Paul Sperry “How Team Hillary Played the Press For Fools on Russia”

By Paul Sperry

Originally published in the NYPost

Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t just pay for the Kremlin-aided smear job on Donald Trump before the election; she continued to use the dirt after the election to frame her humiliating loss as a Russian conspiracy to steal the election.

Bitter to the core, she and her campaign aides hatched a scheme, just 24 hours after conceding the race, to spoon-feed the dirty rumors to an eager liberal media and manufacture the narrative that Russia secretly colluded with her neophyte foe to sabotage her coronation.

But it was Hillary who was trying to kneecap Trump, even after he licked her, fair and square, in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other blue states.

Exhibit A is the book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. In light of this week’s revelation that Hillary’s campaign funded the dirty anti-Trump “Steele” dossier, the book takes on a new significance. It reveals:

“Within 24 hours of her concession speech, [campaign chair John Podesta and manager Robby Mook] assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”

The plan, according to the book, was to push journalists to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign,” and it succeeded to a fare-thee-well. After the election, coverage of the Russian “collusion” story was relentless, and it helped pressure investigations and hearings on Capitol Hill and even the naming of a special counsel, which in turn has triggered virtually nonstop coverage.

A new Media Research Center study finds that, since the inauguration, major TV news networks have devoted an astonishing 1,000 minutes out of a total 5,015 minutes of Trump administration coverage discussing speculation that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Moscow in hacking Clinton campaign emails, “which means the Russia story alone has comprised almost one-fifth of all Trump news this year.” In contrast, they so far have devoted just 20 seconds to the more substantive scandal of Hillary and her husband possibly trading US uranium rights for Russian cash.

MRC analysts also found that more than a third of the networks’ Russia “scandal” coverage was based on anonymous sources who worked in the Obama administration, including Hillary’s State Department.

Though some of that coverage has proved erroneous, leading to retracted stories and fired reporters, the damage is done. Trump’s approval ratings have suffered, and the Russia investigation has distracted the administration.

Which was also part of Hillary’s plan.

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