By SUSAN SHELLEY / Staff Columnist
I’m starting to worry that I might be a Russian spy.
Now that the CIA has secretly concluded from secret evidence that there was a Russian plot to publicize secret emails, I fear that some sort of secret Russian mind-meld may have led me to write columns that were inexplicably critical of Hillary Clinton and wildly fair to Donald Trump.
At the time, I thought I was simply reporting on Clinton’s decision to evade the Freedom of Information Act by hiding her official State Department correspondence on a private email server in her house. I thought I was interviewing Trump supporters at his rallies and reporting on why they were so happy he was running for president.
But now, with the benefit of the CIA’s hindsight, I see that I was a Russian spy the whole time.
I should have seen it earlier. There were so many clues.
Vladimir Putin was photographed on a horse in Siberia. I was photographed next to a horse in Agoura Hills. (I’m the one in the shirt.)
My late father, who was an actor, once played a Russian diplomat on an episode of “The Jeffersons.” I went to the studio personally to watch the taping of the sitcom. My name was on the list.
This is so troubling. And there’s more.
Whenever there was a free Rocky and Bullwinkle toy in a box of cereal, I always got Natasha.
My grandfather was born in Russia and came to the United States as a child. At the time, it had been just a few months since the Cubs won the World Series.
That’s just how long it’s been for me!
It’s all so clear now. I have a globe from the 1980s that still shows the map of the old Soviet Union. I could have thrown it out. Why didn’t I? Why?
Because it belonged to my father! A Russian diplomat on “The Jeffersons”!
Wait. Wait. Calm. Must be calm. Must think clearly.
California didn’t go for Trump. No matter what the CIA says, my columns for the Southern California News Group couldn’t have been responsible for Hillary Clinton losing the election.
The Russians obviously recruited the Clinton campaign scheduler who told her to go to Texas and Arizona and not to bother with Wisconsin.
Putin’s spies somehow lulled Clinton into leaving the campaign trail for long stretches of time while hypnotizing Trump into taking roughly three days off in 17 months.
A Russian hit man must have held a knife to the throat of the staffer who talked into Clinton’s earpiece and told her to call millions of American voters a “basket of deplorables.”
Hey, at least it’s an explanation.
I suppose the innocents among us might believe that the American people freely elected an outsider after years of telling pollsters they were sick of politics as usual.
Foolish innocents! So gullible!
Obviously, this was a foreign conspiracy of epic proportion, spanning continents and controlling the media, forcing hundreds of thousands of helpless people to print out their own tickets and stand in line for six hours to hear a guy in a suit give a speech in front of a flag.
And I played my part. Just a small cog in the mechanism of espionage and deceit.
I know exactly when they targeted me. It was that night at Jerry’s deli in Encino when I ordered a turkey sandwich with mayonnaise and they brought me one with Russian dressing.
And I didn’t send it back.
Susan Shelley is a columnist for the Southern California News Group. Reach her at Susan@SusanShelley.com and follow her on Twitter: @Susan_Shelley.