Was the RNC Complicit in Russian Collusion?

Throughout Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion with the Russians, American citizens have patiently – and impatiently – waited to see just how deep the scandal goes and whether President Donald Trump will be implicated. Now we’re getting hints that the crimes could somehow go even deeper than that, with the Republican National Committee also facing scrutiny.

Yahoo News received confirmation that special prosecutors have been questioning RNC staffers to determine whether there was any cooperation between them and the Russian hackers to attempt to swing the election.

Before we go any further, let’s be perfectly clear that nothing reported here is even close to definitive. Mueller could very well be checking out members of the RNC to eliminate that theory as a possibility rather than attempting to nail Republican leadership.

However, given that the GOP has largely defended Trump against allegations of collusion (not to mention some of the indefensible yet not criminal actions he’s done in public,) it’s worth considering whether Republicans might actually be concerned about covering their own hides amidst this mess.

Per New York Magazine, here’s why the RNC is being scrutinized: In the fall, it came to light that a lot of Russia’s election ads on Facebook were specifically focused on states that barely swung for Trump like Michigan and Wisconsin.

Cyber-experts find it hard to believe that Russian operatives could have known so specifically to target the same regions that the Trump campaign was focused on without the Trump campaign sharing some of that information.

Said Rep. Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee, “We’re looking at any of the targeting of the [Russian] ads… to see whether they demonstrate a sophistication that would be incompatible with not having access to the data analytics from the campaign.”

Already, that makes things look bad for Trump’s senior advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner, who ran the digital campaign in the 2016 election. Bearing in mind that Kushner’s previous denials of having contact with Russian operatives were subsequently proven false, it at least seems plausible he might have shared of his campaign intel.

As for the RNC, it was roped into this particular probe since it collaborated with the Kushner on this digital campaign. Did the RNC staffers participate in sharing their voter research with the Russians? Were they aware that Kushner might be doing it covertly? These are the questions that Mueller’s team is most likely asking.

Salon added some fuel to the fire by pointing out how certain Republican congressmen – particularly those in Florida – who benefited from the DNC hacks are going extra hard in trying to discredit Mueller. Could it be that they’re afraid of what else his sniffing around might turn up?

When the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was hacked in 2016, the leaked information was anything but random – it tactically revealed information that did damage to Democrats in the tightest races. Again, it seems improbable that Russian hackers would know specifically which races to focus on without some cooperation from someone within the RNC.

It’s way premature and speculative to say that the RNC is a party to any collusion with Russia, but if it is innocent, it should maybe give some thought to chastising an administration that put it in this position in the first place. The Republicans of years past would laugh at the idea of colluding with Russia.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

72 comments

Marie W
Marie W19 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill4 months ago

I don’t believe anyone colluded with the Russians. The Russians have been trying to meddle in elections for decades, and not just ours.

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Nancy Wrightington
Nancy Wrightington6 months ago

SMH

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Peggy B
Peggy B6 months ago

Well said Joan E.

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Joan E
Joan E6 months ago

Jamie, I share your anger at what Hillary did in the Dem primary. Clearly Brian does, too. : ) But Hillary wasn't the only one subverting our election results. Trump and Putin were doing it, too, and many other Republicans aided and abetted. They are still doing it. That is an equally huge issue.

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Mike K
Mike Kelly6 months ago

Anyone who votes for any republican in any election ever is voting against living in a country which operates under the rule of law. A vote for a third party in a presidential election is a vote for the republicans. Republicans know this. They provided financial help to the Ralph Nader campaign in Florida 2000.

Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, was personally invited by Vladimir Putin to sit at his personal dinner table in a roomful of hundreds of attendees, prior to the election of 2016. Vladimir could have chosen anyone to invite to his personal table. HE CHOSE BRIAN F's CANDIDATE, Jill Stein. Here's a photo of the happy couple discussing Ms. Stein's vote-splitting campaign:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/guess-who-came-dinner-flynn-putin-n742696

Jill Stein, seeing that she had no chance of winning, could have removed herself from the race and urged her supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton, JUST LIKE BERNIE SANDERS DID, but her strategy and vanity kept her from putting country first.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E6 months ago

brian f
BOT who VOTED FOR Ms. Clinton

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Brian F
Brian F6 months ago

Maureen G Corporations run our country, and we can only vote for who they tell us to. Most Americans wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, but the corrupt Democratic party cheated Bernie Sanders out of his primary, and anoitned a crook, Hillary, which caused this fraud to be elected. So when corporations decide who the candidates are, and they are both corrupt, voters have no choice. The lesser of the two evils is still evil.

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Maureen G
Maureen G6 months ago

I am an Australian and I would like to have more Australian content on our news. I am sick and tired of hearing about ways in which it seems so many of you want to bring your leaders down on our daily news. I wonder who is running your country.....or even given the chance to run your country. If you are not happy that is what elections are for.

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Brian F
Brian F6 months ago

Jamie Clemens Excellant post. A green star has been sent. Bernie Sanders would have been our president, if the Democrats didn't cheat him out of his primary, and anoint their crook Hillary.

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