Diplomats warn that 'Russia hysteria' could harm US interests

Several former ambassadors and Russia hands at the State Department are warning that the Democrats and the media could harm US interests abroad by stoking hysteria over Russia and the Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

The feeding frenzy began when it was revealed that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact with the Russian ambassador that he failed to disclose during his confirmation hearings. Since then, the hysteria has grown to a ridiculous level, as unconfirmed reports and outright falsehoods about Kislyak have been reported.

The Hill:

Democrats have seized on the reports, claiming they’re evidence of the Trump administration’s close ties to Moscow. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) unveiled a website this week entitled “Connecting the Trump-Russia dots,” with Kislyak’s portrait squarely in the middle.

A CNN report alleged that “current and former US intelligence officials have described Kislyak as a top spy and recruiter of spies.”

“That’s total horses**t” said Wayne Merry, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council who worked as a U.S. diplomat to Russia and has known Kislyak for decades. “It’s a witch-hunt with paranoia and hysteria at its core. Normally it’s the Russians who become paranoid and hysterical. That the conspiracy theories and paranoia is coming from Americans makes me very uncomfortable.”

The past two U.S. ambassadors to Russia defended Kislyak in interviews with The Hill: Michael McFaul a fierce Trump critic who was appointed by former President Obama, and John Beyrle, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush but served for three years under Obama.

Both former ambassadors tell The Hill that the Russian ambassador was merely doing his job and that there is no evidence of any illicit collusion between him and the Trump campaign.

McFaul and Beyrle say they are extremely troubled by evidence that suggests the Russians interfered in the U.S. election. They support an independent investigation into the matter.

But allegations and insinuations that Kislyak was the point person for this — and that it could have played out in broad daylight at meetings on Capitol Hill or at Trump campaign events — are preposterous, they say.

“Kislyak’s job is to meet with government officials and campaign people and I think he’s good at his job,” said McFaul. “People should meet with the Russian ambassador and it’s wrong to criminalize that or discourage it. I want the Russian government to be as informed as possible about the American political process. When I was ambassador, it was frustrating how poorly informed the Russian government was. It’s a good thing to meet with him, not a bad thing.”

This is a warning that is falling on deaf ears. The media and Democrats have the bit in their teeth and are taking the Trump-Russia pseudo connection to idiotic lengths. Since there isn't much of a  counter-narrative or push back from the Trump White House, the American people are being led down an extraordinary dangerous path.

The thrust of all of this Russian hysteria is the unspoken but plain as day accusation  that the president of the United States is a traitor. To make that charge without a shred of evidence  - and no one doubts that's what Democrats and the media are suggesting - is highly irresponsible. But the anti-Russian hysteria is matched by anti-Trump hysteria. So we get "connect the dots" websites that try and connect the unconnectable.

The Democrat's are practicing a scorched earth policy in their opposition to Trump and they care little for who or what gets singed in the process.

 

Several former ambassadors and Russia hands at the State Department are warning that the Democrats and the media could harm US interests abroad by stoking hysteria over Russia and the Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

The feeding frenzy began when it was revealed that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact with the Russian ambassador that he failed to disclose during his confirmation hearings. Since then, the hysteria has grown to a ridiculous level, as unconfirmed reports and outright falsehoods about Kislyak have been reported.

The Hill:

Democrats have seized on the reports, claiming they’re evidence of the Trump administration’s close ties to Moscow. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) unveiled a website this week entitled “Connecting the Trump-Russia dots,” with Kislyak’s portrait squarely in the middle.

A CNN report alleged that “current and former US intelligence officials have described Kislyak as a top spy and recruiter of spies.”

“That’s total horses**t” said Wayne Merry, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council who worked as a U.S. diplomat to Russia and has known Kislyak for decades. “It’s a witch-hunt with paranoia and hysteria at its core. Normally it’s the Russians who become paranoid and hysterical. That the conspiracy theories and paranoia is coming from Americans makes me very uncomfortable.”

The past two U.S. ambassadors to Russia defended Kislyak in interviews with The Hill: Michael McFaul a fierce Trump critic who was appointed by former President Obama, and John Beyrle, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush but served for three years under Obama.

Both former ambassadors tell The Hill that the Russian ambassador was merely doing his job and that there is no evidence of any illicit collusion between him and the Trump campaign.

McFaul and Beyrle say they are extremely troubled by evidence that suggests the Russians interfered in the U.S. election. They support an independent investigation into the matter.

But allegations and insinuations that Kislyak was the point person for this — and that it could have played out in broad daylight at meetings on Capitol Hill or at Trump campaign events — are preposterous, they say.

“Kislyak’s job is to meet with government officials and campaign people and I think he’s good at his job,” said McFaul. “People should meet with the Russian ambassador and it’s wrong to criminalize that or discourage it. I want the Russian government to be as informed as possible about the American political process. When I was ambassador, it was frustrating how poorly informed the Russian government was. It’s a good thing to meet with him, not a bad thing.”

This is a warning that is falling on deaf ears. The media and Democrats have the bit in their teeth and are taking the Trump-Russia pseudo connection to idiotic lengths. Since there isn't much of a  counter-narrative or push back from the Trump White House, the American people are being led down an extraordinary dangerous path.

The thrust of all of this Russian hysteria is the unspoken but plain as day accusation  that the president of the United States is a traitor. To make that charge without a shred of evidence  - and no one doubts that's what Democrats and the media are suggesting - is highly irresponsible. But the anti-Russian hysteria is matched by anti-Trump hysteria. So we get "connect the dots" websites that try and connect the unconnectable.

The Democrat's are practicing a scorched earth policy in their opposition to Trump and they care little for who or what gets singed in the process.

 

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