Joe Scarborough — the Trump-hating cable talk show host who announced yesterday that he is leaving the Republican Party (big shocker there) — is lucky he didn’t present his dare as a bet. I suspect that if he had, the “Morning Joe host, whose net worth is estimated to be $18 million, would have been cleaned out by now
He delivered his challenge on his MSNBC program on Tuesday. He began the segment by displaying a tweet by Stuart Stevens, who, Scarborough informs us, was a top strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign.
Here’s Stevens’s tweet:
If you can find someone in other presidential campaigns who has received oppo from foreign interests, please share. https://t.co/DOtCFLs1j5
— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) July 10, 2017
This inspired Scarborough to offer what must have seemed to him to be an insurmountable challenge:
If anybody who is listening to this show, and most of the people who are influencers in Washington, a lot of ’em listen to this show, a lot of people who have run presidential campaigns listen to this show — watch this show, if you know in your lifetime a political campaign, a presidential campaign, receiving opposition research or support from any political campaign or from any foreign power, especially a foreign power that is hostile — Russia, China, Iran, Syria — let us know.
I don’t know whether any “influencers” in D.C. listen to “Morning Joe,” as its host claims. But I do know that didn’t take me that long to scare up an article published by Politico in January that contained the following:
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia.
Politico went so far as to name a source who admitted to working contacts in Kiev for information that she then gave to the DNC and team Clinton in an effort to defeat Donald Trump. Her name is Alexandra Chalupa, and she is a veteran Democratic operative who had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration.
Chalupa told Politico she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. While her consulting work at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities — including Ukrainian-Americans — she said that, when Trump’s unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump’s ties to Russia, as well.
She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, Chalupa said. In January 2016 — months before Manafort had taken any role in Trump’s campaign — Chalupa told a senior DNC official that, when it came to Trump’s campaign, “I felt there was a Russia connection,” Chalupa recalled. “And that, if there was, that we can expect Paul Manafort to be involved in this election,” said Chalupa, who at the time also was warning leaders in the Ukrainian-American community that Manafort was “Putin’s political brain for manipulating U.S. foreign policy and elections.”
If Joe Scarborough were less interested in fueling his personal vendetta against Donald Trump and more interested in reporting the news, he never would have made his foolish “dare.”
Cross-posted at Constitution.com