Americans have been ‘brainwashed’ to believe Russia has taken over their country – Max Blumenthal
The White House accused the media of "Russia fever" over reports about a supposed secret meeting between US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G-20 summit earlier this month.
It has emerged that the leaders did speak for a second time, but only during a joint dinner with other leaders.
President Trump dubbed the story "Fake News" in a tweet, saying that the press was aware of the dinner, and that all the G-20 leaders were present.
Furthermore, Democratic member of the US House of Representatives Jamie Raskin was challenged by a journalist Max Blumenthal after he claimed that Trump's ex-advisor was a host on this channel.
Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is "sick." All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017
RT spoke to Max Blumenthal.
RT: You're known for having left-wing leanings, why did you decide to confront this Democratic congressman on the claims he made during his speech?
Max Blumenthal: I am much closer to Congressman Raskin ideologically than Roger Stone. I really don’t support anything Roger Stone or Donald Trump stand for. I think Stone is kind of a sleazy character. But when Jamie Raskin gets up before a rally of Democrats attempting to prove that there is a secret Russian plot to subvert American democracy and tells us a series of lies, I challenge those lies.
This clip that you showed [on RT] was just part of the series of challenges I put to Raskin about Russian hacking in the elections, about his calls for regime change, including of democratically elected governments, like the government of Venezuela. Raskin really had no coherent response to me. And that is what we’re seeing more and more from the congressional Democrats, who were attempting to push the concept of Russian collusion onto the American electorate. I am just challenging it because it is a dangerous narrative. I think that having a new Cold War will be terrible for progressive elements in the US. We need to examine the evidence in a clear rational way, and so far that hasn’t happened. And then beyond that, it is interesting that the only networks that will allow me to come on and speak from a progressive perspective and challenge this new Cold War hysteria are really the major networks – Fox News and RT. That says a lot about liberal media and the kind of exclusive club they’re running.
RT: Did the response you’ve got from the Congressman surprise you?
MB: It surprised me that Jamie Raskin, whose father directed one of the first one of the sort of left-wing, anti-war thing tanks in Washington, the Institute for Policy Studies, that he would make these kind of neo-conservative arguments. It appeared to me that some think-tankers, who are pushing for a new Cold War for their own interest, have basically written his speech.
It was also shocking – if you watch my video from this rally… you’ll see interviews with people who have basically been brainwashed into believing that Russia has essentially taken over their country, subverted their democracy. These are people who otherwise would be supporting progressive causes – this is the democratic base. So that really shocks me. The lack of information these people had, who told me that they read the New York Times and the Washington Post, and their conspiratorial perspective was shocking as well.
RT: President Trump said that he and his team are subject to a political witch-hunt? Do you agree with that, or is it going too far?
MB: When Trump was elected I would have never thought I’d find myself in a position of agreeing with something like that. But it does appear to be the case, and there are many legitimate reasons to oppose Trump for his unconstitutional Muslim ban; for his wholesale sell out to Goldman Sachs in the big banks for his gutting of the environmental protection agency. But the Democrats don’t want to take him on in a progressive way. What they have done, they have relied on intelligence services, allies of former CIA Director John Brennan, to sabotage Trump’s attempt at detente with Russia through anonymous leaks. Everyday you’ll see in the Washington Post a story framed to paint Trump as some kind of Russian puppet for doing things that might be rational – like defunding jihadist rebels in Syria. Today the headline in the Washington Post is that it is a major concession Trump is making to Russia.
RT: Why do you think the mainstream media and politicians are still obsessed with the Trump-Russia collusion story?
MB: It may be that Russian hackers were responsible for the Democratic National Committee [DNC] hacks, but no intelligence agency – not the FBI, not the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] - has examined the e-mail servers. The DNC has in fact obstructed the FBI from examining those servers and handed over the task of attribution of the hacks to a for-profit private firm called Crowdstrike, which is now valued at $1 billion since it made the high-profile attribution of those hacks to the Russian government. It is clear that there is something very shady going, and the public has not seen the evidence. It may actually be impossible to make that attribution. Beyond that there has been simply no debate in the public realm about the evidence. Everyone just simply accepts the intelligence agencies at their word, and that to me is a deeply undemocratic impulse.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.