Caitlin Johnstone: Re-Visiting Russiagate in Light of Ukraine War

Russiagate was never about removing Trump, but making sure Trump played along with their regime change plans for Moscow and manufacturing consent for the escalations we’re seeing today.

Nov. 11, 2017 protest outside the White House, dubbed the ‘Kremlin Annex.’ (Wikimedia Commons/Ted Eytan)

By Caitlin Johnstone

It’s hard to believe that the last president spent his term pouring weapons into Ukraine, shredding treaties with Russia and ramping up cold war escalations against Moscow which helped lead us directly to the extraordinarily dangerous situation we now find ourselves in, and yet mainstream liberals spent his entire administration screaming that he was a Kremlin puppet.

A lot of anti-empire commentary is rightly going into criticizing how the Obama administration paved the way to this conflict in Ukraine with its role in the 2014 coup and support for Kyiv’s war against Donbass separatists. But what’s getting lost in all this, largely because Trumpites have been using their mainstream numbers to loudly amplify criticisms of the role of the Obama and Biden administrations in this mess, is what happened between those two presidencies, which was just as crucial in getting us here.

Though it’s been scrubbed from mainstream liberal history, it was actually the Trump administration that began the U.S. policy of arming Ukraine in the first place. Obama had refused forceful demands from neocons and liberal hawks to do so because he feared it would provoke an attack by Russia.

In a 2015 article titled “Defying Obama, Many in Congress Press to Arm Ukraine“, The New York Times reported that “So far, the Obama administration has refused to provide lethal aid, fearing that it would only escalate the bloodshed and give President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia a pretext for further incursions.”

It wasn’t until the Trump presidency that those weapons began pouring into Ukraine, and boy howdy are we looking at some “further incursions” now. This change occurred either because Trump was a fully willing participant in the agenda to ramp up aggressions against Moscow, or because he was politically pressured into playing along with that agenda by the collusion narrative which had its origins at every step in the U.S. intelligence cartel, or because of some combination of the two.

In all the world-shaping news stories we’ve been experiencing lately, it’s easy to forget how the narrative that the Kremlin had infiltrated the highest levels of the U.S. government dominated news coverage and political discourse for years on end. But in light of the fact that today’s major headlines now revolve around that exact same foreign government, this fact is probably worth revisiting.

The most important thing to understand about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative is that it began with western intelligence agencies, was sustained by western intelligence agencies, and in the end resulted in cold war escalations against a government long targeted by western intelligence agencies.

It was the U.S. intelligence cartel who initiated the still completely unproven and severely plot hole-riddled claim that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Trump. It was a “former” MI6 operative who produced the notorious and completely discredited Steele Dossier [for the Clinton campaign] which birthed the narrative that Trump colluded with the Kremlin to steal the 2016 election.

It was the FBI who spied on the Trump campaign claiming it was investigating possible ties to Russia. It was the U.S. intelligence cartel which produced, and then later walked back, the narrative that Russia was paying Taliban-linked fighters to kill allied occupiers in Afghanistan which was leveraged by Democrats to demand Trump escalate further against Putin.

It was even a C.I.A. officer who just so happened to be in the right place at the right time that kicked off the flimsy impeachment narrative that Trump had suspended arms deliveries to Ukraine.

Every step of the way the mass media was fed reports by intelligence operatives and by elected officials sharing pieces of information they’d been told by intelligence operatives about potential indications of a conspiracy between Trump’s circle and the Russian government, which often face-planted in the most humiliating ways as subsequent revelations debunked them.

Day after day some new “BOMBSHELL” media report would surface tying some obscure Trump underling to some Russian oligarch in some way, the outlet which published it would be rewarded with millions of clicks, only to have it fizzle into a flat nothing pizza within a few days. 

Day after day mainstream liberals were promised major revelations which would lead to the entire Trump family being dragged from the White House in chains, and day after day those promises failed to deliver. But what did happen during that time was a mountain of U.S. cold war escalations against Moscow, a very good illustration of the immense difference between narrative and fact.

