During CNN Newsroom on Monday morning, panelist Errol Louis dismissed claims from Trump supporters arguing that there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to secure an upset election victory, even insisting that there was “abundant evidence” of such collusion. While he cited the guilty pleas and indictments of former Trump campaign official Paul Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Louis failed to admit that those indictments had nothing to do with alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
It seems like Louis did not hear Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who pointed out that “There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.” During his brief soliloquy, Louis accused Trump supporters of denying reality by refusing to acknowledge Trump-Russia collusion. Maybe the media are the ones in denial.
The Russia story had sort of taken a back seat in recent weeks as the media has obsessed over the Rob Porter scandal. The Russia investigation once again became a top story on Friday when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the indictment of thirteen Russian nationals for attempting to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
The media have ignored a few inconvenient truths laid out in the indictment. Russia has tried to interfere with our elections for years. As Friday’s indictments pointed out, the Russians began their “sinister and systematic attack on our political system” in 2014, long before President Trump announced his intentions to run. While the Russians did support President Trump’s White House bid, they also spread pro-Bernie Sanders propaganda yet no one ever labels the elderly socialist as a Russian agent.
The media has continued to make the Russia probe seem like Watergate 2.0. Louis tried to compare the Russia probe to the Watergate scandal, saying “I would only point out that during Watergate, there were people who thought it was a communist plot right up until the moment that Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace.”
Maybe the left does not realize that their never-ending obsession with Russia effectively proves the success of the Russians’ campaign to undermine the United States government.
JOHN BERMAN: You know, Errol Lewis, I wonder if all of this now starting on Friday with these indictments reframes the, the politicized debate over the Russia investigation. You know, we have the Republican memo, we still haven’t seen the Democratic memo, you think there will be as much concern about memos, political memos, when there is an indictment here saying that 13 Russians tried to influence the election?
ERROL LOUIS: I would not underestimate the ability or the propensity of Trump supporters to simply deny reality, to simply shut it out. I mean, I got into some exchanges with some, some viewers over the weekend where they just, you know “There’s no collusion. There’s no evidence here.” You know, and there’s abundant evidence. There’s guilty pleas, there’s indictments, there’s a lot of troubling information that we already know. I mean, just to read what’s in that indictment, to go back as some people have done over the weekend, Brian Stelter and others, and say people that we were engaged with as journalists over the last year or during the campaign, it turns out that they were Russians, that it was all sort of fake, that they’re holding rallies in the middle of the street and so forth. Very, very troubling stuff. Those who want to deny it will continue to deny it. I would only point out that during Watergate, there were people who thought it was a communist plot right up until the moment that Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace.