Efforts by the Deep State to Revive RussiaGate Amid Trump’s Momentum

As Donald Trump solidified his path towards securing the Republican presidential nomination earlier this year, ex-intelligence officials commenced intensifying well-known rhetoric and instilling fear among the American populace. They asserted that Trump’s stance is pro-Russia and that supporting him equates to supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The key figures from the “RussiaGate” debacle, a discredited deep state conspiracy alleging Trump’s collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, are once again promoting this narrative. They receive reinforcement from Never Trump allies who infiltrated the Trump administration.

Among them is Fiona Hill, known for her hawkish stance on Russia, who allegedly joined the Trump administration through recruitment by K.T. McFarland and Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael Flynn. She has been appearing in various media outlets, serving as the public spokesperson for discontented former intelligence officials, issuing warnings about Trump.

“He wants to weaponize the intelligence community. And the fact is you need to look with a 360 degree perspective. He can’t just cherry pick what he wants to hear when there are so many U.S. adversaries and countries that don’t wish the U.S. well,” Hill told Politico recently. “If he guts the intel on one thing, he’ll be partially blinding us.”

Hill had also just appeared on CBS News Sunday, where she said: “Former President Trump has made it very clear that he admires Vladimir Putin.”

Hill’s connections also raised concerns due to her associations with individuals linked to the discredited Steele dossier, a key element of the Russia collusion narrative. A former National Intelligence Council analyst and current senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Hill collaborated closely with Igor Danchenko, another Brookings analyst, facilitating his introduction to Christopher Steele, the dossier’s author.Danchenko subsequently became the primary researcher for the dossier. It was later revealed by then-House intelligence investigator Kash Patel that the dossier had been clandestinely funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. Hill allegedly introduced Danchenko to Charles Dolan Jr., a Democratic operative who acted as a “source” for Danchenko. Danchenko was later indicted for providing false information to the FBI.

In addition to individuals such as Hill, Democratic lawmakers in Congress who have extensive connections within the intelligence community are also promoting this narrative.

Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA), a former member of the House Intelligence Committee who was removed due to his association with alleged Chinese spy “Fang Fang” and was one of the primary proponents of the RussiaGate theory in Congress, recently took to his social media platforms, asserting that “Trump equals Putin.”

Similar to their tactics during the RussiaGate saga in 2016, Swalwell and other proponents of the hoax are now distorting Trump’s statements regarding Russia during his campaign.

During a campaign rally in February, Trump recounted a private discussion he had with then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Allegedly, Merkel inquired whether the U.S. would come to Germany’s defense in the event of a Russian attack if Germany, as the largest economy in Europe, failed to meet its NATO obligation to allocate two percent of its GDP to its defense. Trump indicated that he would not commit to such a defense.

The scenario presented was hypothetical, with a corresponding hypothetical answer. Nonetheless, Swalwell later embellished the narrative, alleging: “Donald Trump is once again advocating for Russia. He recently suggested that Vladimir Putin should essentially invade any NATO member not meeting his standards… He’s encouraging an assault on our closest allies.”

During the State of the Union address, President Joe Biden also misrepresented the anecdote, asserting that Trump instructed Putin to “do whatever the hell you want.” Biden stated in his speech: “Now, my predecessor, a former Republican President, tells Putin, ‘Do whatever the hell you want.’ A former American President actually said that, bowing down to a Russian leader. It’s outrageous. It’s dangerous. It’s unacceptable.”

Just like in 2016, mainstream media outlets have been complicit in perpetuating this falsehood. A newsletter from The New York Times on March 1 propagated:

If Trump wins a second term, he may go further. He has suggested that he might abandon the U.S. commitment to NATO, an alliance that exists to contain Russia and that Putin loathes. He recently invited Russia to “to do whatever the hell they want” to NATO countries that don’t spend enough on their own defense.

In 2016, Democrats initially laid the groundwork for the Russia collusion narrative by seizing on campaign trail remarks and jests, insinuating that Trump was engaged in collusion with Putin.

In a similar vein, Democrats are now targeting Republican lawmakers who oppose allocating additional taxpayer funds to Ukraine, despite legitimate concerns regarding the national debt and the absence of a clear strategy or resolution. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) recently asserted, “There’s an emerging pro-Putin faction within the Republican Party.”

Throughout February, numerous articles surfaced linking Republicans to Putin:

  • On February 7, The Economist ran a piece titled, “House Republicans are helping Vladimir Putin”
  • On February 8, Never Trumper David French wrote a New York Times piece titled, “Why MAGA Loves Russia and Hates Ukraine”
  • On February 16, MSNBC’s Alex Wagner wrote a piece titled: “How Donald Trump is making the GOP the party of Putin”
  • On February 18, former Wyoming congresswoman Liz Cheney warned of a “Putin wing” of the Republican party on CNN
  • On February 22, Time published a piece titled: “How Putin Co-Opted the Republican Party”
  • On February 23, Jonathan Chait — an original RussiaGate pusher — published a piece titled, “Trump has finally remade Republicans into Putin’s playthings”
  • On February 23, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough stated Republicans have decided, “We’re going to become the pro-Putin Republican Party”

Coinciding with this media onslaught, the Justice Department indicted Alexander Smirnov, a long-standing FBI informant, alleging that he misled the FBI by claiming the CEO of Ukrainian energy company Burisma disclosed paying Hunter and Joe Biden $5 million each to assist with an international corruption inquiry he was facing.

