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When an American politician really sought Russia’s help with an election

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by Bob Livingston

Beyond an anonymous leak ostensibly from an agent within the C-Lie-A to the CIA-owned Washington Post, there is no evidence that Russia had anything to do with Donald Trump’s election; much less that “Russian hackers” tilted the election to Trump or were the source of Democrat email leaks. Yet the mainstream media echo chamber — joined by establishment politicians on both sides of the non-existent “aisle” — continue to state it as fact.

The MSM also continue to cite as fact – again with no evidence (beyond a shoot-from-the-hip Trump comment (of which there are many) – that Trump solicited Vladimir Putin’s help and is dangerous because he’s friendly with Russian president.

But there was a time when an American politician actually actively but covertly sought Russian help with influencing American presidential politics.

The first documented effort occurred in 1978. Senator Ted Kennedy (Communist-Mass.) was prepping for a run against Jimmy Carter in the 1980 primary. According to documents found in Soviet archives following the breakup of the Soviet Union, KGB agents reported to their bosses that in 1978, Kennedy wanted to establish a “relationship” between the Soviet spy apparatus and former California Senator John Tunney, who already had a relationship with a KGB agent in France named David Karr.

Two years later, Tunney met with the KGB in Moscow on Kennedy’s behalf in order to undercut Carter’s claims that the Soviets were a threat and sought to expand their military in the Persian Gulf region. Kennedy offered to speak out against Carter’s Afghanistan policy. He began to do so as the campaign heated up.

Another document found in KGB files showed that Kennedy instructed Tunney to deliver a message to Yuri Andropov, then the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, expressing concern about President Ronald Reagan’s anti-Soviet policies in 1983 – during the lead-up to Reagan’s reelection campaign.

What Kennedy sought through the meeting was talking points from Andropov for use in American speeches opposing Reagan and his Soviet policies. Kennedy also offered to help get Soviet views expressed through the U.S. media, mentioning specifically that he could sway Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters and ABC’s then-chairman of the Board, Elton Rule.

What Kennedy proposed, according to a letter from KGB head Viktor Chebrikov to Andropov, was for the Soviet leader to use the American media to make an end run around Reagan and express the USSR’s peaceful intentions and to have lower-level Soviet officials, particularly military officials, give television interviews to American media to put a pretty face on Soviet policies.

Tunney also told his KGB contacts that Kennedy planned a 1988 presidential run, and hinted that the party might even draft him for a run in 1984; although that seemed unlikely at the time, given Kennedy’s divorce and remarriage issues and other personal scandals that were getting media coverage.

The information on Kennedy’s 1983 overtures to the Soviets was reported by London Times reporter Tim Sebastian in 1992. Sebastian was one of the few reporters who spent a good deal of time sifting through the KGB documents when they were released.

The information on Kennedy’s 1978 overtures to the Soviets was reported by Vasiliy Mitrokhin —  a former KGB archivist who defected to Great Britain in 1991 — in a paper he wrote in 2002 for the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Center. Both reports were largely ignored by the American media at the time of their release and only garnered coverage by some right-leaning media upon Kennedy’s death in 2009.

Also of interest, the self-proclaimed “arbiter of truth” Politifact, has deemed the reports “Mostly false” based on the specious claim that much of the paperwork uncovered in the KGB files was false and that Tunney denied meeting KGB on Kennedy’s behalf. I note that Politifact offers no evidence to support its claim that the KGB made a habit of archiving false documents.

Of course, Kennedy was called “The Lion of the Senate.” That a communist-sympathizing (or worse) adulterous philandering drunkard, who at the very least should have been convicted of manslaughter for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, could be held in such high esteem by his “colleagues” indicates just how debased and anti-American the senate was and is.

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