Hitting a dangerous new low, the White House now dismisses the Russia scandal by claiming U.S. journalists were just as bad in 2016.
Sticking to the White House denial talking points and insisting there’s no evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday added a chilling new chapter to the GOP rhetoric when she compared American pundits covering a campaign to Russian operatives seeking to damage our democracy.
Sparring with CNN’s Chris Cuomo, who pressed Conway on why the White House is now refusing to impose sanctions on Russia as punishment for its aggressive 2016 interference sanctions mandated by Congress Conway argued that voters just don’t care about the issue.
Immigration and taxes are what matter she stressed.
“Sometimes you do what’s right,” Cuomo responded. “When somebody’s messing with your democracy, it deserves coverage.”
The United States intelligence community has been unflinching in its year-old conclusion that Russia clearly tried to meddle with the election. Over the last several months, an avalanche of evidence has emerged that the Trump campaign actively worked with Russians to make that happen.
“Let me tell you something. Everybody who said Donald Trump couldn’t win. Everybody who said the election was all wrapped up,” said Conway. “Every screaming headline, every wrong poll. Every anchor, every pundit who said this is over, it’s a joke, he can’t win, he can’t govern, [they] tried to interfere in the election.”
While Conway then quickly claimed she wasn’t trying to equate U.S. pundits expressing opinions about an election with Russian operatives trying to destroy our democracy, she clearly did exactly that.
And it’s a stunning and dangerous turn, even for this stridently anti-free press White House.
The idea that offering commentary about an unfolding election equates to interfering with an election is something you say when you don’t want any commentary about an unfolding election.
It’s what you say when you don’t want a free press critiquing those in positions of power.