Trump supporters like to believe that the Deep State tried to remove their president because he was such a brave populist warrior leading a people’s revolution against their Satanic globalist agendas, and surely there were some individual goons within their ranks who would have loved to see him gone.

But in reality the major decision makers in the U.S. intelligence cartel never intended to remove Trump from office. They’d have known from their own intel that the Mueller investigation wouldn’t turn up any evidence of a conspiracy with the Russian government, and they’d have known impeachment wouldn’t remove him because they know how to count Senate seats.

Russiagate was never about removing Trump, it was about making sure Trump played along with their regime change plans for Moscow and manufacturing mainstream consent for the escalations we’re seeing today.

And now here we are. Joe Lauria has an excellent new article out for Consortium News titled “Biden Confirms Why the U.S. Needed This War” which lays out the evidence that the Ukraine invasion was deliberately provoked to facilitate the longstanding agenda to oust Putin and “ultimately restore a Yeltsin-like puppet to Moscow.”

The U.S. could easily have prevented this war with a little bit of diplomacy and a few low-cost concessions, but instead it chose to provoke a war that could then be used to manufacture international consensus for unprecedented acts of economic warfare against Russia with the goal of effecting regime change.

Lauria writes:

“The U.S. got its war in Ukraine. Without it, Washington could not attempt to destroy Russia’s economy, orchestrate worldwide condemnation and lead an insurgency to bleed Russia, all part of an attempt to bring down its government. Joe Biden has now left no doubt that it’s true.

The president of the United States has confirmed what Consortium News and others have been reporting since the beginnings of Russsiagate in 2016, that the ultimate U.S. aim is to overthrow the government of Vladimir Putin.

‘For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power,’ Biden said on Saturday at the Royal Castle in Warsaw.”

This was all planned years in advance. Long before Biden’s presidency, and long before Trump’s. It is not a coincidence that we spent years being bombarded with anti-Russia propaganda in the lead-up to a massive confrontation with that same government.

There’s no connection between the discredited allegation that Trump was a secret Kremlin agent and Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, yet the mainstream anti-Russia hysteria manufactured by the former is flowing seamlessly into mainstream opposition of the latter.

This is because this was all planned well in advance. We’re where we’re at now because the U.S. empire brought us here intentionally.

Caitlin Johnstone’s work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following her on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into her tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy her books. The best way to make sure you see her stuff is to subscribe to the mailing list for at her website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything she publishes. For more info on who she is, where she stands and what she’s trying to do, click here.

This article was re-published with permission.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

19 comments for “Caitlin Johnstone: Re-Visiting Russiagate in Light of Ukraine War

  1. Michael Keenan
    March 31, 2022 at 22:57

    Caitlin you missed the linchpin in Hillary’s blame Russia fraud. That Schiff hid sworn oath testimony for two years that Russians had no involvement at all in hacking DNC emails as admitted by Crowdstrike. As to Assange. Who wanted his testimony? Not Mueller. Not the Senate. Of course. Assange would have blown the whole farce.

  2. March 31, 2022 at 11:47

    Ms. Johnstone rightly points out Trump’s behavior in response to the Deep State campaign to derail any hope of Detente with Russia. There is, however, little excuse for Trump’s behavior of arming Ukraine to prove he was not a Putin puppet, his actions against Iran and his slavish obedience to Israel regarding the Golan Heights and just about anything else Israel wants. You come to realize that the man is an opportunistic, pandering amoral political animal. Unfortunately, not so different from his opposition. His support comes from decent conservative folks on issues like abortion and that they do not have anyone else to turn to which is sad.

  3. Razzle Bathbone
    March 29, 2022 at 20:04

    I firmly believe that the entire DNC Russiagate hoax was intentionally designed and implemented for three reasons.

    1) To excuse the Hillary loss, instead of admitting they fucked up running a reprehensible candidate on a do-nothing platform of “But she’s not Trump”, and to insure the future election of more right-wing corporate democrats.