Despite Smirnov pleading not guilty and awaiting conviction, Democrats and the media have portrayed him as dishonest, casting doubt on the House Oversight Committee’s entire investigation into the Biden family.

Responding to CNN, House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-KY) stated that Smirnov is not central to their investigation. He emphasized their reliance on a substantial body of evidence, including bank records and witness testimonies, indicating Joe Biden’s awareness of and involvement in his family’s business affairs. Comer also highlighted the FBI’s acknowledgment of Smirnov as “credible and reliable,” citing his decade-long collaboration with the agency and substantial remuneration.

A spokesperson for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who had released the FBI’s record of its conversation with Smirnov, told CNN that the DOJ’s “indictment isn’t enough.” He added: “The public has a right to see all the underlying evidence supporting the Biden Justice Department’s case. The Biden administration must show its work.”

The New York Post‘s Miranda Devine has called the attempt to discredit Smirnov “Russiagate 3.0.”

Anonymous officials from the intelligence community are increasingly making appearances in media articles, offering criticism of Trump.

For instance, the aforementioned Politico piece referenced anonymous current and former intelligence personnel.

Another instance is a New York Times article from February 25, which cited anonymous CIA officials discussing the extensive collaboration between the CIA and Ukraine, questioning whether Republicans might “abandon” Ukraine.

Some former CIA officials are also contributing their own pieces. Rob Dannenberg, a former chief of operations for the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, penned an open letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA), urging him to bring up a vote on aid for Ukraine.

Additionally, Marc Polymeropoulos, a former CIA official who collaborated with former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell on a letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials alleging that the Hunter Biden laptop was Russian disinformation, recently amplified an article warning about the possibility of Trump soon receiving intelligence briefings as the Republican presidential nominee.

In recent days, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has echoed those warnings and on Thursday, the Atlantic published a piece by Never Trumper Tom Nichols titled, “Donald Trump Is a National-Security Risk: The GOP candidate should not be given intelligence briefings.”

 Schiff and other original Russia collusion hoaxers are warning that Russia will definitely interfere or is already interfering in the 2024 election — which they previously argued meant the 2016 election was illegitimate.

Schiff recently said on MSNBC, “We should fully expect them to engage, it’s just a question of how much they engage.” And Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), who was the lead counsel in the first impeachment hearings against Trump, recently claimed on CNN: “It now appears the House Republican majority is being used by Russia to interfere in the 2024 election.”

In a recent press release, the Republican National Committee encapsulated the latest resurgence of the RussiaGate narrative:

Democrats have nothing in their playbook, so they’re resorting to a familiar theme: ‘RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA!’ It has been the same old sad story for the better part of the past decade – and it’s becoming increasingly delusional.

These are the same Democrats who leveraged mouthpieces in the so-called ‘intelligence community’ with their backers in the media to launch multiple impeachment hoaxes, declare Hunter Biden’s laptop Russian disinformation, and question every aspect of the Biden family corruption scandal.

Although the familiar figures are prominently involved in this year’s resurgence of narrative pushing, what remains unclear is whether it’s solely aimed at impeding Trump’s reelection, deflecting unfavorable attention from Hunter Biden, or potentially fabricating a new Russia collusion or another hoax.

Patel, who unearthed RussiaGate while serving as the lead investigator for then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and subsequently assumed a role as a senior national security official in the Trump administration, conveyed to Breitbart News in an interview:

Whether it’s the media, people in the executive branch, Congress, or even the judicial branch with some of these judges, the chorus of people now going out there and pushing the narrative that Donald Trump is going to be dictator over the intelligence community and use it to be a dictator is the height of hypocrisy.

The are the ones that authored the largest criminal corruption scandals in DOJ, FBI and the intelligence community’s history — i.e. Adam Schiff and RussiaGate. And now Adam Schiff is calling for President Trump to receive dumbed down versions of intelligence briefings because he thinks he’s going to jeopardize American national security? Says the guy who held up an envelope and told the world he had evidence of Russia-Trump collusion, and that envelope was empty.

These are the people coming forward, whether it’s Fiona Hill at Brookings, who in the private sector hired the main source of the Steele dossier, who ended up being charged federally, and introduced him to Steele and Charles Dolan. And both of these ‘sources’ turned out to lie to Christopher Steele and provide him with false information. This person is telling us that Donald Trump is going to weaponize intelligence? She literally took political information she knows to be false and fed it into the federal bureaucracy to take out a sitting president of the United States.

So when they say these things, that circle is complete. You’ve exposed their weaponization of intel, law enforcement, and defense, and the only thing they can do — like Cheney today — is make baseless personal attacks and say, ‘Orange Man bad.’ I think the American people finally are finally saying, ‘Wait a second. These epople lied to me. Them and their partners in the media lied to me, like Politico and the Times and the Washington Post. None of it was true.

He concluded, “The only thing that was true was Donald Trump exposing their corruption.”