Damn The Russians, Cory Gardner Stands By His Man

A long-form Politico story out today gives us some of the first detailed answers from Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado about the now-concluded investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections–an investigation that, despite a vigorous attempt by the White House to spin the final report’s conclusions, revealed deeply troubling and quite possibly criminal actions by the Trump administration up to and including President Donald Trump himself.

But where Sen. Mitt Romney in neighboring Utah declared himself “sickened” by the report’s recounting of the administration’s conduct, Cory Gardner remains…if not unshaken, without a doubt still firmly onboard the “Trump Train” despite it all:

“Look, it’s clear there were no merit badges earned at the White House for behavior,” said Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) in an interview downtown here. [Pols emphasis] “You have to focus on the heart of this conclusion, which is there is no collusion, no cooperation. That’s where the focus ought to be and how we prepare for the next elections to protect us from Russian intrusion and interference.”

…[B]eyond conceding there are some embarrassing details, Republicans don’t feel the need to create any new space between them and the president. The desire to stay in Trump’s good graces and keep his supporters appears to override any interest in using the episode to appeal to swing voters.

There’s a good argument that the die was cast for Gardner when he endorsed Trump’s re-election in late January, well ahead of the conclusion of Mueller’s investigation. It’s possible that Gardner had some foreknowledge that the report would not recommend an indictment of the President–a decent bet even without inside knowledge given Mueller’s deference to the Justice Department on that question, and the controversially expansive views of then-AG nominee William Barr on presidential power.

As long as the report wasn’t too bad, or was at least properly spun/redacted to minimize the immediate political damage, Gardner made the calculated decision to ride out of aftermath and in so doing retain his GOP base of support. Politically this was still a risky course, since

Democrats believe Gardner is perhaps the most endangered incumbent senator given Democrats’ sweeping wins in Colorado in 2018, Trump’s loss here in 2016 and Gardner’s own narrow victory in 2014, a GOP wave year. But Gardner is showing no signs of distress over having Trump at the top of the ticket…

The story concludes by observing what could be the undoing of Gardner’s delicately balanced position: the massive contradiction between Gardner’s steadfast support for Trump and his equally vociferous complaints about Russian interference in the 2016 election–which Gardner says is “hell-bent on the demise of the West.”

“What we have to move on to is to make sure we are protecting this country’s elections. We have a country [Russia] that is hell-bent on the demise of the West. And we can’t stand for that,” Gardner said. “Some are going to push for impeachment and do everything they can to strike that revenge; we need to protect people in this country.” [Pols emphasis]

Here we have Sen. Gardner conceding again that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 elections, and that interference was not intended to benefit the United States–what Gardner meant with the “demise of the West” stuff. But by characterizing the “push for impeachment” as “revenge” for the Russian interference Gardner claims to decry, he is establishing the crucial link between the Russian operation against the 2016 elections and the purpose of that operation: electing Donald Trump President of the United States.

Folks, how do you reconcile that contradiction? How do you decry the interference of a foreign government in an American election, yet celebrate the result of that interference? How do you declare that Russia is “hell-bent on the demise of the West” but support the Russian choice to be President of the United States?

The most logical answer is that you can’t. And this is going to backfire mightily.

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16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    It's called cognitive dissonance. You can't be a Republican without it.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    “Look, it’s clear there were no merit badges earned at the White House for behavior,”

    Isn’t being “at the White House” enough? I kinda’ always thought (used to anyway) that being at the White House required having some bit of identifiable merit??

    I guess that smilin’ used tractor guy thinks tRump needs a merit badge just to act like what’s expected of the office???

    • unnamed says:

      I guess that smilin’ used tractor guy thinks tRump needs a merit badge just to act like what’s expected of the office???'

       

      I guess that smilin' used tractor guy thinks he needs a merit badge just to do his job as a US Senator for ALL of Colorado.

