MSNBC Contributor Claims Russia Wanted a Trump Win, Right After MSNBC Says Not True

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MSNBC contributor and Politico national security correspondent Natasha Bertrand twisted herself into a rhetorical pretzel on Friday where she declared that Vladmir Putin interfered in the 2016 election in order to see Donald Trump elected president. This assertion occurred less than a minute after MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle played a clip of Dr. Fiona Hill's Thursday testimony saying that such talk is "is exactly what the Russian government was hoping for."

After the clip of Hill's testimony, where she also declared, "The goal of the Russians was really to put whoever became the president by trying to tip their hands on one side of the scale, under a cloud," Ruhle asked, "Has that not gotten enough attention? Because if that's the case, if Russia just wanted to sow chaos and doubt and interfere with our election, with our democracy, then that could and maybe should get a lot of bipartisan support to stop it?"

 

 

Putting aside the problematic word choice of "should," because it implies that it has not received bipartisan support, despite the fact that Republicans have been making Hill's point for the past three years, Ruhle's question was a good one for the network that has contributed to the nation's discourse by coining such nicknames as "Moscow Mitch."

Bertrand replied by agreeing with Hill, then contradicting her, then praising her again. She began by concurring that, "we saw from the social media campaign, of course, that the Russians waged in 2016, is that they were targeting both sides, trying to inflame tensions on both the left and the right in order to sow that chaos, in order to promote disinformation, discourage people from voting." But, instead of leaving it there, Bertrand said that, "Vladimir Putin had the ultimate goal of electing Donald Trump because he didn't want Hillary Clinton to be in office."

After contradicting Hill's point, Bertrand went on to say that Hill's position underscores, "the fact that she is so nonpartisan." If that's true, maybe Bertrand and the rest of the media can take her advice and stop doing Putin's dirty work by putting President Trump's legitimacy "under a cloud."

Here is a transcript for the November 22 show:

MSNBC
MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle

9:08 AM ET

 

FIONA HILL: The goal of the Russians was really to put whoever became the president by trying to tip their hands on one side of the scale, under a cloud. So if secretary, former First Lady, former Senator Clinton had been elected as president, as indeed many expected in the run-up to the election in 2016, she, too, would have had major questions about her legitimacy. And I think that what we're seeing here, as a result of all of these narratives, this is exactly what the Russian government was hoping for. 

END CLIP

STEPHANIE RUHLE: Has that not gotten enough attention? Because if that's the case, if Russia just wanted to sow chaos and doubt and interfere with our election, with our democracy, then that could and maybe should get a lot of bipartisan support to stop it. 

NATASHA BERTRAND: Yeah. So what we saw from the social media campaign, of course, that the Russians waged in 2016, is that they were targeting both sides, trying to inflame tensions on both the left and the right in order to sow that chaos, in order to promote disinformation, discourage people from voting. All in the final goal, really, of getting Americans disillusioned with the democratic process, right? Vladimir Putin had the ultimate goal of electing Donald Trump because he didn't want Hillary Clinton to be in office, but short of that, because no one really thought that Donald Trump was going to win, but short of that an accomplishment for him would just be to show his own people that the American style system is inferior to what the Russians have, for example. But what I also think Fiona's point here really underscores about her is the fact that she is so nonpartisan. This is someone who her colleagues don't even know what her political affiliations are. She managed to stay at the White House over two years even though she was not seen as a Trump loyalist, even though she really had no good things to say about Trump during the election because she kept her head down and was such a professional and people really respected her. 

 

 
NB Daily Foreign Policy Russia MSNBC MSNBC Live Video Stephanie Ruhle Donald Trump Vladimir Putin

 

 
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