Putin's Patsy: How the Mueller Report Solidifies Bernie Sanders as a Russian Asset

There it is.  

After twenty-three months, the American people were finally given the opportunity to view a redacted version of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's 448-page report, which details multiple high crimes and misdemeanors committed by Donald J. Trump in an effort to both receive aid from a foreign adversary to steal an election and to attempt to cover up any and all communications between his team and those foreign enemies. While the political ramifications will soon unfold, what should not be lost in yesterday's bombshell report is the fact that while Donald Trump received the bulk of Russian assistance, Russia also was heavily invested in the campaign of Bernie Sanders, whom they saw as a potential spoiler to be used to weaken the eventual nomination of Hillary Clinton.

Specifically, page 23 of the Mueller Report describes how the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) sought to amplify Bernie Sanders' candidacy and to avoid harming his campaign. The Report specifically quotes a message from the IRA that says: 
Main idea: Use any opportunity to criticize Hillary [Clinton] and the rest (except Sanders and Trump - we support them)
And there you have it, ladies and gentleman. Irrefutable proof that Bernie Sanders was used by Russia to harm Hillary Clinton.

This revelation makes perfect sense when you follow the course of events throughout Sanders' campaign. It all started when Sanders brought in his longtime political adviser, Tad Devine, who previously had a working relationship with Paul Manafort in Ukraine and it was Devine's emails to Manafort, Gates, and Konstantin Kilimnik that appeared as evidence in the Special Counsel's case against Manafort. In December of 2015, Sanders' data director Josh Uretsky's and team were caught breaking into the DNC software system NPG-VAN in order to access voter data from Hillary Clinton's campaign. As was reported at The People's View, Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0 later claimed that Uretsky had been instructed to hack the database as a way to gauge its security capabilities. Uretsky was quietly let go from the campaign and major media outlets refused to follow-up on this lead but the fact that seven months later, Guccifer 2.0 hacked the DNC database and then disseminated the stolen information to Wikileaks should be a huge red flag that it may very well have been Uretsky's initial hack that paved the way for Guccifer to access the DNC system.

Sanders' involvement also makes sense when it comes to his campaign's shady finances. Again, those of us at The People's View first reported in April of 2016 that Sanders had received a mysterious $10 million donation from a single DC zip code. To further add to the mystery, Sanders insisted that his campaign bank account always remain above that magical $10 million mark, despite high-ranking campaign officials begging Sanders to spend that money on digital ad buys. During Sanders' final days on the campaign, he twice applied for extensions for his final FEC filing of the year and ultimately refused to file it, claiming that since he was no longer a formal candidate, he was under no legal obligation to do so. Combined with his campaign manager Tad Devine making at least $10 million through his advertising firm and Sanders working with Old Towne Media, which was later revealed to be a shell company that took in over $12 million in ad buys despite not having any listed owners and being located at a random suburban home in Virginia, and you can see how money was central to Sanders' apparent quid-pro-quo with Russia.

Even with this newest revelations, Bernie Sanders has opted to stay silent when it comes to his campaign's involvement with Russia. This would make sense as the campaign has recently struggled to keep its story straight. In February of 2018, Bernie Sanders was asked about what his campaign knew about Russian influence during an interview with Vermont Public Radio. Sanders stated that one of his campaign workers figured out what was going on and alerted Clinton campaign officials. However, an April 12 article by The Washington Post described how Russia specifically targeted Sanders supporters in a way to make them less supportive of the eventual nominee Hillary Clinton. In that article, Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver contradicted him by saying that Sanders "misspoke" and that neither Sanders nor any of the staff knew that Russia was involved. For Sanders, this ever-shifting narrative as to did-they-or-did-they-not know seems to be an intentional misdirection to avoid the fact that Sanders may very well have known and chosen not to do anything because he and his team were benefitting financially from all the attention that Russia was shifting to them and away from Hillary Clinton.

The truth is Bernie Sanders will never admit what he and his team knew or didn't know about Russia. But with Tad Devine involved, shady finances, and constantly shifting stories, the pieces are all there to place Bernie Sanders squarely in the know. Bernie Sanders may not have known the extent to which Russia would go to support him, but he knew that he was receiving some outside help. At the end of the day, Bernie Sanders willingly sold himself out to a foreign adversary in order to make a quick buck. His ego, one of a lifelong politician who felt he was never being taken seriously, finally had a platform and his White male privilege took flight, all too happy to have adoring crowds finally chanting his name. While the vast majority of us are worse off with Donald Trump in office, Bernie Sanders is a multi-millionaire with a third home and now with one more opportunity to again raise his profile and make a quick buck by running for president. When all is said and done, Bernie Sanders proved to be the perfect Putin asset: selfish, greedy, and willing to do anything to disparage Hillary Clinton.

And he's willing to go down that road one more time without a single regret.

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