For months on end, President Trump has been all about denial when it’s come to Russia possibly meddling in the 2016 elections. He has gone as far as blame China, a 400 pound man sitting in his parent’s basement, or simply, ‘no one at all’. During this same stretch of time, running from November until earlier this month, Fox News has also maintained a general narrative that there likely is no Russian meddling, suggesting on numerous occasions that it was all an excuse by Democrats to blame away their election losses. Meanwhile, Russia has maintained their steadfast denial of any such influential actions.
Here we are, just over five months into Trump’s chaotic Presidency and over the past week alone we have seen a dramatic shift in narrative from not only the President, but also from Fox News (particularly Sean Hannity, who speaks to the President quite often we are told). Meanwhile Russia has just announced that they are recalling their ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, who also happens to be the man who met with numerous Trump campaign officials prior to, and following the election.
Trump began the shift in narrative with numerous tweets starting on Thursday, June 22 and continuing throughout this weekend and into this morning. The tweets, which seemed to contradict everything he has said or tweeted about up until this point related to Russia, were quite colorful indeed.
“By the way, if Russia was working so hard on the 2016 Election, it all took place during the Obama Admin. Why didn’t they stop them,” Trump asked in a tweet on Thursday.
He then continued the rant with several additional tweets over the weekend:
“Just out: The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?”
“Since the Obama Administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!”
“Obama Administration official said they “choked” when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn’t want to hurt Hillary?”
Then comes the most audacious of the tweets, seeming to try and rationalize any collusion he may have had with Russia, by suggesting that Clinton also colluded, not with Russia but with the DNC to plot against Bernie Sanders.
“Hillary Clinton colluded with the Democratic Party in order to beat Crazy Bernie Sanders. Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie,” he tweeted.
But that’s not all. This morning, just moments ago, the President dropped more tweet-bombs, writing the following in a series of multiple tweets:
“The reason that President Obama did NOTHING about Russia after being notified by the CIA of meddling is that he expected Clinton would win and did not want to “rock the boat.” He didn’t “choke,” he colluded or obstructed, and it did the Dems and Crooked Hillary no good. The real story is that President Obama did NOTHING after being informed in August about Russian meddling. With 4 months looking at Russia under a magnifying glass, they have zero “tapes” of T people colluding. There is no collusion & no obstruction. I should be given apology!”
Meanwhile over the course of the last 48-72 hours, Fox News has gone from the narrative of ‘Russia is a hoax” to “Russian collusion is not a crime”. On Friday, Sean Hannity, on his radio show, made the following statement:
“I never understood it anyway. What was the collusion? That maybe somebody in the Trump campaign talked to somebody in Russia because Russia supposedly had the information that Hillary Clinton had destroyed on her server when she committed a felony and tried to cover up her crimes? And that they might say as a Trump campaign representative, “wow you have that? Tell the American people the truth. Let them see it themselves, release it.” Is that a crime, to say “release it”? To show the truth? To show damaging information?”
Then on Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume argued just this point while discussing the Mueller investigation with a panel of guests:
“But what crime? Can anybody identify the crime? Collusion, while it would obviously be alarming and highly inappropriate for the Trump campaign, of which their is no evidence [that they] colluded with the Russians, it’s not a crime.”
The narrative has suddenly changed, just as Russia removes the man at the center of all the allegations from U.S. soil. When one considers all of these variables it seems fairly likely that Trump, Russia and Fox News have become aware of the fact that there may be a bombshell about to drop, proving collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. These recent actions appear to be a move to change the narrative and get ahead of such leaks which may be headed our way.