Luke Harding
Luke Harding is an obsequious and insufferable Englishman and long-term foreign affairs hack with The Guardian. He was also the paper's correspondent in Russia from 2007-2011 before he was kicked out for breaking the rules of his press accreditation by visiting the area of counter-terrorism operations without informing the relevant security authorities aka 'spying'. As a self-styled 'Russia expert', Harding claims to know a lot about what really goes on behind closed Kremlin doors. In reality however, his track record of belligerent and spurious allegations against Russia suggests his real bosses are located in MI6 HQ in London.

It's no surprise then that in his recent interview on MSNBC Harding can be seen plying his trade-craft and spreading more lies and nonsense about Trump's 'collusion' with Russia. It's the same old tripe that has been force-fed to the general public ever since Trump won the U.S. Presidential elections last year. Even though the 'Russiagate' scandal has been the most widely reported event of the last year, with CNN mentioning Russia on-air almost 16,000 times since Trump's inauguration, it still amounts to one big 'nothing-burger' packed full of no evidence and lots of hearsay and innuendo.

None of this bothers people like Harding however, as they seek to capitalize on the paranoia and hysteria surrounding the supposed Russia/Trump connection, and in Harding's case, flog copies of his gutter-press new book - supposedly an in-depth expose of how Russia helped Donald Trump win the election.

Harding's book is already a 'New York Times Bestseller' (i.e. gullible people loved it) but there have been several much more objective reviews that are less flattering. One review stands out as being particularly damning where Paul Robinson, writing for Russia Insider, teases apart Harding's mostly flimsy arguments and cites numerous examples where he provides, at best, insinuations to back up his claims of collusion. It's well worth reading the entire review, although this was his summation of the book.
I could give other examples, but I can't make this review too long. The point is that Harding ignores his own evidence. He argues by innuendo, and on occasion he just lets his imagination run away with itself. Steele's dossier alleged that Trump had hired prostitutes while on a trip to Moscow. Vladimir Putin's response was to crack a joke about Russian prostitutes being the best in the world. But to Harding, it wasn't a joke. As he writes:

"Putin may have been sending a second message, darkly visible beneath the choppy, translucent waters of the first. It said: we've got the tape, Donald!"

I wish I could say that this book was a joke. If you were going to write a parody of the collusion story, this is perhaps what it would look like. Unfortunately, Harding is deadly serious and I suspect that a lot of uncritical readers will soak it all up, not stopping to reflect on the awful methodology. So, I end on a word of warning. By all means, read this book. But don't do so in order to find out the truth about Donald Trump and Russia; do so in order to understand the methods currently being used to inflame Russian-Western relations. In that respect, Collusion is really quite revealing.
Harding makes a number of confessions in his interview on MSNBC, which amount to the rantings of a lunatic. At 1:50 in the video, he claims that KGB spies followed him around Moscow, while also breaking into his apartment several times and video bugging his room so they could listen in on him. Unfortunately for Harding, the KGB was dissolved in 1991, more than 15 years before he went to live in Russia. He then goes on to talk about how Russia is looking to continue the Cold-War from where it left off, but comes across as someone who's caught in a mostly schizophrenic worldview of his own making.

Of course, in doing the obligatory tour of leftist mainstream news outlets like MSNBC to promote his book, Harding is being met with nothing but fawning praise for the wild theories he presents in his book because he is helping to prop up the Russia collusion narrative that has done so well for media ratings over the last year. For example, when Project Veritas went undercover earlier this year to expose CNN's 'Russia, Russia, Russia' narrative, they found that the fake news network had no evidence of Russian hacking or meddling in US affairs. Yet this did nothing to stop them blithely continuing to report on this complete nonsense. That's what 'journalistic integrity' looks like today.

But recently, Harding made the mistake of accepting an interview with Aaron Maté, a legitimate journalist for the Real News Network. Unlike mainstream media hacks, Maté had done his research and is well-versed on the subject matter of the lack of evidence for Russia's supposed ties to Trump, and as a result, we see a very different type of interview playing out. Harding's narrative is exposed as being made up of loose associations where anything remotely connecting Trump or his team to Russia or Russians of any kind, even in the most mundane and innocuous of forms or situations, is used as a pretext and evidence for collusion. In a sane society that's called batshit crazy. In America, it's called 'breaking news'.