Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is back in the headlines, as it rightly should be, given the recent indictment of 12 Russian nationals who apparently helped orchestrate the email hack of the Democrat National Committee’s computer system.
However, where the responsibility for preventing it lies remains another matter. The media, evidently, thinks we should really be looking toward President Donald Trump because he apparently didn’t condemn the alleged enterprise harshly enough during his news conference last week in Helsinki.
Yet, Trump hasn’t impeded the investigation into the hacks in any way. They’re in the hands of the special counsel’s office, after all, and few would claim that office is a hive of crypto-Trumpism. More to the point, the hacks didn’t occur during his presidency.
And, as Rush Limbaugh pointed out during his Wednesday show, it’s not as if Barack Obama emerged from the whole mess blameless.
Limbaugh began by reading a Yahoo News story from June 20: “Obama cyber chief confirms ‘stand down’ order against Russian cyberattacks in summer 2016 — The Obama White House’s chief cyber official testified Wednesday that proposals he was developing to counter Russia’s attack on the U.S. presidential election were put on a ‘back burner’ after he was ordered to ‘stand down’ his efforts in the summer of 2016.”
Here’s a video of the testimony:
“This is the Obama administration,” Limbaugh said on his program. “They knew the Russians were hacking. They knew Russians were engaging in cyber warfare, and the Obama White House chief cyber official testified that he was told to stand down. So Obama didn’t do anything about the Russians! Obama was telling everybody the Russians could not hack the presidential election. Obama was telling people that it was too massive and widespread and intricate, it couldn’t be done.”
And sharing the blame with Obama, in Limbaugh’s eyes, are the former president’s frequent co-conspirators, the Fourth Estate.
“The point is: Where was the media?” Limbaugh said. “Where was the media all hopped up about what Putin was doing in 2016, what the Russians were doing? Obama was telling everybody, ‘Stand down. No big deal! Don’t worry about it.’ What did Obama know that we didn’t know? Why did Obama want his own administration to stand down and not do anything? Could we maybe use the word ‘treasonous’? That Obama was willing to stand down and stand aside and let the Russians continue meddling and tampering and whatever?
“All of this that we’re talking about happened before Trump was even president. All of this happened before Trump — in many cases — even became a candidate,” he noted. “Somehow, all of this is Donald Trump’s fault, not standing up to the Russians. Here are two left-wing socialist reporters, David Corn and Michael Isikoff, writing that Obama told his cyber security people to ‘stand down’ in the face of Russian cyberattacks in 2016.
“Now, what can we infer from this? Did Obama think that the Russians were going to try to help Hillary and hurt Trump and so he wanted everybody to stand aside and let that happen?” Limbaugh asked. “Did Obama think that what the Russians were gonna do was somehow gonna benefit the Democrats and so the objective was to stand aside and let it happen? Where was all the outrage back then? Where was all the outrage when Trump was just a candidate and Obama is the president and he’s telling (Russian President) Dmitry Medvedev, ‘You tell Vlad to be patient.'”
“Where’s all this?” Limbaugh asked rhetorically.
“It’s nowhere. It’s nowhere to be seen. We can’t placate the media. Trump cannot dial back anything he’s done. You know what the real irony of all this is? The real irony of all this is how hard and tough Donald Trump has been on Russia since he became president. Donald Trump is not a Vladimir Putin secret agent. He’s not a pushover.”
Is this just the result of traditionally liberal media bias? Not to Limbaugh.
“We’re dealing with sheer hatred here,” Limbaugh said.
“We’re dealing with sheer hatred for Donald Trump for a lot of reasons and on a lot of levels. It’s not just enough to say that Trump is hated because he’s an outsider. That’s clearly an element, but there’s much more to it than that. It’s deep, and it’s visceral. So what matters? Words? Placating the media? Are we trying to soften the coverage here? Do Trump’s actions and his achievements against Russia not count for anything? And that may be the world we live in: Reality trumped by words, images, photos.”
While noting that the word “treasonous” is a bit strong (treason being a crime that carries the death penalty, I’m reluctant to use it in the same way that, say, John Brennan feels is appropriate), Rush is otherwise spot-on here. The reality of Trump’s policies toward Russia — airstrikes in Syria, arming the Ukraine military, etc. — simply don’t compute with the media’s picture of “collusion” or lapdogism.
Meanwhile, for Obama, the fact that his reactions toward Russia during the election cycle were ambivalent at best belies the media’s narrative that he was the bulwark of democracy at a time when it was in grave danger. That this mess exists at all, in fact, can partially be traced to the negligence of the Obama administration and the Democrat National Committee.
Trump inherited the election-meddling problem, along with a panoply of other issues involving Moscow. That very salient fact is hardly ever reported by a media willing to go along when former President Obama insists not a single scandal besmirched his presidency.
The fact Obama can’t think of one isn’t particularly surprising given the fact that he’s an awfully forgiving person when it comes to his own shortcomings. What’s the media’s excuse?
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.