Sunday, July 31, 2016

Who Gets Putin’s Vote?

Stipulating that nothing is certain, it’s always seemed rather plausible if not outright obvious that Vladimir Putin prefers Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton. There’s the mutual praise, the Manafort connections and the shared vision. The mere fact that a major party nominee is openly talking about undermining NATO and bad-mouthing the UN is itself a major coup for the Russians. When Trump’s one-man-brain Trust mused this week that NATO-ally Estonia wasn’t worth defending, there must have been cheers across the Kremlin. Putin has long sought to sow dissension and strife within both NATO and the EU. From the vantage point alone, Trump is a Godsend.
But there’s another theory with wide currency out there. It’s most articulate and forceful subscriber is Hugh Hewitt. Because Hillary’s private server was almost certainly hacked by the Russians, we should assume that they know literally everything Hillary has sent or received over it. Most intelligence and cyber security types seem to agree. Hence, Hugh argues, Hillary is “compromised.” They have leverage over her.
So far, I’m pretty much with Hugh. But here’s what I don’t get. If the Russians have so much leverage over Clinton, why don’t they want her to be president? This morning, Hugh dangled a theory that the Russians were yanking her leash by showing they have the goods on her. They saved the server emails for later (or for blackmail), but released the DNC emails to brush her back, or something.
Read the rest of Jonah Goldberg's op-ed HERE.

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