After Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three organizations on Friday, Trump and his surrogates have been scrambling to spin the situation in their favor.
Hogan Gidley, a spokesman for the White House, continued this effort during a Saturday appearance on Fox & Friends. Gidley insisted that Democrats and the media have created more chaos than Russia. He also peddled the long-running White House narrative that stories of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia during the 2016 election are part of an overblown “hoax.”
“There are two groups that have created chaos more than the Russians and that’s the Democrats and the mainstream media,” he said. “[They] continued to push this lie on the American people for more than a year, and frankly Americans should be outraged by that.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 17, 2018
The indictments were a major breakthrough in the Russia probe — national security adviser H.R. McMaster said the proof of the foreign power’s meddling in the presidential election “is now incontrovertible.”
Trump has refused to impose new sanctions on Russia — one December 2016 email from a staffer on the White House transition team said it would be unwise to implement any after Russia had “just thrown” the election to Trump — and he has repeatedly taken Putin’s claims that his country didn’t interfere in the race at face value.
The long list of complicated ties several members of the Trump campaign had with different Russian officials and nationals, the fact that there is at least one email informing Donald Trump Jr. that the Russian government was supporting his father, and reports that former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos knew in the spring of 2016 about Russia’s attempts to harm Clinton’s campaign — all these facts all point to collusion, or at the very least failure to prevent a foreign power from undermining the democratic process in America.
The assertion that Democrats and the media are making a scandal out of nothing is a transparent attempt to convince the public that Trump is the target of a witch hunt.