    2) To destroy any credibility of Julian Assange and Wikileaks in the US. Prior to Russiagate, the NY Times printed a zillion pages from Wikileaks but WL were becoming a real “problem” for the pentagon & CIA’s foreign policies (i.e. WARS). No mainstream media will touch WL now… in the US.

    3) Lastly, and most importantly, as Russia had for decades warned the US/NATO that they were finished with having US/NATO military on their border pointing weapons at them… and they were going to respond if the US/NATO refused to negotiate with them (they refused)… the US population had to be prepped and ginned up to fear/hate Russia again to support this forewarned war. (Hillary’s only memorable policy that she campaigned on was to “get tougher with Russia”, with no concrete reason even given!)

      March 29, 2022 at 22:22

      Excellent comment.

  4. Sam F
    March 29, 2022 at 19:47

    Very well stated.
    1. We do need to know why the USG has been producing endless fact-free scams and hate propaganda against Russia, with zero causes that they did not very deliberately create themselves.
    2. Those who control US mass media and social media are clearly those who control the government.
    3. The secret agencies are full of corrupt fanatics, a few with antique Brzezinski hatreds of Russia, but they are resurrecting those groundless hatreds because they were profitable in the cold war, not because they have reasons.
    There will be no improvement until government is isolated from money power, which has never been peaceful.

  5. TonyR
    March 29, 2022 at 16:08

    “…that kicked off the flimsy impeachment narrative that Trump had suspended arms deliveries to Ukraine” to me the narrative did not look flimsy at all… And the arguments for impeachment were solid. There may have been something to investigate in Ukraine with Hunter Biden but the president cannot coerce foreign govts to interfere with a political rival. What was flimsy was the hope for 60 votes

  6. DHFabian
    March 29, 2022 at 14:00

    No, Russiagate began in early 2017 when Democrats tried to overturn the 2016 election with allegations about “Russian election interference.” This resulted in a list of investigations, most notably the long Mueller investigation, which found no evidence to support that claim. A lie, but the media that markets to party loyalists ran with the tale.

  7. Barbara Mullin
    March 29, 2022 at 10:46

    One can only wonder how much of the squabbling DNC/GOP is for real. Each party tried to do a coup on the other.

    • Frank Lambert
      March 29, 2022 at 12:06

      Good point. The DNC /GOP are successful in conning their constituents in the “good party/bad party facade, when in reality, they both have allegiance to similar financial backers with the big checkbooks.

      Another good and important article by Caitlin Johnstone!

    • robert e williamson jr
      March 29, 2022 at 15:57

      Ms. Mullin,

      On Mar 25, 2022 @17:53 I left the first of 4 comments for the article from , Hartung, Cleveland-Stout & Gioro, Warning for Washington About Cold War 2.0

      I left a url there for a document I found that I still think is of major importance to understanding what is driving the U.S. insane foreign policy to this point in time. The linkage is there starting, in this particular case, as early as the late 1970’s early 1980’s.

      To be sure there are other sources on this matter one is The Inslaw Affair: Investigative Report by the Committee on Judiciary together with Dissenting and Separate Views Kindle Addition, which, to be clear, I have not read . This is listed on the same page as the link I found when I googled simply, INSLAW Affair.

      I would like to point out that Kendall offering is dated 2010, the document I refer to here from National Archives was released in 2018. I strongly suggest you pull it up and read at least the first 13 1/2 pages, I’m pretty sure you will find it difficult to put it down until you read the entire document. The document speaks for itself and is easily read.

      Bottom line after reading this document I’m confident you will come away with a new understanding of how thing actually work in the high hall of the US Government and how the U.S. Department of Justice is and has been involved.

      wiki PROMIS you see that William A. and Nancy Burke-Hamilton started the Institute for Law and Social Research in 1973 – and developed PROMIS, Prosecutors Management Information System.

      I’m convinced that once you learn about the lengths these people went to cover up the truth here, you will have a much better understanding of how the government “really” works.

      Caitlin is on task with here descriptions here. Read the file and ask yourself if this really happened, and it did, what does that mean to the country?

