Did now-withdrawn billionaire Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s pitiful performance on Super Tuesday inadvertently debunk the persistent conspiracy theory that Russian operatives affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election?
The evidence suggests it did.
Speaking Wednesday on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” conservative political commentator Mollie Hemingway noted the striking contrast between the half a billion dollars spent by Bloomberg in the ongoing 2020 race and the paltry couple hundred of thousands of dollars reportedly spent by Russian operatives in 2016.
(Source: Fox News)
“We had years where people were saying a couple hundred thousand dollars in barely literate ads from Russians caused Donald Trump to win,” she said.
“Here you had a guy who spent nearly a billion dollars, and he went nowhere. It’s a humiliating defeat for Michael Bloomberg.”
Host Bret Baier concurred.
“That is a great point,” he said. “So Russia influenced the election with $200,000, $300,000 in Facebook ads, and Mike Bloomberg couldn’t get more than 50 delegates with $650 million?”
Not only does the conspiracy theory make no sense, but it was formally debunked by then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein during a 2018 press conference in which he announced an indictment against the Russians responsible for the ads.
“Now, there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election,” he said.
Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018
The conspiracy theory has nevertheless persisted, with members of the left continuing to cite it as justification for their unsubstantiated belief that the president is relying on the help of Russia to “cheat” in the ongoing 2020 presidential election.
Case in point:
We needed to be ready for Trump to lie and cheat to steal our election just like what happened in 2016 except this time we are aware of Russia’s meddling. Just realize Trump is going to fight dirty. https://t.co/cs5R1FfAoz
— Leslie Yazurlo (@lyazurlo1) February 25, 2020
Me: Bear witness faithfully.
Trump: I fired my spy chief in collusion with Russia so that I can cheat in the election.
CNN: “America” is “blundering” into another crisis of electoral legitimacy, and the “partisan divide” is hampering the response.
— subscribe to my newsletter (@brianbeutler) February 21, 2020
Democracy vs dictatorship is the 2020 ballot and it may be too late already. Trump has been telegraphing his intention to cheat and no one in his admin is committed to stopping Russia from helping again
— Luke Zaleski (@ZaleskiLuke) February 17, 2020
Many ppl r unaware that Trump’s campaign worked w/ Russia to cheat in 2016, but was not prosecuted because a Republican said he couldn’t prove they knew it was illegal.
Trump is accused of cheating in same way in 2020.
Senate GOP just enabled Trump to cheat for all of them.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 1, 2020
There has been significant new evidence that Russia is interfering in the 2020 campaign to assure Trump’s re-election.
Trump’s solution? Fire and attack those who presented the evidence, while his minion McConnell blocks action on election security legislation.
— Lloyd Doggett (@RepLloydDoggett) February 29, 2020
Wow! If Putin hadn’t cheated for you in 2016 with your total encouragement, you’d not be stinking up OUR White House, you short fingered vulgarian.
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) March 4, 2020
Trump’s digital advantage? Let’s breakdown this absurdity. By advantage do you mean Russian interference or Facebook’s propaganda or the white supremacists websites he retweets or what? His advantage is that he cheated in 2016 and never stopped.
— Larry Charles (@larrycharlesism) January 29, 2020
Note that these unhinged, fact-free theories are being propagated by mainstream figures and media outlets …
Bloomberg isn’t even the only billionaire who lost “bigly” after spending enormous sums of money. Billionaire Tom Steyer did as well.
“Despite spending $150 million on ads in early states and $253 million on his campaign in total, Steyer failed to earn any delegates at all or break more than 4% of the vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, or Nevada,” Business Insider reported after Steyer dropped out late last month.
Couple Bloomberg and Steyer’s failed big-money campaigns for the presidency with Rosenstein’s 2018 conclusion, and it seems indisputable that Trump won the 2016 election not because of cheating but rather because “the American people actually wanted Trump to be president over Hillary,” as some Twitter users have opined.
It’s like… the American people actually wanted Trump to be president over Hillary
— Genuine Elephant (@GenuineElephant) March 5, 2020
Americans can’t be bought.#WalkAway
— made⭐⭐⭐ (@blessed4home) March 5, 2020
It’s the best hot-take of the day
Illustrated just how ridiculous and demeaning it is to Trump voters to blame his victory on Russian “influence”
They didn’t influence shit!
Trump won because of one thing
There was a sign at his campaign headquarters:
LET TRUMP BE TRUMP
— brent ogle *** (@brentogle) March 5, 2020
It’s was all bull crap from the beginning. We’ve all known it to be horse manure.
The Bloomberg MASSIVE ad buy and subsequent campaign fizzle and failure lays it bare for the dishonest to shamefully see.
— Chris Scibelli (@Scibellichris) March 5, 2020
This is indeed a great argument against all hoaxes. The people are intelligent and they make their own choices and no ads and no millions of dollars will sway them. So what was this Russia Hoax about?
— Dr Louis Shallal (@drshallal) March 5, 2020
The answer to the question posed by the latter Twitter user remains unknown, though thankfully for the president and his supporters, it’s under investigation.
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