Bernie Sanders, Paul Manafort and Russia [OPINION]
Robert Mueller’s team has revealed that Bernie Sanders' campaign was being run by a partner in Paul Manafort’s adventures with Russian puppets in Ukraine.
Rhode Island native Tad Devine, a big-time Democratic political operative, was called as the lead witness against Paul Manafort in federal court on Tuesday. Manafort was briefly involved in the Trump campaign, and he is being tried on unrelated criminal matters involving money laundering and tax evasion. Unlike Manafort’s brief relationship with Trump’s campaign, Tad Devine has had numerous leadership roles in Bernie’s campaigns for federal office.
Devine has made millions from the campaigns of Bernie Sanders. He was also been well paid to work for the Russian-allied Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Devine, who worked for Al Gore, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Lloyd Bentsen and Bob Kerrey, is a force in Democratic politics. He has helped elect some of the Democrats in today’s Congress who are deep critics of President Trump, including Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill and New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez.
Of course, Devine isn’t Bernie’s only connection to Russia and other governments hostile to the United States. In 1988, Bernie traveled with his wife and others to the Soviet Union. He has described the trip to Communist Russia as his “honeymoon” in his own book. He traveled to Nicaragua to celebrate the Sandinista Revolution in the 1980’s. Today, Daniel Ortega, the leader of the Sandinistas and currently the president of Nicaragua, is murdering his own people (again) in an effort to hold power, but Bernie isn’t saying anything about it as a senator and the leading progressive in America. He also traveled twice to Cuba, but never got to fulfill his dream of meeting the now-deceased dictator Fidel Castro.
With zero evidence, many Democrats have been pointing to Manafort’s work in Ukraine as the link between Trump’s campaign and Putin. It would be equally incorrect to point to Devine’s work with Putin’s Ukrainian puppet as evidence that Bernie was controlled by the former KGB agent.
However, Mueller is convinced that the Russian government was trying to assist Bernie Sanders' campaign in the Democratic Party primaries against Hillary Clinton. Mueller’s team is so convinced of Putin’s aid to Senator Sanders they included it in a federal indictment of Russian election interference. Even Bernie's home state public radio station understands the Russians were supporting and aiding his efforts.
I have never believed the Russians were trying to do anything more than harass Hillary Clinton during the campaign, because they believed she was going to be the next president and they wanted to take her down a peg or two before she entered the Oval Office. Tad Devine and Paul Manafort were working in Ukraine to make money, and you might not like it, but they aren't Russian control agents for the Americans they also worked with.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.