Yesterday, the mainstream media and Democrats continued to push the Ukraine Purse Strings Hoax, with Rep. Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, ad-libbing a fictional account of President Trump’s conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Schiff’s telling of the July 2019 conversation cast Trump as the blackmailer-in-chief who threatened to cut aid to Ukraine unless Zelensky took down the son of presidential hopeful and former vice president Joe Biden.
Schiff’s schtick didn’t last long. It was short-circuited by Trump’s declassification and release the previous day of an unredacted transcript of the call. The release of the so-called whistleblower’s complaint likewise zapped Democrats’ attempt to drive the narrative all the way to impeachment.
“The complaint from an anti-Trump ‘whistleblower,’ released Thursday, is a mix of gossip, hearsay, and misstatements of fact contradicted by publicly available evidence,” The Federalist’s Sean Davis wrote yesterday, detailing examples of each. Over the next several days expect the dissection to continue, and rightly so: Many on the right waited much too long to challenge the Russia collusion hoax, allowing the narrative to grow for more than two years.
But here the hoax is but half the story, and it is the easier half to address. With the release of the transcript and the “whistleblower’s” complaint, Trump took the case to the American public. While the left and the Never Trump right may march into the ballot box in 2020 convinced the president committed treason, the rest of the country see yet another Deep State sting trying to take down the duly-elected president.
Harder to address, though, is the other half of the story—something Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer spoke of in glee, in response to then-president-elect Trump’s criticism of U.S. intelligence agencies. “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer told MSNBC’s host Rachel Maddow.
Schumer wasn’t alone in warning of U.S. intelligence agencies’ penchant for politicized revenge. A little over a week later, Daniel Benjamin, who had served as the principal counterterrorism advisor for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, scripted the scenario for Politico Magazine, writing:
Leakers and whistleblowers won’t hesitate. What [former Deputy CIA Director] Morell and other intelligence veterans are too decorous to mention is that Trump’s treatment of his spies will also come back to bite him in the form of leaking and whistleblowing. The intelligence community doesn’t leak as much as the Pentagon or Congress, but when its reputation is at stake, it can do so to devastating effect.
While Benjamin foretold the whistleblowing retribution we are now seeing unleashed, what’s amazing is that it was entirely made up! In his Politico Magazine article, Benjamin illustrated intelligence agencies’ ability to inflict pain on a president by way of this example: “When something goes wrong—say a military deployment to combat jihadi insurgents in the Middle East blows up in the Trump administration’s face—the press will overflow with stories telling of intelligence reports that were ignored by the White House and briefings the president missed.”
That the still-unnamed “whistleblower” had to resort to invention in his attempt to take down the president suggests that Trump runs a tight ship, has in place strong and trustworthy leaders in top positions, and has taken necessary precautions to prevent leaks. But that the “whistleblower” felt confident enough to file his highly fictionalized account of Trump’s conversation with the Ukrainian president indicates that more swamp cleaning must be done. And that clarion call may well serve as Trump’s road to re-election.