The Collusion Has Always Been Right out in the Open

As I have said countless times: The collusion between Donald Trump's campaign (and, later, administration) and Russia has always been right out in the open — from his campaign forcing the Republican Party to change its plank on Ukraine, to Trump standing at a podium along the campaign trail publicly inviting Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails, to Trump's meetings with Russian diplomats in the Oval Office where he was photographed as he spilled intelligence secrets, to Trump publicly saying he would not meet with Vladimir Putin at the G20 only to meet with him privately anyway.

The incidents of collusion between Russia and Trump, his family, and/or his staff are many. And a huge number of them have never been concealed. They have been visible live, or known and quickly reported to the public.

And yet, many of us who have been hammering away for years at the fact that the then-Republican candidate and now president is colluding with a foreign adversary have been widely dismissed as kooks and conspiracy theorists for nearly the entire time — despite the fact that much of the information in Special Counsel Bob Mueller's filings has long been known.

It's merely confirming what those of us paying attention have seen with our own eyes.

This is something I have noted previously, and it's something that Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign manager, notes in an important op-ed for the Washington Post today: The Sad Truth About Russian Election Interference.

The entire thing is worth your time to read in its entirety, but here is the upshot:
Obviously, much more evidence about Russia's interference has come out since 2016. But I'm not sure we've learned the bigger lesson: Why did it take two years and dozens of indictments for so many to believe that Russia was not only behind the DNC hack but may also have been in cahoots with the Trump campaign, when there was so much evidence at the time?

It's as if something needs to be secret or hidden to truly matter. If it's sealed in a courtroom, it must be a bombshell, but if it's out in the open, it's just not as serious.
Over and over, people have argued with me that what I was saying about collusion couldn't possibly be true, because no one would be so stupid as to be that brazen.

But the brazenness wasn't stupidity. It was calculated. Trump and his co-conspirators knew damn well that there would be people lining up to argue that what they were seeing with their own eyes couldn't actually be what they were seeing with their own eyes, because no one would be stupid enough to be that brazen.

And here we are.

Mook isn't sure we've learned the bigger lesson. And I'm not either.

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