I’m not completely convinced that then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 presidential election.
There. I said it.
What I am convinced of is that everything put forth by pretty much every department involved with the U.S. intelligence community – that Russia attempted to interfere and influence the election in 2016 – is absolutely correct.
Commonsense. It’s just what they do, and it’s not even unique to the United States, so of course they did it.
The grey area is in how much the Trump team were willing to allow them in, given that every poll and every pundit had already put the nail in the coffin of Trump’s presidential run. In the days running up to the election, things looked bleak and the Clinton camp were already picking out new drapes for the Oval Office.
I’ll go even further.
Donald Trump did not want to win. This was an elaborate, ego-fueled ruse, to begin with. It was his plan to make a scene, generate publicity for his brand, then go back to his free-wheelin’, adulterous lifestyle.
That doesn’t mean the people around him didn’t have bigger plans, and the uncomfortable connections that are being uncovered, regarding his associates and their entanglements with foreign entities deserves attention.
Forget what you know about politics and clanging gongs. This really could be shaping up to be the most corrupt administration in our nation’s all-too-short history.
We can use all the whataboutisms in the world, regarding what we think a Hillary Clinton administration would be. The reality is, we don’t know, because she didn’t win. We have to deal with what we actually do have, and what evidence and over a year of experiencing a Trump administration is showing us.
The guy is definitely dumb, and quite possibly dirty. Not a great combination.
With that in mind, Trump’s latest episode of desperate thrashing on Twitter is wholly unhelpful.
The president rose for his usual “executive time,” engorged himself on his usual diet of “Fox and Friends” junk food, and began raging at former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, regarding a Tuesday appearance on “The View.”
Co-host Joy Behar asked Clapper if the FBI were, in fact, “spying” on the Trump campaign, as Trump and his minions have repeatedly claimed.
“No, they were not,” Clapper said. “They were spying on, a term I don’t particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage or influence which is what they do.”
Of course. Most of us understand that.
When Behar quipped that Trump should be happy that the FBI were keeping tabs on what the Russians were attempting to do, Clapper responded that he should be.And yes. As president, Trump should want to know exactly who is trying to subvert our government, when, and how, even if it points back to his own associates.
That’s not Trump, however.
“No, James Clapper, I am not happy,” Trump tweeted.
“Spying on a campaign would be illegal, and a scandal to boot!” he added.
See… it wasn’t the campaign. It was the Russians attempting to infiltrate the campaign. Why isn’t he making a distinction between those two things?
He wasn’t through. He continued to ramp up the hyperbole.
“Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before!” Trump tweeted.
“What goes around comes around!” he added.
He even made up a name for his current irritant: SPYGATE. He added that it could be the biggest political scandal in history.
It could be, but probably not from the angle he’s talking about.
Trump on Wednesday morning also quoted Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano as saying “it’s clear they had eyes and ears all over the Trump Campaign.”
That was in reference to Stefan A. Halper, the former Cambridge University professor who allegedly worked in conjunction with the FBI to contact several Trump campaign aides, after it had been determined that there was some questionable contact between those aides and Russian operatives.
That hardly equates to some devious plot to bring down Trump.
And let’s remember: No one thought Trump was going to win. No one, including Trump. Why would the FBI or anyone else attempt to bring down someone every poll and all conventional wisdom said would not be a factor, after the election? As far as everyone knew, the voters would “bring down” Trump.
For those not blinded by either cult worship of an unworthy man, or by the tangled mass of hypocrisy that makes up American partisanship, commonsense kicks in and tells us this was not a “deep state” plot. This was our intelligence community doing their jobs.
Trump’s continued attacks and the failure of his team to rein in his madness do nothing to help his case. Rather, he looks like somebody who feels the walls closing in.
I don’t have a problem believing Trump is a gullible pawn, used by the more crafty and corrupt people he’s surrounded himself with, to be honest.
What I have a problem with is every gutless Republican and rightwing media-type feeding his paranoia and working to whip up unrest among the people, rather than working to maintain calm, while the process plays out.
Shame on you all.