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What is Russiagate? A guide to the conspiracy theory taking hold among Hillary supporters

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What is Russiagate? A guide to the conspiracy theory taking hold among Hillary supporters published by Oan
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Posted on 2020-01-27
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Signs and T-shirts emblazoned with some variation of the anti russia rhetoric dotted a protest Against Donald Trump

Russiagate is the conspiracy theory taking hold among Hillary and Obama supporters that’s actually going mainstream. Begin with Obama’s unsubstantiated claims that the president of the United States was being controlled by the Russian government with no evidence to prove it.

Such conspiracy theories are normal from the 44th president but occasionally they actually take hold with the help of the Obama media.

The same holds for the question of collusion. Officials acknowledged to Reuters in May that “they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far.” Well-placed critics of Trump—including former DNI chief James Clapper. former CIA director Michael Morrell. Representative Maxine Waters. and Senator Dianne Feinstein—concur to date.

Recognizing this absence of evidence helps examine what has been substituted in its place. Shattered. the insider account of the Clinton campaign. reports that “in the days after the election. Hillary declined to take responsibility for her own loss.” Instead. one source recounted. aides were ordered “to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way.” Within 24 hours of Clinton’s concession speech. top officials gathered “to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up.… Already. Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

But the focus on Russia has utility far beyond the Clinton camp. It dovetails with elements of state power that oppose Trump’s call for improved relations with Moscow and who are willing to deploy a familiar playbook of Cold War fearmongering to block any developments on that front. The multiple investigations and anonymous leaks are also a tool to pacify an erratic president whose anti-interventionist rhetoric—by all indications. a ruse—alarmed foreign-policy elites during the campaign. Corporate media outlets driven by clicks and ratings are inexorably drawn to the scandal. The public is presented with a real-life spy thriller. which for some carries the added appeal of possibly undoing a reviled president and his improbable victory.

These imperatives have incentivized a compromised set of journalistic and evidentiary standards. In Russiagate. unverified claims are reported with little to no skepticism. Comporting developments are cherry-picked and overhyped. while countervailing ones are minimized or ignored.

   

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