Just when you think Mitch McConnell couldn’t get any more shameless, he sends out his minions to write this: “Mueller’s report looks bad for Obama.”
- The minion in this case is his campaign adviser Scott Jennings, also a CNN contributer (and by the way, CNN, what the f**ck?), who writes, “Former President Barack Obama looks just plain bad. On his watch, the Russians meddled in our democracy while his administration did nothing about it.” What is of course missing from his turgid analysis (“A legitimate question Republicans are asking is whether the potential ‘collusion’ narrative was invented to cover up the Obama administration’s failures”) is any mention at all of McConnell and his very well-documented refusal to allow the Obama administration to tell the nation that Russia was interfering in the election and working to elect Trump.
The alternative history McConnell is pushing out with this surrogate is that Obama wanted to save his nuclear agreement with Iran and needed Putin on board, so he refused to stand up to him on election interference. But we know from extensive reporting that McConnell was the sole hold-out among the Gang of Eight—members of congressional leadership and leaders of the intelligence committees—on the Obama administration’s effort to send a strong bipartisan statement to the American people about Russian interference. McConnell’s excuse was that he doubted the intelligence. His method was to tell the administration that if it went around him and issued the statement anyway, he’d poison the election. The administration, believing that Hillary Clinton would win, decided not to put that to the test. Should it have? Possibly, but it was clear even then how toxic Republicans were willing to be, and it didn’t want to test that limit.
Back to the op-ed: What’s even more shameless in it is that McConnell’s guy then goes on to criticize the economic sanctions Obama imposed on Russia after the election as a “toothless response to a serious incursion.” Those would be the sanctions that Trump lifted and that the Senate—with Mitch McConnell leading it—refused to reimpose. We can’t leave out the part where one of the companies that had sanctions lifted by Trump and McConnell just announced it was investing in a new $200 million aluminum plant in McConnell’s home state. The owners of that company, Rusal, are Paul Manafort’s buddy and rat-fucking pal Oleg Deripaska, the oligarch and friend of Putin, and Leonard (Len) Blavatnik, who donated $2.5 million to McConnell’s GOP Senate Leadership Fund through two of his holding companies during the 2016 campaign and a further $1 million in 2017.
This desperate “It’s all Obama’s fault” smoke screen does tell us one thing: McConnell is worried about his own exposure here as he kicks off his next re-election campaign. It also confirms what a deeply corrupted and compromised politician he is.