Many media figures have swallowed whole, without evidence, a conspiracy theory that Donald Trump became president by treasonously colluding with Russia to steal the 2016 election from its rightful owner, Hillary Clinton. The information operation that pushed this story turned out to have been secretly developed and funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, a fact uncovered only through the tenacious digging of Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the face of major opposition from the media and Democrats on the committee. . .
The latest questionably sourced information in support of this dramatic tale that opponents of Trump cling to in order to delegitimize the results of the 2016 election is that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2013, 2015 and, ominously, in spring of 2016, just as the Trump campaign was heating up. Assange is holed up in London at the Ecuadorian embassy there and published the hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton aide John Podesta.
Even on first read the story seemed difficult to believe. It was based on anonymous sources so non-descript that they could be any of literally millions of people. A document from Ecuador’s Senain intelligence agency allegedly claimed a “Manaford” had visited Assange along with “Russians.” The story mentioned the discredited dossier that journalists wrote about and intelligence agencies used to secure wiretaps on Trump associates despite the failure to verify its claims. . .
It’s been seven and a half months, for instance, since McClatchy’s Peter Stone and Greg Gordon claimed, without evidence, that the special counsel had the goods showing that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had gone to Prague to collude with Russia in the run-up to the 2016 election. This was a key fact in the dossier and Cohen claimed it was a bald-faced lie. Even after he agreed to cooperate with the feds, he claimed it was a lie. In the seven and a half months since McClatchy ran that “bombshell” story that nearly everyone fell for, literally no one has been able to corroborate the story. . .
Weekly Standard editor at large Bill Kristol tweeted, “What campaign chair hasn’t held secret talks with Julian Assange in the Ecuadoran embassy in London?” He later deleted the tweet without explanation. (Read more from “Manafort/Assange Drama Proves Media Will Buy Any Russia Conspiracy Story, No Matter Its Flaws” HERE)