Nowhere in the New York Times or Washington Post will you find it, but Tucker Carlson might have pulled off the scoop of the year on his show on Fox.
Paul Manafort has long been known to be at or near the center of the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The FBI searched Manafort’s house, he was at the meeting with Donald Trump, Jr., and the Russian lawyer who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton and his past as a lobbyist for foreign governments means he likely knows the people might collude with.
But the assumption has been that Manafort, who served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager for a brief period in the summer of 2016, was a problem for Trump and perhaps a link from underground Russian dealings to the Oval Office itself.
Carlson said that a former senior employee at the Podesta Group with “direct personal knowledge” of the Mueller investigation contacted the show because he was “motivated … by the disgust he felt watching media coverage.”
Not only are the media getting it wrong, he said, they are getting it backwards.
The man told Carlson the Russians were deeply involved in American politics, but the real story – perhaps now even the focus of the Mueller investigation – has “almost nothing to do with the 2016 presidential campaign.”
Instead, it is about Manafort working for years with the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian government interests, the source told Carlson. Manafort was a regular in the Podesta offices and sought to influence the Obama administration, Congress and the Hillary Clinton State Department on behalf of Russian government interests.
Tony Podesta, in turn, was a constant voice in Hillary Clinton’s ear when she was secretary of state, working through David Adams, whom he hired from the State Department to improve access.
The man said he knows of at least one meeting held to “determine how to help Uranium One, whose board members gave $100 million to the Clinton Foundation.”
Carlson’s source said he had also been interviewed by Mueller, whom the source said is now more interested in those who facilitated Russian involvement in our political system as opposed to electoral collusion.
“Manafort was crystal clear Russia wanted to cultivate Hillary,” Carlson quoted the source as saying. Manafort, Tony and John Podesta, who went on to manage Clinton’s campaign, were “operatives on behalf of Russian business interests.”
The Podestas “are in the crosshairs,” Carlson concluded.
He then brought on Brit Hume, who agreed this revelation changed the story completely by complicating everyone’s idea of Manafort’s place in it and by revealing that Mueller “is on this” and may now be involved in “a more broad-gauged effort to determine the extent and depth of Russian efforts to influence American politics going back several years.”
But then raised perhaps an even more significant question.
The story “suggests what collusion that have been was between Paul Manafort and the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian interests,” Hume said. “What you’re coming around and getting at this now … how could it be that all these journalists chasing this story for lo these many months and never ran across this thing? How can that be?”
“It’s pretty striking, and it suggests the work done on this story has not been of the best quality or this would have turned up. I’d also suggest you have a pack of journalists who are so determined to follow one storyline that they completely missed this.
“And now it turns out two people very close to Hillary Clinton were working for them. Obama administration in its effort to seek a closer relationship with Russia acquiescing in the sale of materials that are strategic and place American security interests at some risk.”
The last remark referred to other reporting this week that President Obama worked with Clinton during her time at the State Department to sell a fifth of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians – another event that has received almost no coverage.
“The tide may be turning in political terms and hopefully in journalistic tones,” Hume said.