While President Donald Trump’s official reelection announcement in Orlando, Florida, attracted more than 100,000 people who wanted to attend, Democrats who plan to run against Trump are struggling to fill their own venues.
The president’s approval rating is now approaching 50 percent and has even topped that mark in some recent polls.
This isn’t how the script for 2019 was supposed to play out, according to the plot known as “Spygate” hatched during the Trump transition period, from November 2016 to January 2017.
According to the script written by the Washington political elite class, Trump, by this point in his brief, ignominious presidency, was supposed to be trapped by extremely low job approval numbers, surrounded by countless investigations as the walls closed in on him, and preparing for impeachment or contemplating resigning—just to end the whole thing.
The reality we are seeing now is far different from what was planned.
The Mueller investigation has ended with a whimper, not a bang. After more than 2 1/2 years, the Trump–Russia collusion narrative was exposed as being a massive hoax perpetrated on the American public with the willing complicity of many in the Fake News media.
Mueller and his team of crack prosecutors, who searched diligently for more than 24 months, were unable to find any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the government of Vladimir Putin. Even on obstruction of justice charges, Mueller and his team refused to come to a conclusion and punted that decision upstairs to Attorney General William Barr, who professed surprise at Mueller for ducking his responsibility on that issue.
As a result of Mueller coming up empty, key Spygate plotters James Comey, Andrew McCabe, and John Brennan have been reduced to lame media appearances, in which they have to walk back their former accusations of treason against this president, while simultaneously urging House Democrats to start impeachment hearings as soon as possible.
Other recent developments make it clear that, far from being in retreat and under siege, Trump is advancing and winning at a rapid pace.
After months of Democrat and DNC media denials, everybody can now see there is indeed a massive humanitarian crisis on the United States’ southern border. Despite criticism that it would never be possible, Trump engineered a deal with Mexico that included our neighbor to the south starting, at last, to enforce its own southern borders and help stem the flood of illegal immigrants into the United States.
Earlier this month, there was Trump’s highly successful European trip on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, in conjunction with UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s stepping down as her party’s leader, and the revelation of the Hezbollah London bomb plot.
Crowdstrike and Perkins Coie
Now, there’s a new development in the Spygate scandal that takes things exactly where some people don’t want it to go: to the roles of both Crowdstrike and Perkins Coie.
A new filing in the Roger Stone case led to a massive spotlight being thrown on something the Spygate plotters would really rather nobody look at.
What has been the key cornerstone of the entire Trump–Russia collusion narrative that Democrats and the media spent over two years relentlessly pushing to the American public?
It’s that there was a conspiracy between the Trump campaign, the Russian government, and WikiLeaks to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s servers, steal damaging emails, and then have Julian Assange publish them.
It’s been public information for some time that the longstanding claim that the FBI “proved” that Russian hackers broke into the DNC servers and “stole” the emails published by WikiLeaks is based only on a heavily redacted draft report created by a cybersecurity firm called Crowdstrike, a company working as a contractor for … the Democratic National Committee.
And how did the DNC go about hiring Crowdstrike as a contractor? Well, simple: They used the law firm Perkins Coie as the middle man. Just as Perkins Coie was used as a middle man to hire Fusion GPS, which, in turn, hired Christopher Steele, to produce the now debunked “Steele dossier.”
The chief result of Stone’s new filing is going to be calling attention to this: that the FBI’s forensic experts were never allowed to see the actual servers or examine them. How then, could it be proven that any hacking was actually done, by Russians or anyone else? It turns out that the FBI was basing its “evidence” solely on Crowdstrike’s supposedly expert and impartial expertise.
This has been out there for months, but having Stone make this filing right now throws a huge spotlight on it.
Trump’s been calling attention to this very issue for a long time on his Twitter account. For instance, here’s his Tweet from July 14, 2018: “….Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t the FBI take possession of it? Deep State?”
….Where is the DNC Server, and why didn’t the FBI take possession of it? Deep State?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2018
And then on Nov. 15, 2018: “The only ‘Collusion’ is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others. Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? They still don’t have it. Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!”
The only “Collusion” is that of the Democrats with Russia and many others. Why didn’t the FBI take the Server from the DNC? They still don’t have it. Check out how biased Facebook, Google and Twitter are in favor of the Democrats. That’s the real Collusion!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2018
Trump Is Holding All the Cards
At this stage, Trump is holding all the cards. The slow, patient rollout of the case that there was an actual, real Spygate plot is working. Understand that this has to come out in bite-sized chunks in order for people in the middle—who aren’t in the Trump camp but aren’t rabid Democrat partisans—to accept it. Plenty of people who don’t follow political news every single day are slowly learning the truth.
Spygate plotters have been trying for two years to troll Trump into ripping the lid off this Pandora’s box, before there was majority public support for investigating and prosecuting the Spygate coup. They continue to fail to prod Trump into going early.
Trump is making moves to get the public ready for the declassification and the release of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s FISA report.
Forcing the Theresa May government in the UK, while on its way out the door, to finally reveal the 2015 Hezbollah bomb plot in London is another key piece of this slow rollout preparation.
Desperate Spygate plotters wanted Trump and his team to “go” more than a year ago. They were fully prepared to use their media allies to try to win the PR battle: that “Dictator Trump” was going after his enemies, using federal agencies to exact revenge.
If Trump had gone early, without that undecided middle who still thinks there just might have been something to the idea Trump was a Russian puppet, that would have been used against him. By the time Trump hits the “go” button, his approval rating will be north of 50 percent and the majority of the public will know they were lied to for more than three years about this “Russiagate” stuff.
They will know Trump was never a Russian agent and that it was all a setup that had its origins inside the Hillary Clinton campaign and partisans entrenched inside federal agencies.
Trump was under a cloud for the past 2 1/2 years. The House Democrats are trying their best to keep that cloud in place, but it’s not working.
During the 2004 presidential election, as John Kerry watched the results come in showing incumbent President George W. Bush was ahead, he was reported to have been caught by an observer muttering under his breath, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this idiot!”
I fully expect to see a lot of the people who thought they’d have Trump well on his way out of the White House by now to be mumbling something similar to themselves in coming months.
Because they’ll never let themselves accept the fact he’s been ahead of them in this game all along.
Brian Cates is a political pundit and writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked for My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!”