News Release

Russiagate: “Massive Gift for Trump”

AARON MATÉ, aaronmate at gmail.com, @aaronjmate
For over two years, Maté has written a series of pieces for The Nation questioning the prevailing orthodoxy on “Russiagate” including: “A Skeptic’s Guide to the Russiagate Fixation,” “New Studies Show Pundits Are Wrong About Russian Social-Media Involvement in U.S. Politics,” “Don’t Let Russophobia Warp the Facts on Russiagate,” “Don’t Count on Russiagate to Bring Trump Down,” and from Feb. 2017: “Stop With the Conspiracy Theories — Trump Is Bad Enough.”

He was also featured on numerous Institute for Public Accuracy news releases on the subject, including: “Behind MSNBC’s Russia Obsession,” “From Cohen to Venezuela: Hollowness of ‘Russiagate,’” “Is Flynn/Kushner Actually Israelgate?” and “Why is Israelgate Being Downplayed?

He said today: “Robert Mueller’s findings should put to rest the Trump-Russia collusion theory that has dominated U.S. media and political culture for more than two years. They also should come as no surprise to anyone who closely followed the available evidence in the case to date. The narrative of a Trump-Russia conspiracy was not grounded in fact. Unfortunately, prominent media and political voices ignored the countervailing evidence to blow it far out of proportion and mislead millions of people into expecting that Mueller would uncover a Trump-Russia plot.”

Maté also blamed the “intelligence agencies that relied on dubious evidence, namely the Steele dossier, to target a major presidential campaign — setting up a dangerous precedent, no matter one’s party affiliation.

“The collapse of Russiagate need not be a defeat for the anti-Trump resistance that got behind it. The Trump-Russia fixation has sidelined attention on Trump’s actual policies, and channelled liberal energy into unrealistic expectations. With Mueller no longer able to fill that fantasy role, those who oppose Trump have the opportunity to build a real resistance to his administration, and confront the serious issues that Russiagate has helped us avoid. The task will not be easy: as some of us progressive skeptics of Russiagate warned, the incessant faith in a conspiracy theory did not take into account that it not only overlooked Trump’s actual policies, but also stood to benefit Trump should it collapse. With Mueller’s probe wrapping up with no finding of a conspiracy, those who led their audiences to expect the opposite have just handed Trump a massive gift for his re-election campaign.”