A common refrain among Trump supporters defending the previously undisclosed meeting between a Russian lawyer (among others) and Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner has been “but what about the DNC meeting with Ukraine officials!?” This is in reference to a mid-January report in Politico titled “Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire.” The nut of that article reads:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
While there are some obvious similarities between the theories of collusion between Russian interference (and the Trump campaign) and the Clinton campaign ostensibly working with Ukraine, there is one rather significant difference: The Russian attempt to influence the U.S. general election in 2016 was led by President Vladimir Putin (according to U.S. intelligence agencies), where as the Ukrainian effort had no such top-down leadership.
Enter former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesperson Karen Finney, who commented on CNN’s New Day this morning about the alleged DNC collusion with Ukraine. When asked by co-host Jon Berman, Finney replied:
“I mean, I certainly don’t have any — I don’t have — that didn’t — I wasn’t a part of any conversation like that nor was anyone, you know, at — at the part — at the DNC. I mean, they’ve said there was no collusion with the Ukrainians, and I can tell you on the part of the campaign, there was no such thing that happened. And, again, I think it’s important to remember that a lot of the information that it seems like just what I’ve read in reports that we’re talking about — it’s public information that Paul Manafort was doing this work in the Ukraine.
A skeptic might note that Finney opened her defense with more hems and haws than the DNC would like, before stating that, at least as part of the campaign, “no such thing happened.”
As the Trump legal and communications teams ramp up a more coordinate defense of these Russian collusion claims, it seems their favorite tactic is the old “best defense is a good offense” plan. So we should all expect to hear a lot more about the DNC, Ukraine and Secretary Hillary Clinton in the coming weeks and months. Its like 2016 all over again!
Watch the clip above courtesy of CNN.
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