Despite the Mueller report resolving the question of Russian collusion, some just can’t let it go. CNN still devotes extended coverage to the Russian menace. Democrats in Congress are keeping the dream alive, issuing subpoenas and frightening warnings about Moscow’s meddling in a presidential election.
Give them credit. It is the first time Democrats have cared about Russian influence in American elections since 1917.
If CNN actually wanted a real story of direct collusion between a presidential hopeful and Moscow, it could look at the 1984 election.
Let’s first set the world stage.
In the 1970s, America was on the run, with iconic scenes of rooftop helicopter evacuations. At home, service members were treated with disdain. Malaise, retreat, and moral ambiguity defined America’s shrinking resolve.
Into that gap charged an expansionist Soviet Union. Russian tanks rolled into Afghanistan and red client states were rising across Africa and the Western Hemisphere.
It was from this malaise and retreat that Ronald Reagan won the White House in 1980 with his promise to restore American prestige and combat the wicked spread of communist totalitarian ideology. The Cold War had turned.
But the Democratic Party of the era was never on board. Nothing illustrated how Democrats became Moscow’s fools more than the fight over the deployment of Pershing II intermediate-range missiles into Western Europe. NATO had decided to deploy the missiles as a deterrent to the Warsaw Pact invasion of the West and Soviet SS-20 nuclear missiles aimed at the West.
Communist groups in Western Europe and the communist-penetrated Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament satisfied their ideological masters in the Kremlin by organizing mass protest marches in Bonn, London, Paris, and other Western capitals. They wanted the Pershings stopped, because Moscow wanted the Pershings stopped.
Enter the good senator from Massachusetts, Edward Moore Kennedy.
Kennedy was a leader in the “pro-freeze” movement, namely the opposition to deploying any additional nuclear weapons, including the Pershing IIs. Kennedy’s freeze would have locked in Soviet nuclear dominance, especially over intermediate-range missiles such as the SS-20s that were already aimed at NATO countries and that the Pershing II would counter.
Kennedy also wanted to be president and contemplated a run in 1984 or 1988, as he had done unsuccessfully in 1980 against President Carter when he won twelve primaries.
When the Kremlin’s archives were thrown open in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union, we learned that Kennedy engaged in the sort of collusion with Moscow that Democrats now falsely attribute to Trump.
In 1983, Kennedy reached out to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov and made an offer. Kennedy’s offer was worse than anything Trump was ever falsely accused of by Democrats.
Kennedy communicated that he could ensure that the three American television networks would give Andropov a prime-time slot to speak directly to the American people to counter Reagan’s foreign policies and Reagan’s framing of the USSR as a sinister regime.
Naturally, an American population more inclined toward the Soviet cause would undermine the incumbent American president ahead of his 1984 reelection. If the Soviets weren’t so bad, then why risk war over a few missiles that nobody seemed to want anyhow?
Kennedy would continue to oppose Reagan’s tough line at home against the Soviets and arrange for American TV time for Andropov. In exchange, the Soviets would undermine Reagan in prime time and echo Kennedy’s foreign policy talking points.
This is what collusion really looks like, and I suspect CNN won’t ever mention it. Neither will MSNBC, the Washington Post, the New York Times, NPR or any of the other mouthpieces for the DNC.
So how do we know this happened?
According to Forbes, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across a memorandum detailing the collusion offer. The 1983 memo was written by Viktor Chebrikov, the head of the KGB.
The memorandum was addressed directly to Yuri Andropov, with the subject: “Sen. Edward Kennedy’s Request.” Forbes:
Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”
Kennedy would take Andropov’s side in dealing with the cowboy president in the White House if the Soviet Union would help the Democrats in the 1984 election.
Kennedy even offered to come to Moscow to help the Soviets with messaging to the American people. He offered up his talent as the public relations consultant for the communists in Moscow.
Russian collusion doesn’t come any clearer.
So why won’t any of the American outlets who beat the collusion drum so loudly and long — like CNN — mention Kennedy’s collusive overtures to Moscow? Of course we all know why.
First, they will profess ignorance – after all, none of the other inhabitants of their echo chamber have reported on Kennedy’s Russian collusion. Second, they’ll dismiss the story. It’s too outlandish. Someone call Media Matters, right away, despite the fact documents support the story and nobody has debunked Sebastian’s reporting. When the story first appeared, Kennedy did not deny it.
CNN doesn’t care about Senator Kennedy colluding with Moscow because CNN cares about Donald Trump.
The collusion frenzy was never about genuine concern about a presidential campaign. It has always been about the collective derangement that has swept the Democratic Party since Trump won the 2016 election.
You can read the full Kennedy KGB memo in Paul Kengor’s book, The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism.