National Review contributing editor Andrew McCarthy said that although liberals and opponents of President Donald Trump were overjoyed at the implications of the Washington Post story claiming Jared Kushner asked for a Russian back-channel, they missed that it completely blew up their favorite conspiracy theory. He made the comments on Fox News' "The Specialists" Tuesday.
"Your thoughts on all this back and forth," host Eric Bolling asked McCarthy, "You know, you're a prosecutor, your thought — is there any there there?"
"There's no there there as far as the collusion conspiracy is concerned," McCarthy answered.
"But I think the thing that happened this weekend that is really important that people missed because they're so giddy about this story about Kushner, is that it blew up the collusion conspiracy," he explained, "because if there had actually been a collusion conspiracy, there would already be back channels to Russia.
"There would be no reason for Kushner, in December," he said, "weeks after the election to need to set up a back channel to Russia, had there been one during the campaign.
"I know for the moment they're loving the story, but I think it's kinda exploded the story that they've been telling us for six months," he concluded.
Nile Gardiner of the Heritage Foundation offered another reason to believe there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, saying, "Actually if you look at the, in fact, the policies of the Trump administration, towards Russia, they're significantly tougher than the ones put in place by the Obama presidency actually. And so the Russians aren't gaining anything at all, in fact, from this Trump presidency being in place. And in fact the Trump presidency has even talked about expanding sanctions against Moscow over Ukraine, and so this is tougher language than what we saw coming out of Obama."
Kushner, the president's son-in-law and top aide, was accused in a Washington Post report of improperly seeking a "back channel" of secret communications with the Russian government before the inauguration. The White House has not denied the allegations, but decried the anonymous sourcing of the scoop.
Opponents of the president have taken the opportunity to accuse Kushner of possibly committing espionage, while Democrats are calling for his security clearance to be removed while the investigation continues.