The steady flow of information surfacing this week about the ties between the Trump campaign (now the Trump administration) and the Russian government has begun overflowing the dam this week. It began with The Washington Post story that broke late Wednesday night that showed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two meetings with the Russian Ambassador while an active member of the Trump campaign.
During his confirmation hearings with the Judiciary Committee in January, Sessions stated he had not did not meet with any representative of Russia. Although he later tried to clarify his statement that he meant “as a surrogate of the Trump campaign” the damage was done. Under increasing pressure from Republicans in Congress, Sessions has now recused himself from overseeing any investigations regarding Russian interference in the campaign.
Yesterday, the White House confirmed that First Son-In-Law Jared Kushner, along with the now disgraced General Michael Flynn, also met with the Russian Ambassador back in December. Details of their conversation have not been released, but it was probably not about the merits of Grey Goose Vodka versus the Costco brand.
Some of the “revelations” being reported are old news to anyone who was paying attention last year. For example, the only change in the Republican platform regarded the Ukraine. Paul Manafort, known for his ties to oligarchs in that country, was Donald Trump’s campaign manager at the time. You did not have to be smarter than a 5th grader to recognize that Manafort, and therefore Trump, wanted and got this change.
The ties between the Trump campaign/administration and the Russian government are disturbing to many Americans. One ought to be able to say “most Americans” but a surprising number of “nouveau Republicans” report increasing approval for Putin’s dictatorship. Equally disturbing, Donald Trump, who has managed to insult just about every country and person on the planet, has yet to say one, damned, single thing negative about Putin.
The Wall Street Journal, known as a Trump-friendly organization, reported that Donald Trump, Jr. was probably paid something in the amount of $50,000 to attend an event last October sponsored by people known to be allies of the Russian government. But first we must resolve all the conflicts surrounding Trump, Sr. before we can delve into Jr.’s problems.
With the ever-increasing number of Trump’s advisors who have now admitted to meeting with the Russians, noted conservative columnist and pundit John Podhorerz sent out the following tweet yesterday:
Just tell us who DIDN'T meet with the Russians.
— John Podhoretz (@jpodhoretz) March 3, 2017
These ties are troubling and it is believed that the FBI is investigating them. But we must not forget that Putin plays the long game, while Trump only knows the short con. Experts in the intelligence community, both here and abroad, are deeply concerned about Putin’s game plan, which likely is to de-stabilize the West and restore Russian dominance in the world – by any means necessary.
Until we know the complete story behind Trump’s involvement with, and support for, the Russian regime, we have no clear idea of the dangers we may be facing. But investigations take time. Time that we may not have.
In the meantime, it might be a good idea to start learning some useful phrases in Russian.