      To paraphrase, of all people George Carlin, “These people are in a very special club, and we ain’t in it!”

      Way more than one person died as a result of this travesty and that simple isn’t the way the law should work.

      Thanks CN

  8. Tony
    March 29, 2022 at 04:43

    No president has an entirely free hand.

    Vince Salandria claims:

    “Every president since Kennedy knows what happened to him and why. Therefore, every president knows he’s circumscribed in terms of what he can oppose and how much he opposes them.”

    This is quoted by Philip F. Nelson in the second volume of his highly-critical biography of Lyndon Johnson. He then refers to people telling him that the assassinations of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were officially recorded.

    Assassinations are very inefficient and even the successful ones encounter problems. John Connally, for example, was accidentally shot and could easily have been killed during the JFK assassination.

    And so, having recordings of assassinations in order to show them to future presidents does have an undeniable logic to it.

  9. renate
    March 28, 2022 at 22:22

    I always thought that Alexey Navalny is being groomed to replace President Putin. He is a member of the Yale World Fellows program.


    August 23, 2020

    We are members of the Yale World Fellows family.


    We are shocked, saddened and angered at the apparent attack on Alexey Navalny, a 2010 Yale World Fellow.

    We are thankful that Alexey is now in Germany, receiving the specialized care he needs, and hope he makes a full recovery.

    We admire Alexey for his courage to speak out against corruption; his persistent campaign for human rights; and his belief in the future of Russia.

    We call on the Russian Government to allow and support an independent, transparent and credible investigation to bring the perpetrators of this horrific crime to justice. In every society, all citizens – including opposition leaders such as Alexey Navalny – should be protected by the law.


  10. doris
    March 28, 2022 at 21:03

    Thank you Consortium News for being the go-to source of truth in the giant world of corporate-government lies.

  11. March 28, 2022 at 20:17

    People need to abandon cults of personality wholesale. No human being, let alone one who would intentionally seek out a position of authority and power to lord over their brethren, is worth becoming emotionally blinkered about (be they Obama, Trump, Biden, Putin, Xi, Macron, BoJo, or otherwise).

    • Helga Fellay
      March 29, 2022 at 15:28

      I find it difficult not becoming “emotionally blinkered” when, for example, I compare Biden with Putin.

  12. jeff montanye
    March 28, 2022 at 17:13

    however now that they have their ukraine war they are going to be surprised at the result. they have destroyed the petrodollar; insured inflation probably hyperinflation in the u.s.; goten far less than half the world’s human population’s governments to support them; given the global south/the less developed world real reason to press for a multi-p0lar world; let china and india specifically know that what happened to russia can happen to them; turned up interest rates for a very long tine; and pricked the everything bubble several times.

    when the u.s. is bankrupted in fact as well as on paper, who will protect them then? food riots remove all doubt and opposition about who is the enemy; the facts are damning enough.

    • Vesa Sainio
      March 29, 2022 at 15:36

      And the Europeans those sweet puppets of the great US empire will curse these times and sanctions when the cheap russian energy begin to flow towards China instead of Europe.
      I wonder what the western leaders then say to their people. Maybe western democracy and ”free speech” will warm the homes.

  13. peter tusinski
    March 28, 2022 at 17:12

    Thank you Caitlin for clarifying what many of us were thinking long before the many hearings and all the BS MSM postulating,nothing like conspiracy theorists calling those who doubted from the beginning conspiracy theorists.

  14. Realist
    March 28, 2022 at 14:50

    Like Joe Lauria, Caitlin is always right on the money with her assessments of what is reality and what is contrived false narrative. If we lose freedom of speech in the obvious war ongoing against the Bill of Rights by outspoken autocrats amongst both Republican and Democrat warmongers, we lose access to the truth on issues relating to whether the human race, indeed whether all of life will long remain on this planet. If there is still a world supporting a human population in 2023, both Joe and Caitlin will deserve major awards for ensuring this in 2022, if knowing the real truth can be put to good use by some heroic figure(s) yet to be identified.

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