President Donald Trump and his allies frequently use “whataboutism,” an age-old Russian propaganda tool.
Experts say it allows the user to deflect criticism by drawing false equivalencies and shifting the narrative.
At its core, the main purpose of “whataboutism” is to “destroy the democratic values of the truth,” one analyst said.
A few weeks ago, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to slam Attorney General Jeff Sessions and special counsel Robert Mueller as the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation over whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow in 2016 gained traction.
“So many people are asking why isn’t the A.G. or Special Council looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes. 33,000 e-mails deleted?” he tweeted.
“…What about all of the Clinton ties to Russia, including Podesta Company, Uranium deal, Russian Reset, big dollar speeches etc.,” he added.
It was just one of many instances where the president has taken criticism levied against him and pointed it in someone else’s direction. In doing so, Trump is utilizing one of Russia’s oldest propaganda tools, which the Soviet Union used when its socialism was compared to other countries both inside the USSR and by the rest of the world.
Whenever the USSR was criticized for its crimes or flaws, defenders routinely pointed to grievances committed by capitalist or fascist countries, said Michael David-Fox, a professor at Georgetown University and an expert on modern Russia and the USSR.
Russia frequently used the technique, dubbed “whataboutism” by The Economist’s Edward Lucas in 2008, during the Cold War, and it was most recently revitalized by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The logic behind it went something like this: Russia isn’t that bad — what about all the misdeeds other countries have committed?
When Russia faced criticism from …read more
Source:: Business Insider