After running a failed presidential campaign that fed on arrogance and certainty of victory, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook is in a desperate tailspin to stay relevant. Mook’s agency, Leading Authorities, advertised that Mook would debate Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. However, BuzzFeed reported that the listing was taken down after criticism that Mook was exploiting an opportunity to collaborate with a former Trump staffer for personal profit. The agency claimed the announcement, which was reported to BuzzFeed, was made without Mook and Lewandowski’s consent.
In another desperate attempt to remain in the spotlight, on February 7, Mook published an alarmist, neo-McCarthyist op-ed in the Guardian about the alleged Russian election interference.
Titled, “Russia hacked the election,” the article suggests the actual election results were indeed hacked. In 2016, The Intercept noted that 50 percent of Clinton voters believed that Russian hackers tampered with voting tallies to help Trump. Mook’s misleading title propagates this false narrative.
Mook claimed intelligence officials found a “clear linkage between Wikileaks and the Russian state,” even though Barack Obama noted in his last press conference that intelligence agencies were unsure what role Wikileaks played in the alleged election interference and how they obtained the emails.
Mook also claimed Wikileaks released material related to French presidential candidates—except for far-right candidate Marine Le Pen—in order to portray itself as a far-right organization. However, on January 31, Wikileaks released 1,138 documents on La Pen.
Mook’s unsubstantiated claim that Trump has been “tentative about whether to maintain sanctions against Russia,” fails to acknowledge that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley reaffirmed that sanctions would remain in place due to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
Mook propagates the widely-debunked theory that the Russian government pedaled fake news in order to influence the election. A recent Stanford study noted that fake news lived primarily on social media and had a limited impact on the election. “Our data suggest that social media were not the most important source of election news, and even the most widely circulated fake news stories were seen by only a small fraction of Americans,” the researchers added. Further, there is no evidence that these stories were circulated by the Russian government.
The rest of Mook’s call to arms is the interventionist cry to provide aide to Ukraine to fight Russian intervention, and he also states the unsubstantiated claim that Trump will use Russia and China to influence the 2020 presidential election.
The public has been provided no evidence proving Russian election interference. Many mainstream media articles about the supposed Russian links have either been outright debunked or redacted. Mook is squeezing what’s left of this narrative to elevate his own political status and portray himself as a crusader for democracy against Russia’s impeding threat to American exceptionalism.
Mook’s Twitter account doubles down on alleged Russian election interference and the fear mongering tactic that “it could happen again.” Mook fails to acknowledge that leaked emails between the DNC and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta confirmed that the Clinton campaign coordinated with the DNC to rig the primaries and coordinated with mainstream media, thereby providing Clinton with campaign advocates reporting under the false pretense of autonomy.
On January 10, Mook penned an op-ed for the New York Times in which he claimed Russia’s DNC hack was only the beginning. Mook’s narrative is self-serving, as elevating the issue restores his own battered image as a failed campaign manager.
The polls predicted Clinton would win relatively easily against Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Therefore, her campaign widely ignored key states in the rust belt and poured resources into boosting voter turnout in blue states under the assumption Clinton would win the electoral college but lose the popular vote. Donald Trump, who is widely unpopular in the mainstream media, made several gaffes and outlandish comments upon which any good presidential candidate would have been able to capitalize. However, Clinton’s inept campaign, led by Robby Mook, ultimately fumbled an otherwise winnable election.
In the wake of this loss, Mook is neither accepting responsibility nor helping Democrats recover from the paralysis of a failed election cycle. Instead, Mook seeks to tap into the highly-paid speech circuit and continue the Neo-McCarthyist movement that most Americans, and even Clinton supporters, have moved on from.