It's Hillary, Obama who have boosted Putin's fortunes, not Trump

Shame on the New York Times. Despite leaked emails revealing collusion with the Clinton campaign that should embarrass any legitimate news organization, the paper continues to carry water for the Democrat candidate.

Among other fictions, the Times frequently repeats the meme that Donald Trump is in cahoots with the Russians. Wednesday, in fact, the supposed collaboration between Trump and Vladimir Putin occupies prime turf as the paper’s lead editorial. It’s time to pull the plug on this nonsense.

The narrative that the Russians are trying to manipulate our election in favor of Mr. Trump has proved vital cover for the damaging emails released by Wikileaks that indeed show election manipulation – by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

In a masterful sleight-of-hand, the Clinton camp has largely ignored revelations that they worked with the DNC to undermine rival Bernie Sanders or managed the media to boost Hillary’s campaign or lied about the private email cover-up; instead, they charge Russia with the leaks, hoping to divert attention from the real misdeeds. Cued by the Democrat nominee, the media and the Obama administration have climbed aboard.

Not only has the spotlight moved from Clinton dirty tricks to Russia, which has now been officially accused by our national security chief of orchestrating the email seepage, it has also targeted Trump, who is suspected of nefarious ties to the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton actually does have ties to the Kremlin – ties which, had they been reported with any honesty, would have become an issue in this campaign.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton helped Russian interests, operating under a directive from Putin, buy majority ownership of Uranium One,  a Canadian firm that was on its way to controlling almost half of U.S. uranium production. Expanding its access to uranium around the world had become a priority for the Kremlin; control of the raw material would bolster its opportunities to build nuclear power plants such as the Bushehr facilities in Iran and similar projects in North Korea and Venezuela.

In pursuit of the transaction, which required sign-off by Secretary Clinton, tens of millions of dollars flowed to the Clinton Foundation through its Canadian branch – moneys that were not reported by the foundation. Moneys, too, that violated Secretary of State Clinton’s memorandum of agreement with the Obama White House and contradicted information provided by Hillary to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Not only did the Clinton Foundation benefit from ties to Russia, Bill Clinton personally collected half a million dollars at about the same time for a speech made at a forum organized by a financial firm called RenCap, whose ranks were known to include ex-KGB types hand-picked by Putin.

After his speech, Bill Clinton met with Putin. It was not the first time the two had visited.

In 2009, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Bill Clinton attended a private party hosted by Putin at the Sheraton Hotel, where the Russian strongman called the former president “our good friend” and where the two apparently talked into the wee hours.

Later, Bill Clinton called Putin “very smart” and claimed to CNN that the Russian leader “kept his word on all the deals we made.”

It’s not only Hillary Clinton who helped out Putin. President Obama has arguably given the Russian leader an enormous boost, allowing him to reassert his country’s influence around the globe even as its coffers are depleted by the collapse of oil prices.

Russia effectively is in control of the Middle East, dictating the terms of battle in Syria, resurrecting Bashar Al-Assad’s presidency, supplying Iran with a missile defense system designed to protect its Fordow underground uranium enrichment facility, reestablishing ties with Turkey, threatening to shoot down U.S. planes. And let us not forget that Obama stood by as Russia took over Crimea.

Imagine, Russia’s economy has cratered, incomes have fallen, but Putin’s approval ratings remain around 80 percent.

So, when Trump calls Putin a “strong leader”, he’s right. Putin is reprehensible, devious and undoubtedly hostile to the U.S. But let us not underestimate who has been Putin’s best bud over the past decade. It is not Donald Trump.

In 2011, Hillary Clinton accused Vladimir Putin of rigging the Russian parliamentary elections; an angry Putin accused Hillary of trying to interfere in Russia’s democratic process.

Is there any doubt why Russia might cheer (and might or might not orchestrate) email leaks that show Clinton guilty of “rigging” the Democratic primaries? And maybe attempting to rig the election?