An unexpected benefit of the Trump presidency is that liberals have finally found reason to be angry at the Russians. They didn’t care when Barack Obama was pledging his “flexibility” to Vladimir Putin. They didn’t give a rip when Ted Kennedy was pledging himself to the Kremlin.
But, lo and behold, if the Russkies might have had a say in hurting Hillary Clinton’s White House bid?
Whoa, them’s fightin’ words!
We’re all Cold Warriors now, eh, Democrats?
Maxine Waters, Dick Durbin and B-1 Barbara Boxer are ready to storm out to SAC headquarters to board their Superfortress for Moscow.
Hey, liberals, the 1980s are calling – they want their foreign policy back. Yuk, yuk, yuk.
The hypocrisy of these sudden Russia hawks is breathtaking.
To that end, over the few days I’ve been asked a number of times about the hypocrisy of liberals going bonkers over Donald Trump Jr.’s alleged Russian contacts in comparison to their decades-long ignoring of Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Russia contacts. It’s an important comparison.
First, let’s consider the revelations over Donald Trump Jr.’s email exchanges last June with some fellow named Rob Goldstone. For the record, the emails are not good. When you read the email thread, you can see why liberals are yapping and yelling and circling the waters. Here’s the gist:
It was initiated not by Trump Jr. but by Goldstone, who, on June 3, 2016, at 10:36 a.m., emailed this to Donald Trump Jr.:
Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.
What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?
I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.
Donald Trump Jr. quickly and excitedly wrote back:
Thanks Rob I appreciate that. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?
From there, the two men scheduled calls and meetings. The email thread continued, with Rob Goldstone writing this on June 7, 2016, at 4:20 p.m.:
Hope all is well
Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.
I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?
I assume it would be at your office.
Donald Trump Jr. followed on June 7, 2016, at 5:16 p.m. with this:
How about 3 at our offices? Thanks rob appreciate you helping set it up.
And then this from Donald Trump Jr. later that day, on who would be attending the meeting:
Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law and me, 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.
That’s just a snippet of over a dozen undeniably suspicious emails.
Now, as troubling as this information could be, given what it might potentially suggest (we don’t yet know what happened as a result), compare it to what Ted Kennedy did in May 1983 in the context of the 1984 presidential election campaign.
I reported on the Kennedy episode in books published in 2006 and 2010, plus in various articles. It stems from a highly classified May 14, 1983, memo from KGB head Victor Chebrikov to Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov. (The full document is posted here.) The subject head of the document reads: “Regarding Senator Kennedy’s request to the General Secretary of the Communist Party Y. V. Andropov.” Kennedy’s request was delivered directly to the Kremlin by his old law school roommate John Tunney, a former Democratic senator from California.
In that memo, Kennedy was described by Chebrikov as “very troubled” by U.S.-Soviet relations, which Kennedy attributed not to the grim dictator in charge of the USSR – the awful Andropov – but to President Reagan and his “belligerence” and stubbornness. “According to Kennedy,” reported Chebrikov, “the current threat is due to the President’s refusal to engage any modification to his politics.” This was made worse, said the memo, because the presidential campaign was just around the corner, and Reagan was riding high. Was Reagan vulnerable anywhere?
The memo speculated – based on Kennedy’s appraisal – that Reagan’s chink in the political armor was questions of war and peace. That was where he was vulnerable. To that end, said the KGB head: “Kennedy believes that, given the state of current affairs, and in the interest of peace, it would be prudent and timely to undertake the following steps to counter the militaristic politics of Reagan.” Chebrokov then delineated for Andropov a series of specific steps proposed by Kennedy to help the Soviets “influence Americans,” including Kennedy arranging for Kremlin officials to meet with certain American media – particularly Barbara Walters and Walter Cronkite, who were both named in the memo. Kennedy offered to help bring Soviet political and military officials to New York and Washington to connect them with his friends in the American media; in turn, Kennedy offered to personally fly to the Kremlin to meet with Andropov.
Anything to stop this “belligerent” Reagan.
As for Kennedy’s view on Andropov, it was decidedly better than his perception of Reagan. “Kennedy is very impressed with the activities of Y. V. Andropov and other Soviet leaders,” wrote Chebrikov.
That, ladies and gentlemen, may be the most stunning statement in the entire memo. Impressed with Yuri Andropov?
Gee, where do you even start with that one? How bad was Andropov? Consider just one example, close to my heart and research, laid out in my book on Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan, “A Pope and a President”: It was Andropov who, when he was the head of the KGB, gave the go-ahead to the Soviet GRU, military intelligence, to shoot and kill Pope John Paul II – Ted Kennedy’s pope.
There was nothing very impressive about the ruthless Yuri Andropov, unless one was impressed with his killing skills.
This five-page memo in Russian then wrapped up with an assessment of Kennedy’s own presidential prospects in 1984. It instructed Andropov that Kennedy “underscored that he eagerly awaits a reply to his appeal.”
How does this compare with the email thread regarding Donald Trump?
Well, for starters, we don’t know what happened next with the Kennedy saga, because the media never dared touch it, or even ask Kennedy about it. That’s the complete opposite of what will happen with Trump. Our liberals in the media will turn into a gaggle of Perry Masons and Joseph Pulitzers to unearth more. Look out, Sherlock Holmes! Such will be a level of investigation they never pursued regarding Kennedy’s efforts.
How else are the two different? In key ways:
The Donald Trump Jr. emails have a clumsy, amateurish quality, reflective of a naïve 30-something young man with no understanding of Washington or government and security. It’s bracing to see that he gullibly recorded these thoughts in writing – in emails that could be subpoenaed one day. There’s obvious inexperience and perhaps even (in a general sense) innocence to them. The tone is “Oh, gee whiz. Cool!” He even uses the words “I love it.”
Don’t get me wrong. These emails are not good. And the liberal media’s excitement in smelling possible blood in the water is understandable. This could be the trail of blood they’ve been swimming for.
But comparing it to the Chebrikov-Andropov document, it’s altogether different.
The May 1983 KGB document betrayed a calculating quality by Kennedy and his Kremlin pals. It was careful, deliberate. It was, after all, a formal KGB memo with the highest classification. It contained a very specific, detailed plan of action and follow-up, between the literal head of the KGB and the literal head of the USSR – with Ted Kennedy the tool, the conduit, the method, the initiator for the plan of action. And Kennedy was no 30-something kid. He was a veteran, sitting senator with White House experience and intimate knowledge of the ways of Washington going back to his older brothers in the early ’60s.
He was the vaunted “Lion of the Senate.”
Really, Kennedy’s affront is much more blatant. And yet, the media ignored the Kennedy story but is pouncing on Trump Jr. like a pack of hyenas.