Michael Isikoff and David Corn
Looking back, “collusion” wasn’t just a fair assessment but probably the best word to describe what was going on. It was cooperation, it was kept secret, and it involved behaviour that was found to be illegal.
Was Trump himself even aware of this though? Among the excuses put forward by his defenders would be the plausible idea that he was too stupid to collude with the Russians. That ignorance, however, would make him of some value as an asset. Carter Page, working with Team Trump, would be described by a Russian intelligence officer as a mere “idiot” who “wants to make a lot of money.” These were exactly the kind of people you want to cultivate.
None of this made any difference in the election. Voters’ minds were already made up. They thought Trump a joke but they hated Hillary, and it was hard to keep the different issues relating to e-mails separate in their heads.
Finally, is this still an issue? Just as much as in 2016. Though I suspect, given all of the subsequent enormities, it registers even less.