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Hillary Clinton can make ridiculous Russia claims about Tulsi Gabbard and Jill Stein without the barest of evidence and it’ll be greeted with nodding heads from ostensibly serious journalists, not to mention the years-long investigation into the Trump-Russia theory based on nothing but unsubstantiated opposition “research.”
But overall, there’s nobody I can think of in American politics who has been a bigger asset to the Russians than Hillary Rodham Clinton herself. No, I don’t mean she colluded with Russia in any meaningful sense. But Hillary Clinton has unintentionally aided Vladimir Putin in weakening the US military’s credibility abroad while sowing discord and undermining American institutions at home.
The failed Obama-era Russian Reset/”Overload,” of which Clinton was the public face, and the abasement to Putin and Medvedev in the process were an embarrassing diplomatic failure that emboldened Russia’s geopolitical adventurism. Years later, her presidential campaign actively traded in innuendo related to Donald Trump’s supposed relationships and kompromat in Russia, suggesting that Trump was knowingly receiving assistance from Vladimir Putin to win the election. She undermined the FBI and other federal institutions’ credibility as she colluded with the Obama administration to use uncorroborated material to harm Donald Trump’s campaign, and to this day continues to spew drivel alleging her current and former political opponents are Russian assets.
It’s hard to believe that anything pleases Vladimir Putin quite like Hillary’s debasement of American diplomacy, institutions, and law enforcement. Clinton instilled an outsized fear of Russia in a compliant media and, sadly, a significant portion of the nation that has been taught to accept what CNN and MSNBC hosts tell them as fact. Hand-wringing about Russia is now an important partisan signal for nearly half the country. For a man like Putin, whose domestic political iconography has leaned heavily on an image as a strong paternalistic figure, the fact that half of the most powerful nation that has ever existed lives in terror of him can only boost his standing.
Trump’s rhetoric around Russia leaves much to be desired (not to mention his humiliating performance at the Helsinki summit). But Clinton has enabled Russia’s behavior and undermined American institutions while she has held office, sought office, and supposedly retired from office.