Conservatives had a collective meltdown on Twitter following a Tuesday report from the Washington Post that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee had paid a Washington firm to conduct research that resulted in the infamous dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and Russia.
Several right-wing pundits and writers claimed that the Post’s reporting is proof positive the Clinton campaign colluded with Russia, even though it’s not clear who the former British spy who compiled the dossier relied on for the information contained in it.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) October 24, 2017
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) October 25, 2017
So Democrats are allowed to collude on info ops from Russia against a GOP presidential candidate, because they PAID for it
Oh ok. Got it.
— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) October 24, 2017
The meat of the Russia collusion narrative runs *directly* through the Clinton campaign. https://t.co/luFEEiajNJ
— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) October 24, 2017
Echoing a charge President Trump himself made on Twitter last week, Sean Davis, co-founder of The Federalist, suggested that the FBI colluded with Democrats and Russia, given that the FBI offered to pay Steele for the dossier after the Clinton campaign and the DNC helped fund his work. However, according to the Post’s report, the FBI never ended up paying Steele after his name started appearing in news reports.
And given what we know about Russian sources for the dossier, it would appear Hillary, the DNC, and the FBI collided w/ Russians in 2016.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 25, 2017
Conservatives argued that the media should be just as enraged by Tuesday’s revelations as it is about the probes into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, decrying what they perceived as hypocrisy.
“If we found out that Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee had paid a firm working for the Russians to create a file of fabricated attacks on Hillary Clinton during the election, would the media treat it as an impeachable offense?” David Harsanyi wrote in The Federalist. “Would such efforts be considered an attack on the foundations of our democracy? Would liberal columnists make sensationalistic claims that the Russians had ‘carried out a successful plan to pick the government of the United States’? Would they argue that the election had been rigged? Would they demand that Republicans pick their country over their party? Of course they would.”
Conservatives on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning seized on the Post report to paint the dossier as a political attempt to take down Trump; that does have truth to it, since it resulted from opposition research first commissioned by Republicans during the GOP primary and then funded by Democrats in the general election stretch. But while some of the dossier’s allegations, including the most salacious ones, remain unverified, other parts of the dossier, such as its claims that Russian hackers breached Democratic Party campaign committees, have been confirmed or shored up by news reports that have trickled out since the election.