Okay, folks, let’s get real. Throughout the early weeks and months of the Trump presidency, we’ve seen time and time again a pattern of people from the campaign and in the administration having secret contacts with Russians, lying about it after the fact, and acknowledging the truth only when they get caught. Some of those surrogates are subjects of FISA warrants and under investigation for being unregistered foreign agents.
Even before the election, at the GOP Convention, Trump and his surrogates pushed the party to soften its platform on sanctions against Russia, which, if any of the “Steele dossier” is to be believed, is what Russia was after from a Trump administration: a green light in the Ukraine, and the removal of sanctions.
Trump then fires FBI Director Comey, believing (wrongly) that doing so could reshape the Russia investigation. Comey, in open sworn testimony, declined to answer whether there was evidence that Trump colluded with Russia. He said it wouldn’t be appropriate to answer that question in the public forum he was in. But that wouldn’t be the answer if the answer was no, would it?
The testimony of both Comey and Sessions confirmed that our own president is entirely unconcerned with the now unanimous conclusion of the intelligence community and even Congress that the Russians intervened in the election. He never once, in any discussion, inquired into the status of the investigation other than to suggest that Flynn be cleared of any wrongdoing before the investigation was even concluded. It’s as if it was something he had no intention of looking into or something.
Then, Trump makes moves to restore to Russian control two compounds in the United States which the Russians were locked out of during the final days of the Obama administration, as an additional sanction for their election interference. Both of these compounds were known to be used for conducting espionage against this country on Russia’s behalf. The president wants to give them back.
Then, news surfaces that behind the scenes, Trump is trying to stave off Senate efforts to toughen Russia sanctions (including their effort to make it harder for Trump to reverse those sanctions). Even the Senate knows something is rotten in Denmark. They may be willing to offer some cover to get their agenda passed, but they also know that there is something unholy between the executive and Putin’s government.
You’d think that the Commander in Chief of the United States, sworn to protect and uphold the Constitution and our institutions, would care, just a little, about the fact that there was foreign interference with our democratic election process.
You’d think that maybe, just maybe, after a pattern of lies about Russia from his subordinates, after admitting publicly that he fired his own FBI director for investigating his campaign, just maybe he wouldn’t be rushing to help Russia spy on us and steal our secrets, or that he might take a “hands off” approach to the Senate’s efforts to toughen sanctions on our antagonist, not try to soften them again.
But he doesn’t, he didn’t, he won’t. It’s clear that the President of the United States is hiding something. It’s clear that he has an undisclosed allegiance and sense of obligation to the Russian government. It’s clear that they have something on him, or that he’s a willing participant in their subversive efforts. It takes real determination to deny any of this. The only thing that the public doesn’t yet know is the specifics of what is underlying all of this. But “this” exists.
There wasn’t just collusion during the campaign. It’s going on right now, in the Oval Office.