Noted leftist Noam Chomsky, who is no fan of President Donald Trump, denies that Russian meddling was decisive in the 2016 election. Speaking on the leftist Democracy Now program, he told show host Amy Goodman that legacy media are missing significant issues because of its focus on the so-called Russiagate. “First of all, if you’re interested in foreign interference in our elections,” he told Goodman, “whatever the Russians may have done barely counts or weighs in the balance as compared with what another state does, openly, brazenly and with enormous support.”
Returning to a common thread in his decades-long critique of American foreign policy, Chomsky identified Israel as being much more effective in affecting election results than Russia. “Israeli intervention in U.S. elections vastly overwhelms anything the Russians may have done, I mean, even to the point where the prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, goes directly to Congress, without even informing the president, and speaks to Congress, with overwhelming applause, to try to undermine the president’s policies—what happened with Obama and Netanyahu in 2015.”
Chomsky was referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session Congress in 2015 in which he condemned then-President Barack Obama’s deal with Iran to unlock millions in frozen assets and eliminate sanctions in exchange for safeguards on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear weaponization program.
Chomsky, who is a well-regarded linguist and political activist, said that legacy media chooses to focus on supposed connections between Trump’s political campaign and Russia instead of environmental degradation, which he considers is an existential threat to humanity.
"So, if you’re concerned with our elections and how they operate and how they relate to what would happen in a democratic society, taking a look at Russian hacking is absolutely the wrong place to look. Well, you see occasionally some attention to these matters in the media, but very minor as compared with the extremely marginal question of Russian hacking.
"And I think we find this on issue after issue, also on issues on which what Trump says, for whatever reason, is not unreasonable. So, he’s perfectly right when he says we should have better relations with Russia. Being dragged through the mud for that is outlandish, makes—Russia shouldn’t refuse to deal with the United States because the U.S. carried out the worst crime of the century in the invasion of Iraq, much worse than anything Russia has done. But they shouldn’t refuse to deal with us for that reason, and we shouldn’t refuse to deal with them for whatever infractions they may have carried out, which certainly exist."