Sunday, May 28, 2017

A back channel to Russia -- for what?

The Trump team is busy trying to spin this latest bombshell revelation -- the one about Jared Kushner asking the Russian ambassador to let them use their diplomatic communications channel to communicate in secret with the Kremlin.  Nothing to worry about.  Just Jared being naive, you  know?  Move along folks, nothing to see here.

That won't sell.   Gen. Michael Flynn was also in the room -- the same Flynn that used to head the intelligence division of the Pentagon.  He knows how things work.   So this was not just an ordinary reaching out to heads of state as you establish communication in a new presidency.   They did nothing similar with any other country.  Nobody else has either -- not to evade our own security agencies, anyway.

Here's what's alarming:
1.  Despite Trump's pretending otherwise, Russia is considered by our government to be an adversary.

2.  There is unanimous agreement that the Russians were responsible for hacking into our political process and trying to influence the election to favor Trump.

3  This request from Kushner was made after we knew about the hacking.

4.  Kushner did not mention this meeting (nor other contacts with Russians) on his application for security clearance.

To do this, despite those facts, raises red flags and screaming sirens.  As former Navy counterintelligence and cryptology official Malcolm Nance asked:  "What did he intend to transmit?  Presidential daily briefings?   Nuclear codes?"   If anyone else had done this, his security clearance would be immediately revoked.

Nance further said that this whole story, these 18 suspicious, unreported contacts with Russians by Trump associates, "crosses the line to the espionage act of 1917."

Don't forget.   Kushner was asking (meaning:  Trump was demanding) to be able to talk with Putin without our intelligence agencies listening in.   He wanted to evade his own national security forces and talk to the president of an enemy nation -- one who is trying to destabilize, and to gain control over, Europe -- and of our own democracy as well.  One who has already hacked our election process -- to help Trump.

So whose side is President Trump on?

The quicker we get that question answered, and the quicker we get him and his crowd out of the Oval Office and change the locks and all the codes, the safer we'll be.


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