In October 2016, President Obama emphatically dismissed the notion that Russia could change the way people voted in an election:
There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, there’s no evidence that that has happened in the past or that it will happen this time.
Apparently, Mr. Obama’s optimism was based on his certainty that Hillary Clinton would win the election and that a defeated and humiliated Donald Trump should not post facto “whine” about losing, writes Victor Davis Hanson in NRO.
Hillary and the Russians
- Hillary Clinton was instrumental in persuading the U.S. government to green-light sales of American uranium to Putin-connected companies.
- It is surely not a coincidence that Russian interests paid Bill Clinton a $500,000 honorariumfor a single speaking gig in Moscow, shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, and that pro-Putin Russians gave multimillion-dollar donations to the Clinton Foundation.
- Such largesse was never repeated after 2016, when the market value of the Clinton brand crashed after 16 years of more-than-market returns.
- Democratic arch-fund-raiser and lobbyist Tony Podesta also received generous fees from Russians, who presumed that his brother (top Clinton aide John Podesta) would soon be part of the new Clinton administration.
Obama and the Russians
The Obama administration showed indifference to the absorption of Crimea and eastern Ukraine. There was also not much anger over prior Russian cyberattacks on the United States.
- Obama refused to arm the Ukrainians and showed indifference to the absorption of Crime and eastern Ukraine.
- Obama’s green-energy, anti-fracking policies played right into Russian oil interests.
- The Obama administration’s defense cuts contributed to NATO laxity.
- Secretary of State John Kerry invited Putin into the Middle East after a 40-year hiatus. It proved a pathetic effort to get the Obama administration off the hook of enforcing the very ultimatum — the now infamous red line — that it had issued to the genocidal Assad government, and it might well have convinced Putin that annexing former Soviet territory would likewise have few consequences.
Trump and the Russians
- Trump has beefed up sanctions, expelled Russians, and had Russian mercenary thugs killed in Syria.
- Trump sent threats to Putin not to overreach in Syria.
- Trump has armed the Ukrainians, expanded U.S. oil production, increased defense spending, jawboned NATO to toughen up, and blasted German-Russian appeasement and the dangerous developing German dependency on Russian fossil fuels.
The reality is “the Obama-administration officials sought to warp a U.S. election by abusing FISA courts, weaponizing the intelligence agencies, colluding with the Clinton campaign in peddling bought opposition research, working with unethical toady journalists, and planting informants in a presidential campaign.”
As Mr. Hanson notes, “according to the protocols of contemporary progressive hysteria and an unhinged media, all of the above, if done by the Trump administration, would have been redefined as impeachment-worthy collusion — or far worse.
Read more here.