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Does Trump know his own government indirectly bankrolls some key promoters of the ‘Russiagate’ hoax?

Bryan MacDonald
Bryan MacDonald

Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist based in Russia. He has written for RT since 2014. Before moving to Russia, Bryan worked for The Irish Independent, the Evening Herald, Ireland on Sunday, and The Irish Daily Mail. Follow him on Twitter @27khv

Bryan MacDonald is an Irish journalist based in Russia. He has written for RT since 2014. Before moving to Russia, Bryan worked for The Irish Independent, the Evening Herald, Ireland on Sunday, and The Irish Daily Mail. Follow him on Twitter @27khv

Does Trump know his own government indirectly bankrolls some key promoters of the ‘Russiagate’ hoax?
US President Donald Trump was elected on a promise to “drain the swamp.” Almost four years later, the Washington think-tank racket is as murky as ever, and the gravy train keeps rolling.

The false ‘Trump/Russia collusion’ narrative has been dead for so long now that it’s hard to remember what killed it, whether it was the Mueller Report or simply death by a thousand cuts.

Here is what we know: ‘Russiagate’ was a giant scam, and many of those who promoted it knowingly lied for a considerable length of time. Their aim was either to undermine Trump’s presidency or prevent any improvement in US relations with Russia. 

Most of the journalists who facilitated the hoax also knew it was nonsense. But their loathing of Trump – and in some cases Russia, too – trumped ethical considerations. Thus, much of the general public was, for years, fed a diet of grifters and washed-up old spooks pushing a scam. 

Also on rt.com Six big lies you have been told about Russiagate

Funded by the government

The crazy thing is that many of its chief architects work for Washington think tanks funded by the US government. Given Trump has taken no obvious steps to curtail public funding for these lobby groups, it means the president’s own cabinet has been effectively bankrolling activists who are out to smear and destroy him. 

Take Evelyn Farkas. A rabidly anti-Russia official in Barack Obama’s government, she was subsequently looked after with a gig at NATO’s Atlantic Council adjunct. This has become a traditional route in DC. When one party loses power, its apparatchiks are placed in a sort of think-tank racket cryonics chamber from which they can be reanimated in future, if their own tribe gets back into the White House. 

Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, told MSNBC TV in 2017 that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 presidential election.

But, as Townhall reports, “during an interview with the House Intelligence Committee in June 2017, where she was under oath, she admitted she didn’t have any information about collusion during that interview.”

As its correspondent Katie Pavlich points out, “through dozens of House Intelligence Committee transcripts and after a lengthy Special Counsel investigation, it was clear from the beginning ‘Russian collusion’ with the Trump campaign was a made-up talking point that was used as a political weapon.

Farkas’ involvement fits a pattern. Her dad came from an elite Hungarian family who had their status diluted after the Soviets installed a communist government in Budapest following World War Two. Farkas’ background is important, because US media ignores how many of the people who pushed the ‘Trump-Russia’ hoax come from East European migrant families with an axe to grind against ‘the Russians’.

‘Stolen’ emails

The idea that Russia stole emails from the Democratic National Congress (DNC) was based on information from CrowdStrike. This cybersecurity firm was the source of the allegation that Russian intelligence agencies had hacked the DNC’s servers. You may remember the ‘Fancy Bear’ and ‘Cozy Bear’ narrative which was popularised by US media at the time. 

CrowdStrike’s co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch was born in Moscow and moved to the US with his family at the age of 14. Like Farkas, he is also attached to the Atlantic Council, and his first published involvement with the pro-NATO pressure group was in 2012.

Back in 2016, he was lionised by mainstream US media, with Esquire, for instance, saying he was “our special forces (and Putin’s worst nightmare)” and “leading the fight to protect America.”

It has now emerged that the following year, his partner at CrowdStrike Shawn Henry told Congress – in closed-door testimony, previously buried – that CrowdStrike had “no concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated from the DNC.

In other words, as journalist Aaron Mate has pointed out, “CrowdStrike, the very firm behind the accusation that Russia hacked & stole DNC emails, admitted to Congress that it has no direct evidence Russia actually stole (or) exfiltrated the emails.” 

Pushing the hoax

Of course, promoting ‘Russiagate’ wasn’t limited to the immigrant community. The likes of Bill Kristol, Michael McFaul, John Podesta and Clint Watts are all connected to the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS), another DC lobby group which receives US government funding.

Watts was front and centre in pushing the hoax, while McFaul was at one point ubiquitous on cable news shows waffling on about Russia helping Trump to win the 2016 election. Podesta, meanwhile, alleged his emails were hacked by Russia while he was chair of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign. 

The GMFUS receives over $1 million annually from both the US State Department and USAID. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Council gets between $500,000 and $999,000 a year from the same State Department and $100,000 to $249,000 from each of the US Air Force Academy and the US Department of Defence. 

Which means Trump’s government is partially funding the people who tried to destroy his presidency, based on a falsehood obvious to honest observers from the very start. So much for the US president’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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