American Hustle. What Mueller Found—and Didn’t Find—About Trump and Russia
The author writes that according to special counsel Robert Mueller's report, Russian intelligence organizations were able to hack, leak and disinform without the aid of the Trump campaign. On the subject of obstruction of justice, U.S. President Donald Trump's attempts to influence the investigation did not succeed due to people around Trump failing to carry out his orders. The report, however, is incomplete, Kotkin argues, in that it does not focus on the origin of it all: the FBI's counterintelligence investigation. Additionally, "[t]he phantasm of an all-powerful, all-controlling, irredeemably evil Kremlin has diverted too much attention from Americans’ own failings, and their duties to rectify them.” Kotkin writes that the report's greatest revelation is that despite a desire to help Trump, Putin was unable to talk to him. “The American public needs to understand not only what the Russians did but also what they did not do. … Whatever the marginal impact of Russia’s actions, it was made possible only by crucial actions and inactions in which Russia was never involved.”
Read the full article at Foreign Affairs.
Stephen Kotkin is the founding co-director of Princeton University’s Program in History and the Practice of Diplomacy and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Photo by The White House shared in the public domain.