The newest evidence-free anonymously sourced claims of Russian interference ahead of the 2020 election is a return to and new twist on Trump and Putin's supposed three-dimensional chess playing, this latest version which goes something like this:
...the Kremlin wants Trump for four more years, so the best way to do this is elevate Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee — ensuring a Trump win.
Sanders said he's been briefed on the matter, however, The Washington Post admitted revealingly, “It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken.”
As we noted earlier this seemingly by design puts the Democratic front-runner in a difficult spot, given he runs the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin.
Naturally, he had to go full anti-Putin to satisfy the Russia-obsessed Democratic base, warning the "autocrat" and "thug" to "stay out out US elections".
“Mr. Putin is a thug. He is an autocrat. He may be a friend of Donald Trump — he’s not a friend of mine,” Sanders said while in California.
“Let me tell Mr. Putin: The American people, whether you’re Republicans, Democrats, independents, are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections.”
He also took the timing of The Washington Post's reporting to task. Sanders' intelligence briefing was about a month ago, but has only been made public a day before the crucial Nevada vote.
“I’ll let you guess, about one day before the Nevada caucus. Why do you think it came out?” he told reporters. “It was The Washington Post? Good friends,” he added sarcastically.
Sanders had previously questioned of the new allegations, “Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me” — because, well... zero evidence has actually been presented. Sanders said additionally:
“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do. In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020.”
But his opponents have predictably already seized on what appears a carefully timed and calibrated smear.
Joe Biden immediately on the heels of the Post report told a Las Vegas crowd that Russia is “engaged again, right now as we speak, trying to affect not only the general election but who becomes the nominee of the Democratic Party.”
Elizabeth Warren also chimed in, questioning why the "Russian efforts" were not made public earlier, saying further the Russians "continue to have too much influence".
#BernieKnew that constantly feeding into establishment Russia hysteria for three years would bite him in the ass eventually, but he also knew opposing it would've been used to smear him as a Russian asset much earlier.— Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ (@caitoz) February 22, 2020
Though this is all clearly part of the Democratic establishment's well-documented ongoing war to prevent a Bernie Sanders nomination, it must be remembered that Sanders himself for years added his own fuel to the Russiagate conspiracy fire when it came to Trump and the Republicans.
It's now been repackaged and is coming back to bite him.