The Real Collusion

“Collusion” is sure becoming a coming word these days — here is Andrew C. McCarthy writing at American Greatness:

Maybe it will be remembered as the weekend when, at long last, the media-Democrat complex overplayed its hand on the “Collusion with Russia” narrative. They are still having so much fun with the new “Jared back-channel to the Kremlin” angle, they appear not to realize it destroys their collusion yarn.

Their giddiness is understandable. The new story is irresistible: President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in a December 2016 Trump Tower meeting with the ubiquitous Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, discussed setting up a communications “back-channel” between the incoming administration and the Kremlin.

There is now the inevitable Kush-said-Kis-said over exactly who proposed the back-channel. For Trump’s critics, the meeting itself, as well as the contemplated (but apparently never consummated) line-of-communications, are a twofer against Trump: a) the amateurish attempt to insulate the transition’s discussions with an important foreign power from monitoring by the Obama intelligence agencies, and, b) the naïve sense that the Russians would keep their discussions discrete rather than humiliate Trump at the first opportunity.

As if that were not enough, more cause for media-Democrat excitement: Reports that Kushner’s outreach to Kislyak resulted in the former’s being passed along to a shady Russian banker—a close Putin crony with roots in Russia’s intelligence services.

For anti-Trumpers of all ideological stripes, the story is a much needed gap-filler. For all the hype in D.C. and the Democrats’ coastal enclaves, the collusion story is flagging in most of the country. It lacks what a scandal needs to sustain itself: evidence. There is none: not when it comes to anything concrete that the Trump campaign may have done to aid and abet the Russian “interference in the election” project―a project that, though probably real, is more a matter of educated intelligence conjecture than slam-dunk courtroom proof.

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