By Jason Taylor
As Donald Trump moves past the election and into his transition, it is clear that there is very little that he said during the campaign that he actually cares about. Truly helping working Americans? Not so much; he’ll settle for a bit of show while letting the Republican congress strip away benefits. Draining the swamp? Yeah, right. Immigration reform? Maybe not even that.
Why did he run? What does he want? Seems that we should look to the few places where he has truly stood his ground during the transition. One of these places would include Russia. He has shown that he will bend with the wind over many issues, but he is unwavering in his support of Putin, even against most of his own party. Does anybody really think that Trump sees a novel opportunity for international diplomacy here? That he is working in America’s interest? Please.
There are only a few things that motivate Trump: Power, money, and prestige…for Trump. What does Trump get (personally) out of this relationship with Putin? Is it money that he seeks to earn or that he doesn’t want to loose? America deserves to know. Congressional investigations must include his tax returns, and they must move quickly.
What I’m wondering if how much of the rust belt is really on board with our new “friendship” with Russia. Did they know this was a part of the whole Trump phenom? For all those patriots out there with guns decked out in American flags and such, it’s hard for me to imagine the narrative of Putin has suddenly transcended their political views of the world. More likely, no one cares. Meanwhile, Trump slips in an Exxon-Mobile exec who stands to gain personal billions, Trump himself benefits in Russian loans and hey — suddenly world politics has shifted once again due to a few rich guys who want things to go their way.
How we can allow Russia — that has terrestrial ambitions in Europe, seeks to undermine democracies worldwide, murders journalists and conducts cyber attacks against our political organizations and electric utilities — become our friend is beyond me. That Trump is not only not alarmed but seemingly disinterested while praising Putin underscores just how dangerous the President-elect truly is.
If Trump didn’t owe everyone and their second cousin and didn’t have uncharted and undocumented financial dealings in countries with whom peace and human rights and “friendly” relations are outside the normal day to day business then perhaps the story would be different.
I suspect that Trump’s business enterprises have extensive business dealings with Russian oligarchs, the evidence of which is probably deep within his tax returns. It is time to renew calls for Trump to disclose those returns. It is also time for the Congress and the American people to get ready to thwart Trump’s love affair with Putin and to counter forcefully this existential threat to our republic.
Trump is courting one of our worst and most determined enemies. Putin is a murderous dictator. He is out to weaken NATO, the EU, and the US. He has interfered in our presidential election to aid Trump, giving him the presidency with a historic minority of popular votes, and is now interfering in European elections. Trump’s behavior toward Putin raises an enormous doubt about his allegiance to the US and the Constitution. It has to be asked and answer — does Trump owe anything to Putin and the Russians, and if so, what, and why? Is he being manipulated or blackmailed? Who can pretend that Trump is a “normal” president? We have never seen anything like it. We may well have a traitor as president.
This will sound like hyperbole now. It won’t when the truth of the matter comes out, as it will inevitably and eventually. Trump is effectively an agent of the Russians, likely made so by his business interests and probably his debts. There can be no other explanation for his evident willingness to look the other way in the Ukraine, the Crimea, the Baltic states, Aleppo, and cyber-espionage. Does the word “treason” ring a bell?