In March 2019, weeks before the Mueller Report was finalized, MIT linguistics scholar and "Manufacturing Consent" author Noam Chomsky explained in an interview why accusations of Russian election meddling and Trump-Russia collusion were "a joke."
NOAM CHOMSKY: I think it is so farcical that I barely even read the reports. It's a joke.
If there was any interference by the Russians, it is essentially undetectable. There are careful analyses of what happened in the election, you can see how it changed, how the money poured in, other things. There is no sign of any Russian effect.
Furthermore, it is almost incredible from the beginning. What happened in the Senate and the House in 2016? Did the Russians interfere in the Senate elections? They went exactly the same ways.
The whole thing is a bad joke for all sorts of reasons. For one thing, there are countries that do interfere in American elections, openly and publicly and forcefully. One of them even sent its Prime Minister to address a joint session of Congress to attack the initiative being taken by the sitting president. Is that interference? That was Benjamin Netanyahu. That's only part of it, there was large scale massive interference. Any other country did that, we'd have a huge scandal.
Furthermore, does the U.S. interfere in elections? In Russia for example, yes, and proudly. In 1996, Clinton took pride in the fact that large scale U.S. interference in the Russian election swung it to the favor of Boris Yeltsin. The U.S. goes far beyond interfering in elections, it overthrows governments.
So to talk about Russian interference is simply a joke. Furthermore, the whole discussion is completely beside the point. There is massive interference in U.S. elections from the U.S. corporate sector, who pretty much buy the elections. There is extensive research, Tom Ferguson is by far the best, shows very convincingly that you can predict the outcome of an American election in Congress and executive with remarkable precision simply by looking at the single variable of campaign funding, and that's just the beginning...
Since the 1970s, when the neoliberal assault began, the number of lobbyists in Congress has just skyrocketed. A normal representative in Congress spends several hours a day just talking to donors to try to get funds for the next election. Meanwhile, the lobbyists are meeting with his staff to try to bring all of their huge resources which overwhelm the staff and pretty much write the legislation. If that election interference?
What's being discussed is a joke. The election system is deeply corrupted right at its core...
I haven't the slightest idea and I don't care [if Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government.]
If there's going to be collusion, I think we can guess what it is. Maybe he made some deal to have a Trump hotel put up in Moscow. Okay, that's corrupt, but it is the kind of corruption that, unfortunately, is all over the place...
The quid pro quo is that he's increased military action on the Russian border. He's created a huge expansion of the military budget aimed at Russia, he's pulled out of the INF treaty, which is a major threat to Russia. What's the quid pro quo?
There's no evidence of any Russian effect on the presidential election, certainly not on the Senate or House elections, which went exactly the same way... So it is not a serious charge. There's lots of things to condemn about Trump, but not that.