Baseless and reckless tropes about Russia, Cohen points out, have proliferated in the US political-media establishment during the new Cold War, and even more since Russiagate allegations began to circulate widely two years ago, in mid-2016. The worst of these tropes—in effect an incitement to war—is that “Russia attacked America during the 2016 presidential election.”
Instead, the several investigations, desperate to find actual evidence of collusion, have spread to “contacts with Russia” on the part of a growing number of people, often going back many years before anyone imagined Trump as a presidential candidate. The resulting implication is that these “contacts” were criminal or potentially so. This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy’s search for “Communist” connections.