Wolf Blitzer Parrots Dem Talking Points: GOP ‘Repeating Russian Conspiracy Theories’

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The media just cannot bring themselves to admit that just because Russia interfered in the 2016 election, does not mean that Ukraine did not, even if on a smaller scale. The latest media personality to have this trouble was CNN's Wolf Blitzer as he interviewed Judiciary Committee member Tom McClintock of California before Monday's impeachment hearings.

After playing a clip of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd discussing Ukraine's roll in 2016, Blitzer confronted McClintock, "the U.S. intelligence community has concluded, they briefed the Senate on this, this is a conspiracy theory originally put out by Vladimir Putin himself."

That's not exactly true, senators were briefed that the specific CrowdStrike example is a Putin-peddled conspiracy, not Ukrainian interference per se. Nevertheless, Blitzer then asked McClintock, "Why do you think there are some members of your party advancing this theory that Russians are pushing?" 

 

 

McClintock responded by citing examples where Ukraine did try influence the 2016 election, "there's no dispute that Alexandra Chalupa, a paid consultant from the DNC, was soliciting the Ukrainian embassy and officials within that embassy for dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. There is no dispute that there were Ukrainian officials interfering in our election by writing scathing editorials against President Trump's candidacy."

Blitzer wasn't convinced, "But writing editorials and making statements is different than hacking a DNC server, a computer, and stuff like that, which the Russians clearly did." McClintock conceded that what the Russians did was "of a far higher degree than what the Ukrainians were doing," but said that should not matter, "the fact that there were attempts by a DNC consultant to enlist the help of a foreign power in the election, ought to be concerning to everyone. It is exactly the same principle and if we are a system that values equal justice under law, we ought to be investigating these things, regardless of whose ox is being gored."

Blitzer concluded the segment by again pressing McClintock on the scale and scope of the Russian interference compared to the Ukrainian and again McClintock reiterated what he had just said.

The irony of the media's obsession with labeling Republicans as Putin stooges over concerns of Ukrainian election interference is that even if they were correct, it discredits the theory that says President Trump's actions can be explained as a sole desire to have the Ukrainians "get Biden."

Here is a transcript for the December 9 show:

CNN

CNN Impeachment Coverage

8:28 AM ET

WOLF BLITZER: All right, so the U.S. intelligence community has concluded, they briefed the Senate on this, this is a conspiracy theory originally put out by Vladimir Putin himself. Why do you think there are some members of your party advancing this theory that Russians are pushing? 

TOM MCCLINTOCK: Well, there's no dispute that Alexandra Chalupa, a paid consultant from the DNC, was soliciting the Ukrainian embassy and officials within that embassy for dirt on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. There is no dispute that there were Ukrainian officials interfering in our election by writing scathing editorials against President Trump's candidacy. If we're concerned about a foreign interference in our elections, we ought to be concerned with all foreign interference in our elections. 

BLITZER: But writing editorials and making statements is different than hacking a DNC server, a computer, and stuff like that, which the Russians clearly did. 

MCCLINTOCK: Well clearly those allegations are of a far higher degree than what the Ukrainians were doing, but the fact that there were attempts by a DNC consultant to enlist the help of a foreign power in the election, ought to be concerning to everyone. It is exactly the same principle and if we are a system that values equal justice under law, we ought to be investigating these things, regardless of whose ox is being gored. 

BLITZER: I just want to be precise, I know you have to run, but there's no evidence that Ukraine was doing anything close to what the Russian intelligence services were doing, is that right? 

MCCLINTOCK: The Ukrainian government, I would say, we don't have any evidence of that. We do have evidence of Ukrainian government officials interfering and we do have evidence, clear evidence, that the DNC's consultant was actively soliciting a foreign government for assistance. 

BLITZER: Congressman McClintock, we'll continue this conversation down the road, I know you got to run. Thanks so much for joining us. 

MCCLINTOCK: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

 

 

NB Daily Foreign Policy Europe Ukraine Russia CNN Video Wolf Blitzer Tom McClintock Vladimir Putin
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