Politico Goes Full Chart to Hype Trump-Russia Fake News

When reading the series of charts containing a weird labyrinth of rather tenuous connections published in the March/April edition of Politico Magazine, it is hard not to channel Inspector Jacques Clouseau trying to connect the unrelated dots to make the case that was always far off the mark. The Politico dots on the series of seven elaborate charts are chock full of oligarchs, both Russian and Ukrainian, a beauty contest, a mixed martial artist, a dossier that no one has seen, a couple of Russian energy giants not to be confused with a regular Russian oil company, and, to top it off, a mystery person. This is the laughable evidence presented by reporter Michael Crowley to desperately give the Trump-Russia fake news story an aura of validity despite no proof.

The only things that seem to be missing from Crowley's charts are Boris Badinov and Natasha. Almost as goofy as the elaborate charts (complete with both solid line and dotted line connections) is Crowley's explanation of them:

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What is the real story of Donald Trump and Russia? The answer is still unclear, and Democrats in Congress want to get to the bottom of it with an investigation. But there’s no doubt that a spider web of connections—some public, some private, some clear, some murky—exists between Trump, his associates and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

These charts illustrate dozens of those links, including meetings between Russian officials and members of Trump’s campaign and administration; his daughter’s ties to Putin’s friends; Trump’s 2013 visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant; and his short-lived mixed martial arts venture with one of Putin’s favorite athletes. The solid lines mark established facts, while dotted ones represent speculative or unproven connections.

There’s nothing inherently damning about most of the ties illustrated below. But they do reveal the vast and mysteriously complex web behind a story that has vexed Trump’s young presidency from its start—and is certain to shake the White House for months to come.

I hate to break it to you, Michael, but the only ones to be shaken by the Trump-Russia fake news story are the mainstream media and the Democrats. Their fantasy is right now in the process of quickly crumbling as BuzzFeed reported on March 9:

Even some Democrats on the Intelligence Committee now quietly admit, after several briefings and preliminary inquiries, they don’t expect to find evidence of active, informed collusion between the Trump campaign and known Russian intelligence operatives, though investigators have only just begun reviewing raw intelligence. Among the Intelligence Committee’s rank and file, there’s a tangible frustration over what one official called “wildly inflated” expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation.

As the Democrats and the mainstream media futile search for the Trump-Russia collusion Holy Grail proves fruitless, expect the comedy generated from their doubling down to increase dramatically. We already had the Associated Press consulting spy novelists to breath life into this quickly dying story and now Politico is just tossing unrelated stuff up against charts and connecting them with lines, both solid and dotted, in the desperate hope they hit the impeachment jackpot.

Exit question: Will Crowley discover that the real culprit who hacked the November election was Chief Inspector Charles Dreyfus?

Campaigns & Elections Politico Fake News Michael Crowley Donald Trump

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