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Media Can’t Figure Out if Tillerson Proves Or Disproves Their Russia Conspiracy Theory


President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he let Rex Tillerson go as Secretary of State and nominated CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him. And Russia conspiracy theorists are pretty sure this is evidence that Donald Trump is a traitor who colludes with Russia. Or something.

Here’s NBC’s senior political editor:

The paper of record suggests something nefarious:

Here’s Fusion GPS’ mouthpiece at The Atlantic:

NeverTrump conservative contributor at CNN:

Mother Jones DC bureau chief agrees:

MSNBC security analyst:

MSNBC host:

Vanity Fair contributing editor:

Amy Siskind:

NeverTrump’s chief social media activist:

ABC’s chief foreign correspondent:

The idea that Trump fired Tillerson because he was upset at Tillerson being too tough on Russia is delusional. Tillerson rather famously disagreed with Trump on Jerusalem, Qatar, North Korea, and Iran. Trump said earlier today, in fact, “When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible.” Tillerson, he said, thought “it was okay. I wanted to either break it or do something, and he felt a little bit differently. So we were not really thinking the same.”

Even Saturday Night Live is making fun of conspiracy theorists who still cling to a theory that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election from its rightful heir Hillary Clinton. When you’ve lost Saturday Night Live during its resistance-isn’t-funny era, you’re in bad shape.

The idea that Trump fired Tillerson over Russia is also a complete narrative flip from where the media were when he was nominated. Then, the nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State was evidence for the Treasonous Collusion With Russia Conspiracy Theory!

Tillerson’s “close ties to Russia” led every news report at the time of his nomination, and was “eye-catching” and disconcerting. The Boston Globe told us it was a Putin-approved nomination. Politico said Tillerson was “dependent” on his “friendship” with Putin. Tillerson’s nomination “tested the limits” of Republican support for President-elect Trump on account of Tillerson’s too-close ties to Russia. Fox News’ Charles Krauthammer said Tillerson was a “problem” on the Russia issue because he “received an order of friendship from a guy who is not our friend.” One Washington Post columnist said Tillerson’s “most relevant qualification seems to be his long and cozy friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.” Another, Dana Millbank, said Tillerson’s foreign policy was “Russia First” and that Trump and Tillerson “are already doing exactly what Putin wants.”

The media and social media hive mind all emphasized and worried about Tillerson’s ties to Putin.

Here’s Mark Murray in 2016:

Bill Kristol then:

Amy Siskind then:

And various others:

More here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

It is worth noting that this narrative push aligned completely with the narrative push of The Democratic Party, as seen here, here, and here.

Just last night I was told on national television that the general consensus in D.C. is that Russia is bad but that Trump and Russia didn’t collude. That a treasonous collusion narrative isn’t even “remotely” the general consensus. Someone might want to tell … everyone in the media who has been pushing it non-stop for more than a year no matter the facts on the ground.

As the media reaction to Tillerson’s nomination and firing show, we’re witnessing the Unified Theory Of Russia Collusion at work. If it’s true that the “general consensus” in D.C. is nothing remotely near the idea that Trump and Russia colluded to steal the 2016 election, people should stop pushing the theory. Better yet, if they buy into the theory — as so many of our supposed media elites obviously do — they should start to be more specific about the theory. And if they don’t, they should not nibble around the margins of the theory.

Until then, I’ll wait to hear how Mike Pompeo’s nomination is also evidence of Trump’s treasonous collusion with Russia, despite his unhelpful-to-Russia tenure at the CIA for the last year.