So there you have it.
Russiagate, the collective delusion that Donald Trump was secretly a Russian agent aided and abetted by the Kremlin, the topic of uncountable inches of Washington Post and New York Times copy and the entire prime-time lineup of MSNBC, was a dirty trick by the Hillary Clinton campaign. Not just part of it. All of it. One of the most diabolical, successful misinformation campaigns ever concocted.
We already knew that the Steele file was garbage. Christopher Steele was paid indirectly by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt, which he did by turning to other Clinton operatives, laundering every outlandish rumor about Trump he could find into an “investigative” document.
He shopped it to the FBI, which couldn’t verify his sources or any of his stories, but the agency dragged out the investigation to cast maximum suspicion on the new president. In the meantime, Steele found willing accomplices in the media to push his propaganda. The dupes at BuzzFeed even decided to print the whole pack of lies, with the flimsy rationale of “Well, why not?”
We got to the point where New York magazine was running a cover story that was one long piece of fan fiction that Trump was secretly a real-life version of “The Americans,” a sleeper agent now seated in the highest office in the land. The Times and Washington Post won a freaking Pulitzer!
Now another piece of Russia, Russia, Russia is kaputski. A computer server operated by Trump’s company was secretly communicating with a Russian firm, so claimed Slate magazine and endless Twitter threads of would-be tech experts.
He was coached by lawyer Michael Sussmann — who was being paid by the Clinton administration, although he lied about that to investigators. Sussmann goes to the FBI as a “concerned citizen” — not a “Clinton stooge” — to try to get them to bite. The ultimate goal: be able to leak to the Times that Trump is under official investigation.
Durham “definitely showed that the Hillary Clinton campaign directly funded and ordered its lawyers at Perkins Coie to orchestrate a criminal enterprise to fabricate a connection between President Trump and Russia,” says Kash Patel, the former chief investigator for the House Intelligence Committee.
Of course, Hillary didn’t get what she wanted — the presidency. But her operatives didn’t stop, going on CNN to give “very concerned” interviews about a theory they knew was bull. All to undermine Trump’s presidency. It would take three years for the Mueller report to finally put the lie to rest, and we’re now, five years out, at the point where Durham is detailing the full conspiracy.