Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., thinks that Donald Trump is an Orwellian president.
Thursday, Flake gave a speech in support of a nonbinding Senate resolution that was essentially a vote of confidence in the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election. The purpose of the resolution was to rebuke President Donald Trump’s performance at a press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week. Flake has said the president “basically threw the whole country under the bus” when Trump said that Putin “was extremely strong and powerful in his denial” of meddling in the U.S. elections, declining to endorse the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies.
In his speech, Flake quoted from George Orwell’s seminal novel “1984”: “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”
“Well, we saw earlier this week in Helsinki what was truly an Orwellian moment,” Flake said from the Senate floor. “What we saw earlier this week in Helsinki is what happens when you wage war on objective reality for nearly two solid years, calling real things fake and fake things real, as if conditioning others to embrace the same confusion.”
Sen. @JeffFlake: "Well, we saw earlier this week in Helsinki what was a truly an Orwellian moment."
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 19, 2018
Flake is suggesting that Trump and his supporters are rejecting the evidence put forward by the national intelligence community that Russia interfered with U.S. elections, and that they are doing so in spite of the “evidence of your eyes and ears.”
Well, hasn’t Flake ignored the evidence? Flake talks about Orwellian doublespeak to attack the president. He forgets to mention the Orwellian police-state tactics that were employed by the Obama administration against Trump. He dismisses the idea that the behavior of the Obama administration’s intelligence operatives and investigators justifies the president’s heavy skepticism about their reliability. He gaslights the skeptics of the Trump-Russia collusion narrative and the purpose of the Mueller probe, saying Trump has conditioned his supporters “to embrace confusion.”
The truth is that things aren’t as neat and clear as Flake suggests they are.
The intelligence report Flake offered a Senate resolution to defend was primarily authored by former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, and former National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers. Conservative Review’s Jordan Schachtel points out that the media conveniently neglects to remind the American people that the findings of that intelligence report are not unanimous. “In fact, the NSA under Rogers only expressed ‘moderate confidence’ in one of its most controversial findings: That the Kremlin not only interfered, but ‘aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances,’” he wrote in an article debunking the latest New York Times anti-Trump bombshell.
Schachtel also explains why Brennan and the others who put together the report are not altogether trustworthy.
Is Brennan a trustworthy source? This week, the former CIA director accused the president of committing treason. He’s a proud member of the anti-Trump resistance, and there is also a plethora of evidence that he was the point man for the Obama administration’s spy operation against the Trump campaign and transition team.
Former directors Comey and Clapper also make for bad sources. They too have become staunchly anti-Trump, to the point where both men have been calling for his prompt removal from office. They too played an integral role in the spy operation against Trump and the dissemination of the Trump-Russia dossier. Clapper reportedly attempted to bolster the Steele dossier by ensuring that the president was briefed on the matter by Comey. He then allegedly leaked the information to CNN, seemingly so that the media could use the Steele dossier to target the president.
On Thursday, Clapper came forward to “confirm” the anonymously sourced report that Vladimir Putin was personally involved in the election hacking.
Jeff Flake mentioned none of this on the floor of the United States Senate. He never speaks about the Orwellian behavior of the Obama administration. Has Flake raised concerns over the Russian dossier that was put together by the Clinton campaign and potentially the Russians and then likely used to secure a FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign? Has he questioned the role that Clapper played in colluding with the media to give legitimacy to the Russian dossier? Has he denounced the explicit bias of FBI investigator Peter Strzok or launched a congressional inquiry into how the FBI is handling the Trump-Russia investigation?
Where was Jeff Flake when Obama administration officials unmasked unprecedented numbers of American citizens picked up in incidental surveillance? Did Flake defend his former colleague Jeff Sessions when the Democrats launched a “Soviet-style hunt” using anonymous leaks reported by the media to accuse Sessions of colluding with Russians?
Is Flake worried about the Obama administration’s interference in the 2016 election? Did Flake demand that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch testify to Congress about telling former FBI Director James Comey to put “the kibosh on any prosecution” of Hillary Clinton for violating the Espionage Act with her email server?
Why has Flake advocated for unconstitutional legislation to shield the Mueller probe?
Flake talks about “Orwellian” behavior from Trump and turns a blind eye to the Orwellian tactics used against Trump. He asks the American people to uncritically accept the Russian collusion narrative, to defend the anti-Trump investigators and leave their motives unquestioned, and to attack President Trump for refusing to do so. Worst of all, Flake says that those who refuse to do as he asks are complicit in the Orwellian reconstruction of reality — which is exactly what he is doing.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
Send tips and hate mail to [email protected]