA Michael Flynn to prompt the appointment of a special prosecutor to probe the affair.

No wonder the POTUS is livid. Calling it "the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history", Trump let off steam with a series of tweets.

"After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my 'collusion' with the Russians, nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!" Trump lamented.

Hours later he again set the chatterati aflutter complaining, "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt."

The left liberal media was quick to seize the "gotcha" moment with the "failing New York Times", as Trump calls the Manhattan daily, suggesting that he had "acknowledged for the first time that he is under investigation".

Trump also "seemed to accuse" Rosenstein of leading the "witch hunt", surmised CNN, the "Crooked News Network".

Amid frenzied speculation that he was about to fire the special counsel or Rosenstein or both, a seemingly unconcerned Trump set out to celebrate the second anniversary of the launch of his incredible presidential run with a vow to "Make America Great Again".

But in Moscow, Putin taunted Comey, accusing him of acting like a "civil activist" instead of "a security service director" as he offered the fired cop political asylum like Edward Snowden if he feared prosecution.

He, however, did not say whether he would also award Comey the title of "Hero of the Russian Federation" for knowingly or unknowingly helping him make great again!

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

--IANS

ak/tb

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 17 2017. 12:06 IST
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