  3. PodestaEmails says:

    Fucking idiots. The Russians hated Hillary much more than they cared about Trump. As Secretary of State Hillary tried to overthrow Putin, and Putin responded by screwing Hillary out of the Presidency. Too bad guys, there was NO COLLUSION so Trump's hands are clean. If not Trump's fault Hillary is a sociopath who has made enemies the world over.

    Also, would the Russians have been able to screw Hillary if the DNC wasn't actually corrupt? Sometimes a witch hunt finds a witch libs…

    Having said that, let's stop them from doing it again. That's a good idea and Gardner is right on.

    • bullshit!bullshit! says:

      So, your hatred of Hillary Clinton is so overpowering you support the illegal actions of a foreign intelligence service.

      That makes you a traitor to your country, you know that right?

    • unnamed says:

      Okay Poddy Mouth, why would Hillary want to overthrow Putin?  Because he's a strong man dictator, just like Trump is a wannabe strong man dictator?  

      Also, you need to let Hillary go.  She's not President, and she's not going to be.  I know you hate her but: 

      PodestaEmails says:

      April 24, 2019 at 3:47 PM MDT

      It's not Hillary's fault Trump is a sociopath who has made enemies the world over, except for Bibi, Chairman Kim, and Putin.

      You need to let her go.  Just like you need to let go of the fact that your party got shellacked last fall, especially in Colorado.  Recall proponents are sore losers who are butthurt over losing.  To quote you in your infinite (ha) wisdom:

      PodestaEmails says:

      March 25, 2019 at 12:46 PM MDT

      Fuck off sore losers!!

    • Genghis says:

      Clinton Tourettes is a heartbreaking condition that afflicts hundreds of thousands of idiot stump-jumping hicks throughout the United States. You can help!  Please give generously to the American Clinton Tourettes Society today. Your tax-deductible contribution will help mental midgets such as this poor soul find their way to marginal quasi-productivity.

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      Are you typing this on a government asset, PoddyMouth? 

      You are walking-talking cognitive dissonance.  Let me fix this for you:

      The Russians hated Hillary Putin knew he could manipulate DJT 

      [P]utin responded hacked state voter databases

      [T]rump's hands are clean  Just for fun: 'David Dennison' 

      Everything If [sic] not Trump's fault touches dies

      [W]ould the Russians have been able…

      Sometimes a witch hunt...

      [L]et's stop them from doing it again. It makes me look illegitimate

    • kwtreemamajama55 says:

      No provable collusion. Cooperation, communication, coordination…all of that evidence was laid out in the Mueller report, and the FBI is still looking at the counterintelligence data…so Trump's (tiny but so very manly) hands are clean?

      Not yet. Not until we look at Trump's finances, see how much he owed Deutsche Bank, etc.

      "Having said that, let's stop them from doing it again." Yes, let's!

      So, Poddy, you're in favor of fully funding the cybercrime intelligence unit and the electoral security act  ?Because Gardner, along with all GOP, voted against both of them. (He helped bury the cybercrime bill in committee)

    • MADCO says:

      Hahahahahaha

      Since when is "it's legal" the standard for the persident?

      President Clinton had consensual sex with an adult- 6 years of investigations.

      President Trump comes to expect and encourage illegal Russian assistance. NBD.

      The problem with your view is everything IOKIYAR, but NIOKIYAD

      No one cares about you or your candidates.

       

    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      You have omitted a comma after your second use of the word witch.

      You're welcome.

  4. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Witches. So. Many. Witches. 

    Deutsche Bank begins process of providing Trump financial records to New York's attorney general

    The bank is already the subject of a joint investigation between the House Financial Services and Intelligence committees into Trump's businesses and money laundering.

    Deutsche Bank has been one of the few big banks willing to lend to the Trump Organization in recent years.

  5. skeptical citizen says:

    Senator Gardner supports a President guilty of accepting assistance from an enemy, even though it has not been deemed illegal by the Special Counsel.

    I served in the US Air Force 1978-1982, during the Cold War. The USSR/Russia was and still is our enemy. Gardner prefers to support our enemy, and is no patriot.

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