(National Sentinel)Â Executive Branch:Â If you needed anymore proof that the so-called “establishment media” is nothing but a den of Democrat-supporting hypocrites with Trump Derangement Syndrome, here you go.
With near-dailyÂ breathless reportingÂ filled withÂ innuendo, allegations and suppositions in said establishment media about some nefarious election arrangement between the Trump administration and “The Russians,” a bit of review is in order: When it was Barack Obama’s foreign policy, such secret outreach and engagement was just hunky-dory.
Just this past weekend theÂ Washington Post published a highly suspect “story” about how President Donald J. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, tried to set up some secretive “back-door” communications channel with Moscow a) as if that’s in and of itself a criminal act (it isn’t) and b) to support the mainstream press’Â ongoing unsubstantiated narrative that “Russia stole the election to help Trump” after they “colluded” — or some such nonsense.
How flimsy wasÂ that nothing burger? Even GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a frequent Trump critic, isn’t buyingÂ that one.
â€œI donâ€™t trust this story as far as I can throw it,â€ Graham said Sunday.
Now, mind you, when Trump does Russia engagement, it’s bad, it’s nefarious, it’s suspicious, it’s potentially illegal, it’s because he’s sold out the country to the Kremlin, etc.
But when Obama did secret Russia-backdoor engagement,Â no problem. AsÂ Bloomberg News reported on the last day of 2014:
President Barack Obama’s administration has been working behind the scenes for months to forge a new working relationship with Russia, despite the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown little interest in repairing relations with Washington or halting his aggression in neighboring Ukraine.
This month, Obama’sÂ National Security Council finished an extensive and comprehensive review of U.S policy toward Russia that included dozens of meetings and input from the State Department, Defense Department and several other agencies, according to three senior administration officials. At the end of the sometimes-contentious process, Obama made a decision to continue to look for ways to work with Russia on a host of bilateral and international issues while also offering PutinÂ a way out of the stalemate over the crisis in Ukraine.
â€œI donâ€™t think that anybody at this point is under the impression that a wholesale reset of our relationship is possible at this time, but we might as well test out what they are actually willing to do,â€ a senior administration official told me. â€œOur theory of this all along has been, let’s see whatâ€™s there. Regardless of the likelihood of success.â€
Leading the charge has been Secretary of State John Kerry. This fall, Kerry even proposed going to Moscow and meeting with Putin directly. The negotiations over Kerryâ€™s trip got to the point of scheduling, but ultimately wereÂ scuttled because there was little prospect of demonstrable progress.
In a separate attempt atÂ outreach, the White House turned to an old friend of Putinâ€™s for help. The White House called on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to discuss having him call Putin directly, according to two officials. Itâ€™s unclear whether Kissinger actually made the call. The White House and Kissinger both refused to comment for this column.
Kerry has been the point man on dealing with Russia because his close relationship with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov represents the last remaining functional diplomatic channel between Washington and Moscow.
So what, right?
Right.Â So what? Obama had every right to conduct foreign policyÂ his way; presidents get to make such decisions – that’s part of the job.
That means Trump gets to do the same, and if it means engaging an adversary and coming to some sort of new arrangement, like Obama attempted with Russia and did with Iran, so be it.
But wait – didn’t Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin “collude” to “steal the election” from Hillary Clinton? Not according to the same dishonest establishment pressÂ before the election.Â The New York Times reported October 31:
For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead â€” which they ultimately came to doubt â€” about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.
Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.
What changed? Trump won Nov. 8, not Clinton – and everyone thoughtÂ Clinton was going to win, including the Times, in late October.
Presidents get to decide foreign policy – not members of Congress and certainly not disgustingly hypocritical establishment media outlets. This entire “Russia-Trump” narrative was manufactured out of whole cloth after Trump won last fall to discredit and delegitimize him, even as the Democrat-leaning media and Democratic Party used it to help “explain” why their candidate lost (for the second time).
When Obama didÂ secret, back-channel Russia negotiations, no problem. Trump deserves the same latitude as president of the United States and chief foreign policy decision-maker.