The late Phyllis Schlafly called them “the kingmakers” in her groundbreaking conservative manifesto A Choice Not An Echo, we here at CHQ often refer to them as “the Wall Street – Washington – Silicon Valley Axis,” and our former Capitol Hill colleague Mike Lofgren has insightfully defined them as “the deep state.”
Whatever you call them, their power has been on full display this week as a disconnected, self-serving elite concentrated in the media and government has attacked Donald Trump mercilessly in a final battle to maintain and enhance its own power.
The weapon of mass destruction deployed by the deep state in this battle is a scurrilous and completely unfounded “dossier” purportedly showing that the Russians have a blackmail file on President-elect Trump, including damaging reports of prostitutes and shady business dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s kleptocratic regime.
That none of it is true and the report is full of childish errors and demonstrable falsehoods matters not a whit in this battle, because the battle is not about facts or truth, but about power.
Consider the convoluted route this bundle of slime took to reach the public to undermine the President-elect on the eve of his first news conference in six months and a week before his inauguration.
After having been shopped to and rejected by the media since last summer the report, prepared not by a disinterested intelligence agency or researcher, but by a commercial firm hired by Trump’s opponents, found its way to Senator John McCain.
McCain, a Trump nemesis since the Republican primary season, is the military-industrial complex’s primary spokesman on Capitol Hill, and is also one of the loudest voices for a foreign policy of global interventionism by the United States.
The deep state is especially concentrated in the security apparatus of the federal government, and McCain, claiming to do “what any good citizen would do” turned this amateurish smear over to the FBI, one of the central agencies of the deep state.
Keep in mind the document McCain received was not something prepared in Russian and spirited out of the Kremlin, it is not a micro dot or other document obtained through the spycraft of James Bond or George Smiley, it was a copy, of a copy, of a copy, of something that the staff of the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee should have been able to spot as amateurish and wanting of fact on first reading.
No sooner had McCain sent the file to the FBI than the story of the existence of the file began to leak and the “news” became not the amateurish nature and dearth of facts in the report, but the fact that it was being discussed and vetted at the “highest levels” of the United States intelligence apparatus.
And it was leaked to CNN and Buzzfeed, two media organizations deeply hostile to Donald Trump and his populist agenda and deeply embedded in the deep state.
But this campaign to link Trump and Putin didn’t start after the election; it started last summer when, as Professor Stephen Cohen put it, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats decided to run against Trump and Putin, instead of Trump and Pence.
Cohen, who has been studying Russia for 40-years, is professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University, and contributing editor of the Nation, so he’s an unlikely defender of Trump and his policies.
Cohen, who described the dossier as “junk” prepared by a private intelligence operative “out to make a buck,” said that if someone would send him to Moscow he could buy a better dossier, presumably without the obvious errors.
Professor Cohen then told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that release of the document is the “end game if not the last chapter in what appears to be an attempt to destroy Trump's presidency before he gets to the White House.”
Cohen then asked Carlson rhetorically, “what is this doing in our political discourse, what are the motives, why did CNN put it on the air, why is the FBI and the CIA even touching this stuff?”
Professor Cohen then observed that, “something is going on… I've been doing this for 40 years and I've never seen anything like this people in the mainstream media… places like the New York Times are calling Trump a puppet of the Kremlin… they are wounding him mortally as a national security president…”
Cohen concluded the interview with this insight, “I can only assume that there are people in this country who are desperate to wound Trump to stop any possibility of detente or cooperation with Russia… these accusations [themselves] have become a grave American national security threat."
Professor Cohen is right, this didn’t happen by accident, and in being right he has pierced one of the dark shadows the deep state is casting over the Trump presidency and Trump’s national security agenda.
Click here to watch Tucker Carlson’s must see interview with Professor Stephen Cohen.
George Rasley is editor of ConservativeHQ, and a veteran of over 300 political campaigns, including every Republican presidential campaign from 1976 to 2008. Rasley served in policy and communications positions on the House and Senate staff, serving as Director of Communications for Rep. Mac Thornberry, now Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and Director of Policy and Communications for former Congressman Adam Putnam then Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs. He served as lead advance representative for Governor Sarah Palin in 2008 and has served as a staff member, consultant or advance representative for some of America's most recognized conservative Republican political figures, including President Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. During the George H.W. Bush administration he served on the White House staff of Vice President Dan Quayle.