Greenwald: Stories like Russia probe get 'conflated' into 'idealogical litmus tests'

Journalist Glenn Greenwald said Tuesday that major stories like the Russia probe often serve as “ideological litmus tests” for voters on both sides of the aisle.

“There are non-ideological, nonpolitical debates that are evidentiary in nature — scandals like Benghazi or is Obama really a U.S. citizen or did Trump collude with the Russians — that don’t have an ideological component to them, it is just evidentiary,” Greenwald, co-founding editor at The Intercept, told Hill.TV during an interview on “Rising.”

“What happens is these kinds of scandals get conflated into tribalistic and ideological litmus tests, so that you’re required to say that you’re on the side of the anti-Trump forces and believe things that you don’t actually believe are true upon pain of being accused of being a Trump supporter,” he added.

Greenwald, who has been a longtime critic of allegations that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE's campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election, said that when he expressed skepticism over the alleged Russian collusion, he was dismissed by those on the left as a Trump supporter.

“I vehemently opposed Donald Trump’s policies — vehemently opposed them — and yet got constantly called a Trump supporter or a supporter of the alt-right, obviously got called a Russian agent a lot, a paid agent of the Kremlin,” he told Hill.TV.

“The pressure becomes, ‘Stick to our script even if you don’t believe it or we’re going to try to eject you from good company that we keep from the venues, the media platforms that we control,'” he said. “That was really the tactic that they used not just against me but other people on the left who were expressing skepticism about the story from the beginning.”

His comments came after Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrAnticipation builds for final Supreme Court rulings Anticipation builds for final Supreme Court rulings Trump's Justice Department should change its tune on antitrust policy MORE issued his summary over the weekend of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE’s findings in the 22-month Russia investigation that has dominated large portions of Trump's presidency.

According to Barr, Mueller found in his report that while Russia did seek to influence the 2016 election, he did not uncover evidence to conclude that Trump's campaign conspired or colluded with the country to interfere in the election.

Mueller also did not determine whether Trump had obstructed justice.

The White House has touted the findings of the probe, while Vice President Pence hailed the conclusion of the Mueller investigation as a “great day for America.”

“Make no mistake about it my fellow Americans, this was a total vindication,” Pence said during a speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference on Monday.

Top Democrats, meanwhile, are urging lawmakers to hold off on making their own conclusions until Mueller's full report is publicly released.

"Attorney General Barr’s letter raises as many questions as it answers," House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOcasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment GOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw US women's soccer team reignites equal pay push MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement.

— Tess Bonn