Covid-19 won’t stop Trump: His real campaign surrogate, PUTIN, will ‘ramp up’ activities to compensate, says Dem senator

Covid-19 won’t stop Trump: His real campaign surrogate, PUTIN, will ‘ramp up’ activities to compensate, says Dem senator

The Russians are going to take up the slack in promoting the president’s re-election as Trump retreats into quarantine, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy told CNN on Friday, claiming the Kremlin would “increase the pace of interference operations” to cover for the president’s expected retreat from the campaign trail.

“The Russians have learned” from 2016’s never-proven election-meddling activity, Murphy warned, suggesting “They are now trying to use US persons and fake websites in order to proffer a narrative that helps President Trump’s reelection.”

It’s much bigger and bolder and smarter than it was in 2016.

Murphy claimed Trump was going to “rely on his surrogates, and unfortunately one of his surrogates is [Russian President] Vladimir Putin.”

As is typical for those warning of Russian interference in the 2020 election, Murphy declined to mention any specific incidents or point his host toward concrete evidence that might back his claims.

Some of Murphy’s followers appreciated his returning focus to what was – in their view – important (i.e. Russiagate).

However, others questioned the utility of beating that particular dead horse.

Trump announced in the early hours of Friday morning that he and his wife had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Some of the president’s critics have interpreted his announcement as an attempt to dodge the two remaining presidential debates, and others have suggested a Covid-19 diagnosis can be leveraged into potentially removing Trump from office altogether on 25th Amendment grounds.

Even as Murphy reheated the “Russia threat,” a letter from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe to Senate Judiciary Committee head Lindsey Graham earlier this week indicated that the entire Russiagate conspiracy theory was the product of a foreign adviser to the campaign of Trump’s 2016 Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. The missive suggested Clinton had embraced a scheme to smear Trump with allegations he was colluding with Russian security services back in July 2016 – and that both CIA director John Brennan and President Barack Obama knew about it at the time.

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