Well, this is certainly interesting.
Adam Schiff took to the airwaves this past weekend to pontificate about how awful Donald Trump is. That’s become a regular thing during the last four years, whereby Schiff is routinely allowed to spread ridiculous conspiracy theories with no push-back on networks like CNN, MSNBC, and CBS. It doesn’t matter to these astute news outlets that the California Representative has been caught lying over and over, especially regarding anything to do with Trump and Russia. They still have him on and treat him as an authority anyway.
Schiff was brought on Sunday to talk about the recent, unverified allegations regarding Russia and bounties being paid to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. As my colleague streiff explained regarding the matter, this was obviously yet another leak designed to attack Trump via the intelligence community. For his part, Schiff feigned ignorance and acted indignant that Trump didn’t “do something” in response a supposed report the President wasn’t even made aware of.
But now, there’s some new information arising that flips the narrative on its head.
Adam Schiff's top aides were briefed on Russia bounty suspicions. In February. In Afghanistan. Schiff didn't think it was significant enough to alert colleagues on Intel committee, held no hearings, told no one, did nothing. New from me and @seanmdav https://t.co/oZ4NR6NyvD
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) July 2, 2020
The Federalist brought out the big guns for this report, with Mollie Hemingway headlining. She’s not going to write a piece like this without her sources being rock solid. Schiff’s office, in a tacit admission that the report is true, refused to comment or answer questions regarding the congressman’s obfuscation.
Top committee staff for Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, were briefed in February on intelligence about Russia offering the Taliban bounties in Afghanistan, but he took no action in response to the briefing, multiple intelligence sources familiar with the briefing told The Federalist. The intelligence was briefed to Schiff’s staff during a congressional delegation, or CODEL, trip to Afghanistan in February.
Schiff, who has acknowledged President Donald Trump was never briefed on the so-called intelligence, has thus far refused to disclose that his staff was personally briefed. The revelation raises serious questions that Schiff is once again politicizing, and perhaps even deliberately misrepresenting, key data for partisan gain.
Asked by a reporter Tuesday if he had any knowledge of the Russia story prior to the New York Times report, Schiff said “I can’t comment on specifics.”
What’s this tell you? That the outrage over Trump not personally flying to Russia and punching Putin in the face is nothing but theater. Schiff was made aware of this all the way back in February. He likely saw it was unverified and uncorroborated, which is why he didn’t pursue it. It wasn’t until the media made a story of this, and Schiff saw a political opening to press, that he suddenly started to care about this issue.
I’m not suggesting Schiff should have done anything, as the intel does legitimately appear to be too raw to act on. But if one is going to attack Trump for “not acting,” perhaps that person shouldn’t have sat on their hands for five months instead of moving to investigate? The fact that Schiff did just that is very definitive proof that there’s nothing here.
So what’s really behind this story? The answer is two-fold.
Obviously, anything that connects Trump with Russia is seen as a win for the media and the Democrats. They’ve been pushing their wild, conspiratorial accusations about the President being a Russian agent for years. They were never going to give that up, and with the election approaching, it was time to recycle the narrative. This also serves as a wedge between one of Trump’s most supportive voter segments, i.e. military members.
But there’s a broader reasoning behind this leak as well, and CNN gave the game away today.
A Pentagon report says Russia is working with the Taliban and other groups to expedite the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan https://t.co/7MNQWgosd1
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) July 1, 2020
That’s what this is really about. In the end, it all comes back to staying in Afghanistan, a war we’ve already spent 20 years fighting. While an initial justification to attack the country existed, there’s essentially none left at this point. Yet, there’s a segment of Washington that always benefits from conflicts like this, and they are insisting we stay without any articulated goal. Some Republicans, such as Rep. Liz Cheney, are joining that effort.
House Democrats, working with Liz Cheney, restrict Trump's planned withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Germany https://t.co/WZEjALgJHH
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 2, 2020
What better way to make Trump the bad guy in any potential pull out than to claim that if we leave Afghanistan, we are helping the Russians? You couldn’t script it better.
It’s all so transparent. Schiff knew about all this and did nothing because there was nothing to be done given the lack of veracity of the intelligence. The only reason this is a story now is because it targets Trump and helps keep us in Afghanistan. It’s that simple, and it’s more proof that the beltway never changes.