Sunday, January 15, 2017

Donald Trump: Kremlin Employee of the Month?

New York Times humor writer Andy Borowitz - who regularly does pieces worthy of The Onion," recently joked that Donald Trump had been named the Kremlin’s “employee of the month.” Frighteningly, with the disclosures leaked this week or so, it is only too possible to believe that Borowitz's joke may be describing reality.  What we do know is that Trump is a narcissistic egomaniac who views himself as smarter than all others and above the rules that govern the rest of us. Reality is what he wants it to be at any given moment in time and lying is so natural to the man that it becomes difficult to know if he truly believes his own lies or simply views the rest of us as too stupid to realize that he's lying and playing us for fools. His supporters and working class cretins who voted for him certainly fall into the "too stupid" category - many wanted Obamacare repealed and did not know that their health coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act was Obamacare - even as many seemingly may be waking up to the fact that they were played for fools. 

As for Trump's collusion with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 presidential election and equally frightening whether or not Putin is blackmailing Trump - which explains Trumps self-prostitution to Putin - there is still much that is unknown.  Obviously, it is critical that the truth be ferreted out and , if it shows Trump to be a traitor, that he be removed from office as rapidly as possible. A column in the New York Times gives a review of what is known and what remains to be confirmed.  Even if only portions of the leaked information is true, it does not bode well for America or the world.  Here are excerpts:
Some of the most explosive reports about America in the last few days appeared in Israeli newspapers. They suggested that American intelligence officials had warned Israel to “be careful” about sharing classified information with the Trump White House, for fear that it would be given to Russia.
American intelligence officials reportedly cautioned that Vladimir Putin might have “leverages of pressure” to extort Trump. That presumably was a reference to the hanky-panky recounted in the dossier alleging that Moscow compromised Trump by filming him cavorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel.
Perhaps more troubling are suggestions of collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
Trump strongly denies all this, the dossier has zero public evidence behind it, and it should be treated with skepticism. But it reflects an unprecedented uncertainty: There is a disorienting kernel of doubt about whether we can fully trust the man who will occupy the Oval Office. 
So is our new president a Russian poodle?
Here’s what we know. The dossier was gathered by a former British MI6 spy, Christopher Steele. A onetime British ambassador to Russia described Steele as a “very competent professional operator” who would not make things up.
The BBC suggested that the “head of an East European intelligence agency” was aware of the material and that C.I.A. officers investigating the issue provided details including that there was “more than one tape.”
[I]t’s poetic justice that Donald Trump, who for years falsely bellowed that President Obama was born abroad, is now caught in similarly unsubstantiated rumors.
[L]et’s put aside sexual blackmail and focus on what is undisputed: Trump praises Putin, criticizes NATO and downplays Russian war crimes and its attempts to steal our election.
In contrast, Trump compares the American intelligence community to Nazis, suggesting it was behind the leaking of the dossier. It’s astonishing to see a president-elect in effect hug the Russians while giving his own team the finger, creating a chasm between the White House and the intelligence community.
It’s also indisputable that Trump has appointed people soft on Russia. Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the new national security adviser, took money in 2015 from RT, the Russian propaganda front, and sat next to Putin at an RT dinner. Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state nominee, is one of the American executives friendliest to Putin.
For months, there have been indications of bizarre ties between the Trump campaign and Moscow, including the Russian government’s assertion in November that it maintained contacts with Trump’s “immediate entourage.” The F.B.I. investigated Trump’s Russia ties over the summer and fall, and reportedly sought approval to monitor his aides suspected of improper contacts with Russian officials.
The Trump view is so far from the foreign policy mainstream that inevitably there will be darker theories offered for the softness toward Russia. These involve financial ties with Moscow, since Trump refuses to release his tax statements, or the kind of sordid blackmail alleged in the dossier.
Such rumors may well be wrong and unfair — but they persist. They damage Trump, the intelligence community and the United States itself, and the best disinfectant will be transparency. That means congressional inquiries, led by Republicans, and a continued F.B.I. investigation.
We can’t afford even the perception that our president is the Kremlin’s man in Washington. 
Meanwhile, those opposing Trump and/or demanding investigations of Trump/Putin ties should be careful.  If Trump is in league with Putin, they find themselves targets "kompromat."  We find ourselves in a very scary place. 

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