Just now the FBI held a brief primetime press conference to announce that Iran and Russia have both been caught obtaining U.S. voter registration data in order to meddle in the 2020 election. The whole thing was surreal, and it left most viewers confused as to what they’d just watched.
Here’s what we think happened. There is a Washington Post report that Iran may have been behind the recent intimidating emails sent to some voters that were self-identified as having been from the Proud Boys. We’re not sure what to make of this report, as Iran hates Trump and would prefer that he not win, but Iran would be awfully stupid to take the risk of meddling in an election that Trump is set to lose anyway. We’ll see; the full story will come out eventually.
But it seems pretty clear that Trump instructed his compromised DNI stooge John Ratcliffe to go out there and announce that Iran was trying to rig the election against Trump. Ratcliffe must have then concluded that the only way he could pull it off would be if FBI Director Christopher Wray, who still has credibility, appeared alongside him. Our educated guess is that Wray only agreed to do so if he could use it as opportunity to sound the alarm about the very real Russian election meddling that’s still going on.
So we suspect we just watched a compromise between Wray and Ratcliffe. We don’t expect Donald Trump to be happy, because his entire goal is always to steer suspicion away from Russia. Instead it appears that Trump’s ham fisted approach, and the bumbling nature of Ratcliffe, resulted in Trump getting precisely the opposite result from what he was looking for
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report