It's Not Just Trump But The Republican Party That May Be Totally Corrupted By The Russians
At this point, you really have to wonder how much money and support the Republican party is getting from Vladimir Putin and the Russians these days. We already know that the Russians helped elect down-ballot Republicans in the last election, in addition to Donald Trump. And while I have no proof that the party itself is being funded by Putin, that pretty much seems the only likely explanation for Republican reactions to Trump’s disastrous meetings with the Europeans and the revelations about Jared Kushner.
Let’s start with Kushner. Virtually every one of his actions is consistent with espionage or some other criminal behavior. He has lied on his security clearance about his contacts with the Russians, something that comes with a five year prison term. He was in charge of microtargeting data for the Trump campaign and the Russian hacking of the elections was similarly microtargeted. He attempts to set up a secret communication channel with the Russians using secure Russian communications in order to avoid scrutiny of US intelligence and diplomatic services. And, according to reports, the Russians offered Kushner, Trump, and their associates bank loans in return for the lifting of sanctions.
John McCain at least agreed that “I don’t think it’s standard procedure prior to the inauguration of the President of the United States by someone who is not in an appointed position…I don’t like it”. Well strong language like that will certainly get Trump’s attention. Lindsey Graham says “The whole story line is suspicious.” Except, incredibly, his comment was not directed at Kushner but at the fact the Russian ambassador would report these details about Kushner over a communication line to Moscow that he should know the US was monitoring. For Graham, Kushner’s lies don’t matter because the story is so unbelievable that he simply won’t believe it. Yes, these are the Republican “moderates” who are going to save us from Trump.
Or let’s take a look at two of the guys who are supposed to protect this nation. H.R. McMaster, the National Security Adviser, said “I would not be concerned about it.” And John Kelly, the head of Homeland Security, said, “I don’t see any big issue here relative to Jared”. And then he offered the classic privileged defense of the rich white man, saying, “I know Jared. He’s a great guy, decent guy. His number one interest, really, is the nation.” Well I feel so much safer after a thorough investigation like that. Perhaps Kelly could take the same attitude with some poorer, non-white American citizens his agency continually tries to deport.
It really is amazing that these are the same people who told us that Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of a handful of post-classified emails was the greatest security breach in the history of the country.
And then there is the supposedly well-respected head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker. Trump pointedly did not reaffirm Article V of the NATO treaty that calls an attack on one an attack on all. It has only been implemented once in history and that was to come to America’s defense after the September 11 attacks. In addition, he never attacked Russian aggression in Ukraine or interference in US and European domestic politics, instead railing about the total fiction of how much money the NATO allies owe the United States. Lastly, Trump refused to sign on to the joint statement supporting the Paris Climate Agreement. The meetings prompted French President Macron to compare Trump to autocrats Putin and Erdogan and for German Chancellor Merkel to bluntly state, “the times in which we could completely depend on others are on the way out…we Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands”, essentially saying that US and, additionally, the UK could no longer be reliable allies. In addition, Merkel’s challenger in the upcoming elections made it clear that he and Germany were appalled at Trump’ treatment of the Germans during the meetings and that for him and his party, as opposed to US Republicans, politics stops at the border. Martin Schulz said, “In this situation, let me be entirely clear: the Chancellor represents all of us [Germans] at summits like this. And I reject with outrage the way this man [Trump] takes it upon himself to treat the head of our country’s government. That is unacceptable.”
If that wasn’t bad enough, listen to what an experienced US State Department official had to say, obviously off the record in order to keep his job, “When it comes to diplomacy, President Trump is a drunk tourist…Loud and tacky, shoving his way around the dance floor. He steps on others without realising it. It’s ineffectual.”
Bob Corker, however, had a much different reaction. Here is the initial portion his entire statement: “I spoke with President Trump at length this morning and told him that I could not be more pleased with his first international trip. The trip was executed to near perfection and it appears the president has made great progress on the broad range of objectives his team articulated to me when I met with senior White House and State Department officials during their preparations. President Trump should be commended on the success of this trip, and I look forward to continuing our work together to address numbers of important issues. The challenges we face around the world are vast, but with a strategic focus on our long-term goals, I am confident we can reassert U.S. leadership, strengthen key alliance and improve security both at home and abroad.”
So Corker thinks that the French comparing Trump to Putin, Trump’s refusal to positively affirm Article V, and the Germans’ conclusion that the US can no longer be a reliable partner, is a “success”. Only to Vladimir Putin and the Russians who are closer to breaking up the Western Alliance than they have ever been since 1945.
Please don’t tell me the Republicans are sticking with Trump because they are still hoping to repeal Obamacare and pass tax cuts for the rich. They would get those far more easily under President Mike Pence. There is really only one conclusion you can draw, and that is the Republican party itself has been corrupted to the core by the Russians. There may be no direct evidence of it right now, but it is the only story that fits with the circumstantial evidence available.