Sputnik: The purpose of Mueller's report was to determine whether the president colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 election, but according to the report, no such collusion was found. At the same time, the mainstream media and the Democrats, have continued to cast doubt and accuse Trump. What should happen, on the part of the establishment, to accept the results of the investigation, in your opinion?
Jim Jatras: I think we can make a couple of observations. One is, and again after the Barr statement on [Mueller's report], I was watching different channels, both the hostile ones like MSNBC and CNN, and also Fox, which is friendly to the president. And on the hostile ones the narrative is that Barr is shilling for the president, he is protecting the president and that he is really trying to protect him against a charge of obstruction. "There is no so-called collusion. The president obstructed, he obstructed and that Barr is covering up for him".
On the other hand, if you go to the Fox News, which is defending the president, it is all "Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia!" that Barr confirmed the Russians hacked our election.
They hacked our election but Trump had nothing to do with it. That is the narrative. So what we are left with is essentially the partisan attacks will go on, but the slogan will be not "collusion" but "obstruction". And on the Republican side, they will take it as a confirmation of how bad the Russians are.
Sputnik: In your opinion, what is the actual reason for these kinds of narratives from the mainstream media?
Remember, there is Barr standing there with Rosenstein right behind him, who was one of the lead people in starting the spying on the Trump campaign back in 2016. There is a strong narrative that comes from the establishment that wants to make sure, above all, that there can be no rapprochement with Moscow and that they are still firmly in control.
Sputnik: How long do you think this will be going on?
Jim Jatras: I think it will continue through the end of Trump's presidency, whenever that is.
Sputnik: Who benefits from boosting this Russiagate agenda?
Jim Jatras: Basically the establishment. When Trump said in 2016 he wanted to improve ties with Moscow, that scared the hell out of the establishment that wants to prevent that at all costs.
So they launched these attacks on him saying that the Russians were behind the DNC emails and with the publication in WikiLeaks and that he was in contact with the Russians and somehow was Vladimir Putin's puppet. That has proved to be a very useful narrative for them in solidifying the anti-Russian line from Washington.
Sputnik: How do you think Mueller finding no Trump-Russia collusion will affect the Democrats' ratings? How might they react?
I mean you hear this, for example, that he says he wants to get out of Syria, get out of Afghanistan, that he has to protect himself by showing how militant he is; "Oh, let's give some more weapons to the Ukrainians" or whatever it is. So I think that means we will just get more of the same over the next two years or six years or whatever it is.
Sputnik: Fair enough, and the last question. How do you assess Trump's chances in the upcoming 2020 elections?
Jim Jatras: I think actually they are rather good because the Democrats are busy fighting among themselves between the so-called Democratic Socialists and the Wall Street Democrats, like Joe Biden. They also have the problem that they are so deep in what they call identity politics, where they want to appeal to people on the basis of race or their sexual orientation or whatever, that they are alienating more and more ordinary Americans.
So when he says at his campaign rallies or when he says in his tweets that he is delivering all his promises, they actually believe it. So his base remains very solid while the Democrats' base is disrupted. So I think he could win.
I think it is actually probable he would win if he is still in office next year. I am not so sure that he will be. The Democrats have not given up on getting him out. That is why they want so much to get a hold of his tax returns because they are looking for anything they can find at his personal or private or professional life that they can use to justify the impeachment.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.