The Nunes Memo was released earlier today. It revealed that the FISA court warrant that allowed the FBI to continue to spy on Carter Page was largely granted because of the Christopher Steele dossier. Of course, the Democratic counter-point memo has yet to be released.
Many commentators have talked about how Putin is jumping with glee right now because his goal of dividing the United States, both at the government and electorate level, is obviously a reality. Rather than be interested solely in the game of truth and counter-truth via CNN and Fox News (I obviously prefer the former), Putin’s goal is to sow discord via that game. It doesn’t matter if this occurs over social media or the traditional news cycle. Both are preferable in his mind.
Even though Trump’s greenlighting of the Nunes memo reeks of self-preservation, it plays into the broader narrative of Russian interference into the 2016 elections and beyond. If Putin’s goal is to insinuate himself into the American political landscape, using discord as the vehicle, then Trump’s irritatingly persistent narrative of self-absorption plays quite nicely into that goal.
This seems pretty historic. The official government response to Russia’s interference has been partisan gridlock on the congressional side, and a strong “looking the other way” mentality from the executive branch. We’re forced to watch through the kaleidoscope of Trump’s narcissism and the maneuvering of his legal team. Not lookin’ good.