It has been more than a year already since progressively hysterical and paranoid people in media, think tanks, companies and political structures in the United States have been expecting Special Counsel Robert Mueller to descend upon the stage as deus ex mаchina and to remove President Donald Trump in a spectacular fashion from the White House and to prison. They are trembling and tense with anticipation that at any moment now Mueller and his team will reveal that Trump had an agreement with the Russians, and it was only thanks to the Kremlin that he stole Hillary Clinton's victory. All of them are screaming in falsetto voices that Trump is a racist, a xenophobe and Vladimir Putin's orange puppet. All sorts of conspiracy theorists and counterintelligence dealers are screaming that every moment of Trump's continuing presidency only prolongs the agony of the fatally injured U.S. democracy.
So, the latest development of Mueller's Russian investigation caused additional grievance to these people marinating in their raw hatred for Trump and his supporters. Their fantasies for metaphorical, institutional, even physical defenestration of "The Donald" increasingly resemble crazy and lunatic deliriums in broad daylight, because this is what they really are.
The investigation, which has to prove the Russians replaced the vote of the American people in a spectacular, full-scale conspiracy in which Trump was involved all along, managed to come up with an anemic, and in some respects comic, charge against 13 Russian citizens and three Russian companies. According to Mueller's team, they participated in a campaign to discredit the democratic process, attempted to intervene in the U.S. election, committed fraud and created division among U.S. citizens. They worked with Russian troll farms, internet bots, Facebook and Twitter advertisements and publications, false rallies, agitation and propaganda. A St. Petersburg company under the name “Internet Research Agency” was specified as having a central and fundamental role in producing the attacks through, to use the jargon, "troll farms" and "troll factories." Wow! What brutal revelations these were — Russian trolls behaved mischievously on the internet. Shock! Horror! The world will never be the same again!
According to the charges, no U.S. citizen knowingly participated in the Russian campaign. More importantly, the charges indicate that the outcome of the presidential elections at the end of 2016 were not influenced in any way by the actions of the accused individuals and companies.
Trump immediately decided to grab his Twitter megaphone and state, yet again, that the investigation is a witch hunt, and it is now clear that he and his campaign team did nothing bad or illegal. In the course of two days, he regularly expressed his anger on the social media network because media and political opponents continued to question his presidential legitimacy. Trump intensified his verbal attacks against the FBI and claimed its high officials were the architects of the slanderous campaign against him.
And the FBI found itself in an extremely unpleasant situation. They were feeling the heat around the corner a few weeks ago when Congress declassified the secret memo of David Nunes — the House Intelligence Committee chairman. It became clear that at crucial moments, the FBI operated as a political actor in favor of Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign. The spotlight and the public interest have now turned toward the FBI's backyard. The disclosure of the unlawful acts and blazing anti-Trump sentiment among key employees has led to an image crisis for the bureau. Now the FBI is not just trying to uncover a conspiracy and political scandal. The bureau itself has become a participant in the conspiracy and the political scandal. Trump and the Republicans in Congress have switched to a counterattack and stepped up their institutional pressure over their enemies in the FBI. Liberal and left-leaning media have taken the FBI’s side, mostly because they do not want to help Trump and the Republican majority in Congress in any way.
But nobody was able to pull the FBI’s reputation out of the next scandal's mud. Days after 19-year-old Nicholas Cruz shot 17 people at his former high school in Florida on Jan. 14, it was revealed that the FBI was warned at least twice about him. They were aware that, back in 2016, the mentally unstable teenager, who was aggressive in the past, was heard saying that he would become a mass murderer. But this was ignored.
Trump used this to tighten the noose around the bureau and tweeted that the FBI had missed numerous signals about the Florida shooter, and instead of protecting innocent students from the mass murderer, they had wasted time with a fabricated case of "Russian collusion."
Commentators from different media urged the bureau’s director, Christopher Wray, to resign. The FBI's reputation, and those of its highest officials, is in the gutter. This development of events is bad for the anti-Trump faction of American society because these people have relied mostly on the FBI to lay the foundation for the president’s removal from office. Now their weapon is seriously jammed.
