CNN’s Fareed Zakaria asked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday whether Russia sought “revenge” on her in the 2016 election — without mentioning that her own campaign was responsible for the “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory.
Zakaria painted Clinton as the helpless victim of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s machinations, without noting that the Clinton campaign paid Fusion GPS to develop the fraudulent “Russia dossier” that became the basis for the baseless theory that Russia had colluded with the Trump campaign, and that led the FBI to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Their exchange on Fareed Zakaria GPS was partially as follows (via CNN transcript, emphasis added):
ZAKARIA: Now, to one of the biggest puzzles facing President Biden. What to do about Russia? Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins me again.
Madam Secretary, let me ask you, you started out your tenure as secretary of State trying a re-set with the Russians and trying to figure out whether there were ways to compromise with them. What transpired by the end of it was Putin deciding that you had tried to support pro-democracy movements in Russia and therefore he was going to take revenge on you by all accounts, by American intelligence accounts that is one of the reasons he interfered in the 2016 election.
So I guess what I’m wondering is, can you be objective about this? Is it worth another re-set with Vladimir Putin?
CLINTON: Well, I certainly could be objective because the goal is to try to figure out how to rein in and stop the malicious behavior of Russia in destabilizing countries on its border, in Europe, the United States, through the election interference and so much more. We always have to be ready to find common ground, if there is any.
So I think, Fareed, my approach would be similar to what I see happening, which is to sanction Russia over its cyberattacks, over its election interference, making it absolutely clear that they are a bad actor when it comes to their continuing efforts to undermine democracies in the West particularly, but also to see whether there is any potential for cooperation on climate change, for example, on the Iran nuclear agreement, where they are part of the P-5 Plus One.
Looking for those areas. Narrow as they may be that we could get some, you know, positive action out of the Putin regime, I do have to say, however, that the crackdown on Alexei Navalny and his supporters, his lawyer, the organizations that are trying to speak out against the corruption, the thievery, the oppression that marks the current Russian government is deeply troubling.
The massing of military forces on Ukraine’s border, a continuing effort to intimidate that country and its government, the undermining of governments through spying and very, very deep espionage networks like the one that has been disclosed in the Czech Republic. You know, the list goes on. This is not — this is not a regime that you can take at face value and so you need very focused efforts to restrain and even punish where necessary, look for areas of cooperation, if any are possible.
CNN played a leading role in disseminating the “Russia collusion” theory. No one at the network apologized or resigned, though three CNN journalists who falsely reported Russian ties to then-Trump allyAnthony Scaramucci were fired in 2017.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, We Told You So!: The First 100 Days of Joe Biden’s Radical Presidency. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.