Grenell vs Swalwell: The Twitter slapfight you didn't know you needed

Given all of the terrible news from the Twin Cities and the COVID-19 pandemic, this actually qualifies as a palate-cleanser. An awesome palate-cleanser, to be accurate.

This Twitter slapfight started out as Richard Grenell v Brad Dayspring Tuesday, followed by Grenell v Samantha Power Wednesday. Paul Bedard picked up on the arguments made by the now-former acting DNI on Twitter with members of the Obama administration over the Russia-collusion fiasco. Bedard also reported on Grenell’s interview with Mark Levin, in which the current US Ambassador to Germany said that his status as an outsider had Democrats worried from the start:

In a 19-minute interview on the Mark Levin Show, the longtime public servant who recently was ambassador to Germany said that the political-media axis in Washington is toxic and geared to thwart reforms that threaten its operation.

“An outsider coming in with fresh eyes is like the enemy because you’re going to look at things differently,” he told the popular conservative talk radio host and author. The audio of their discussion is below.

Without giving details, he also indicated that the Obama White House was fully aware of the investigation on alleged and later dismissed Russian collusion with President Trump’s 2016 campaign. He told Levin, “There is no possible way that it wasn’t known inside the White House and that multiple layers of people knew about this.” …

“It was the political people and the politicians who were ignoring the problems, and the career people were clamoring for reform,” he said. “An overwhelming majority [of career officials] hate the leaks, they hate the manipulation coming from Congress, they hate how oversight is done through a letter, and then, you don’t talk to anybody about it, and the briefings are ‘gotcha’ briefings. That’s not good,” he told Levin.

All of this activity caught the attention of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), who had jousted with Grenell last week. For some reason, Swalwell decided to restart the fight yesterday, and … it didn’t go well for one of the main Russia-collusion propagators:

Even the points that Swalwell thinks supports his position are nothingburgers. Manafort sharing polling data is meaningless, since that data was widely available elsewhere and (given Team Trump’s then-dismissive attitude toward GOTV data) was also probably more reliable elsewhere too. The two comments Trump made in public were foolish, certainly, but aren’t evidence of anything else other than bad judgment. The same goes for the Trump Tower meeting, a stunningly amateurish bungle by Don Jr, but also had no import other than to point out how dumb an idea it was. Democrats had three years to connect those to any evidence of collusion, and both they and the special counsel came up entirely empty.

As for the timing of the investigation, this claim from Swalwell defies any sense at all. Yes, Republicans controlled the initial investigation, but Adam Schiff continued it after the midterms and controlled the transcripts as chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Despite a unanimous vote on the issue, Schiff stalled on releasing the transcripts — until Grenell decided to release them directly based on that prior authorization. And in case Swalwell missed it, Grenell did just declassify the Flynn transcripts, if not the actual recordings, which means they will be coming out shortly.

At any rate, it’s not clear just when Swalwell realized that he was losing this argument. Probably at this point:

All Swalwell could muster was a lame “Bye, Richard” in response, alas. But it was entertaining right up to the end nonetheless.

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