The long-awaited de-escalation of Washington’s war with Trump seems finally to be happening. Prior to the president’s trip to the Middle East and Europe, the anti-Trump media was abuzz with intimations of “impeachment territory,” (the ludicrous phrase of David Gergen, who served President Reagan and President Clinton well, but may have contracted some of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy that plagues CNN, where he now comments). While the president was overseas and the tweets were rarer and unexceptionable, it came to light that the likeliest Russian interference in the election apart from Wikileaks, may have been misinformation.
The whole Russian controversy began with the ineffable John Podesta (whose own contacts with the Russians have raised eyebrows). This was followed by the outrageous release by former Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid of a letter to the FBI that made public the infamous Steele dossier. This generated the Golden Shower allegation that Trump had orchestrated a group of prostitutes to urinate on a bed in a Moscow hotel room where the Obamas had once allegedly slept. This dossier had been drifting around untouched by any respectable media for months, and is generally presumed to come originally from Russian sources. CNN then exhumed Carl Bernstein, flaccid but imperishable, to try to lend credibility to this fatuous story that it claimed was the result of their great journalistic enterprise. The president’s response was the phrase “fake news,” le mot juste for such nonsense.