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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

In certain precincts on the American left — and especially in some places where the far left blurs into the far right — it is considered clever to dismiss the Russia investigation as a relic of the Cold War, an opportunistic Clintonite ploy, or both. These arguments can be found under the bylines of Glenn Greenwald, Max Blumenthal, and in the venerable pages of The Nation magazine, where Russia scholar Steven Cohen and some less venerable figures hold forth on why it’s all a figment of the Democratic imagination.

Today in those same pages, Katha Pollitt, one of the columnists I admire most, sets forth a crisp summary of why this investigation is critical — and exposes the vacuity of the “left-wing” arguments against it.

As Katha points out, Russian meddling in our elections shouldn’t be a partisan issue, nor a platform for continuing skirmishes between Democratic Party factions, As she puts it.

[The] evidence for Russia’s involvement is becoming stronger rather than weaker, a conviction hardly limited to fans of Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders himself said, “It is now clear to everyone that agents of the Russian government were, in a disgusting and dangerous manner, actively interfering in the 2016 elections in an effort to defeat Secretary Hillary Clinton.” But we still don’t know—and may never know—how much it mattered, or whether the Trump campaign actually colluded with the Russian government, or whether the Russians wanted Donald Trump to win or just intended to sow chaos or what.

Nonetheless, it’s vital that we understand as much as we can about what happened, and that the Mueller investigation continue.

 

 

 

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)