Monday, July 10, 2017
Trump is colluding with Putin, right now.
Come on, folks. It doesn't take an FBI special agent, or even a special prosecutor, to draw the obvious conclusion that is staring us right in the face, right now. Our president, Donald J. Trump is either knowingly -- or unwittingly -- being duped and played by Vladimir Putin.
1. All 17 of our national security agencies -- and that includes the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the Director of National Intelligence -- all agree that Russia was behind the hacking of election-related emails and the selective manipulation of anti-Clinton propaganda.
2. Despite that strong agreement from our Intelligence Community, President Trump has never fully, without sowing doubt, acknowledged that Russia was behind the hacking and that they favored Trump's election. Even last week, in Poland, he ended up saying "nobody knows for sure" who did it. And even yesterday, he was trying to minimize the breadth of the intelligence community's agreement. So there's no doubt which way he leans -- toward Putin and away from our own government.
3. Two days before the Friday meeting, reports said that it would be a large meeting, including, among others, the leading assistant secretary who is an expert on Russia and who is known to take hawkish positions on our dealings with them. However, Trump apparently prevailed in his insistence on having only Tillerson and Lavrov join them. And no note-takers for an official summary. Notably dropped from the meeting was that assistant secretary who might have provided the tough negotiating stance. And why Tillerson and not National Security Adviser J. R. McMaster, who was in Hamburg with the Trump entourage? Tillerson is friendly with Putin and, as CEO of Exxon-Mobile, received a medal from Putin in a Moscow ceremony before he joined the Trump team. Trump apparently just wanted a friendly group that would go easy on Putin.
4. In his Hamburg private meeting with Putin, Trump and Tillerson say that Trump "pressed" Putin on the hacking; and that, when Putin denied it, Trump in effect said, 'OK, let's move on.'
5. Donald Trump has always and only ever praised Vladimir Putin as a strong leader, the type he admires; and he has never, ever said anything derogatory about him. This is a pattern with Trump: he favors the autocratic, even brutal heads of state over our democratic allies. Others he has praised are Egypt's repressive Gen. al-Sisi and the Phillipines' murderous Duterte.
6. So how are we to understand this "impenetrable Cyber Security Unit" that Trump and Putin agreed to pursue? Does this mean "impenetrable" by anyone other than Russia and the US? So, Russia would be on the inside? That's the very predicate of the metaphor "putting the fox in charge of the hen house.
7. On Sunday's CBS "Face the Nation," Sen. John McCain had this to say about it: "I am sure that Vladimir Putin could be of enormous assistance in that effort -- since he's doing the hacking." Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, called it "dangerously naive," and he tweeted that we "might as well just mail our ballots to Moscow."
The US Senate voted 95 to 2 to impose sanctions to punish Russia for the 2016 election hacking; it awaits a vote from the House. Trump will likely veto it, especially now that his buddy has said "we didn't do it." And Trump obviously wants to let him get away with it -- and do it again.
We have the president of the United States choosing to take the word of a Russian spymaster, cunning manipulator, murderer, and invader of our allied countries -- over the unanimous, fact-based conclusion of our vast intelligence community.
So what now, We The People?