The weak indictment case from Special Counsel Mueller against the trolls for Russian interference in the U.S. elections is not much help, either. Mueller, who was the FBI's director between 2001 and 2013, was a figure of hope for Trump’s destruction. He was the man with the spear, the knight of vengeance against the vulgar orange billionaire. Mueller's image has also suffered due to the disclosure of the FBI's politicization.
Now the details of the indictment reveal a comic picture, and the balloon of "Russian conspiracy” and "plotting with Trump's headquarters" is quickly deflating. It must be noted that the investigation continues; however, fewer people are willing to take the bombastic allegations of "hacked" elections and replaced votes seriously.
The charges against the trolls paint a different picture, and it does not support the story of sweeping, coordinated and consolidated Kremlin support for Trump against Clinton. It is apparent that the campaign to interfere in the political process started in 2014, when New York’s billionaire hadn’t yet entered the game. Later, the trolls did not make consistent efforts to support Trump, but they instead worked to create discord and division among the electorate. One of the ideas was to instill doubt with regard to the entire democratic process in the United States. There was propaganda against Clinton, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. They created disruption for Bernie Sanders, Trump and Jill Stein. The fake profiles were spread everywhere on the ideological and political map. The bots stormed cyberspace without any real, tangible success. According to the indictment, the campaign's monthly budget was $1.25 million, which is a negligible amount in comparison with the billions that are officially reported by major candidates during the U.S. presidential election campaign. The money is nothing compared to the funds used by large corporate media and nongovernmental organizations. It is absurd to claim that a similar campaign could be considered a serious interference by a foreign country with U.S. democracy. The trolls’ actions from St. Petersburg’s “factories” did not influence the election results — this was clear from the official indictment. It was precisely the opposite conclusion that anti-Trump supporters in American public life had hoped for.
After Trump’s election, the false accounts simultaneously led to organized pro-Trump and anti-Trump rallies in New York. And what follows is comical. Celebrities went to the anti-Trump event, which, according to the charges, was organized by the Russian trolls. Among the celebrities was the renowned director and far left-wing supporter, Michael Moore. He is among Trump's most ardent and radical opponents, and he is regularly called a traitor. Moore himself became part of a fictitious event organized by the Russians. The anti-Trump rallies, as well as other convenient liberal narratives from the trolls’ campaign, are generously portrayed by major U.S. media. The media didn't suspect that they had participated in a foreign falsification in their effort to stick their American-grown falsification back onto the electorate. For the media, it was enough that something was going on and that it could be used against President-elect Trump.
All these facts make the Russian interference story sound like a farce. And at the same time, the media make the messengers of hatred against the U.S. president look like tragicomic figures.
However, liberal media decided to use the charges against the 13 Russians as a stick to spank Trump with. They didn’t manage to do it, but at least they tried. Commentators from big media companies and politicians from the Democratic Party compared the publications of the trolls on Facebook with the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the terrorist attacks in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. They really did that. Congressmen and journalists described the Russian actions as an act of war. And subsequently accused Trump of not being harsh enough or providing an adequate response to the "Russian interference." But how can you respond adequately to people who put an equal sign between false publications on the internet and the thousands of victims of Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center? How can a normal person deal with such madness?
This isn’t even an exaggeration. This is an acute manifestation of the "Trump-confusion syndrome," which some analysts described as the extreme split from reality in people’s heads after the seismic victory of "The Donald."
Ultimately, the indictments charged those Russians with wanting to incite division in society and instill the idea that the U.S. democratic process is illegitimate. However, the big, left-wing liberal U.S. media are doing a much better job than the Russians on a daily basis. They are still continuing the discourse about the “illegitimate conspirator and racist" Trump, without presenting any evidence. They continue to demonize his supporters as some sort of primitive xenophobes who want to restore slavery and segregation. They continue to turn people against each other and to present Trump’s administration as a threat to world peace. Only a few days ago, The Washington Post published a huge piece titled "Comparing Trump to South American authoritarians reveals a dangerous misunderstanding of democracy." With such crazy, blind hatred by U.S. journalists, who needs the Russian trolls? The real division in society is carried out openly and publicly by odious organizations that were once known as "free media."