President Donald Trump has decided that his presumed Democratic opponent, Joe Byden, is soft on China, and even has a new ad out making that accusation. But, what about Russia? Trump's relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin is at least teetering on the edge of treason.
So, Russia is Trump's Achilles heel, and it's obvious he's trying to divert attention and criticism away from his relationships with Russia and his pal, Putin by trying to shift the political conversation to Biden and China.
But this latest scandal over Trump ignoring credible reports he received that Russia offered terrorists a bounty for American soldiers killed in Afghanistan demonstrates precisely where his loyalties lie.
That's in the Kremlin, not in the streets and neighborhoods of the United States of America.
Footsie with Putin
It all began long before his tainted election in 2016, when Trump encouraged Russia to meddle in that election and bring down Hillary Clinton, which they did, and which launched the investigation that should have gotten him impeached – and probably would have, if it wasn’t for that Ukrainian fiasco, which also had a direct Russian connection.
Trump has played footsie with Putin for years, kissing up to him at every opportunity, despite his violations of human rights and acts of international aggression. Trump has worked to weaken NATO, threatening to withdraw, and recently cut the number of U.S. soldiers in Germany after previously reducing American forces in Syria. That, of course, resulted in the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Both acts were unvarnished favors to Putin.
Michael McFaul, director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, in a column in The Washington Post July 1, writes that "Trump's feeble response" to Putin atrocities has followed a consistent pattern as the president has sought to weaken his own administration's efforts to contain and punish the Putin regime.
McFaul writes further:
In return for all of these gifts to Putin, Trump has received nothing. The president's exuberant fidelity to the Russian autocrat has produced no positive outcomes for U.S. national interests — no new arms-control treaty, no help in dealing with worsening relations with Iran, no assistance in fighting the Taliban, no withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, no freeing from a Moscow jail of wrongly imprisoned American Paul Whelan and no amazing trade deals.
Meanwhile, Trump has consistently tried to befriend Putin, even when it was considered politically unwise to do so and when nearly his entire administration opposed this approach. Most shockingly, Trump stood next to Putin during a news conference after their summit in Helsinki in the summer of 2018 and told the world that he agreed with the Russian president, and disagreed with his own intelligence community and the Mueller investigation, in believing that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Even on small issues of little relevance to American national interests, Trump has sided with Putin's propaganda, including defending the Soviet Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and suggesting that Montenegro might trigger World War III.
His Excuse: Incompetence
Now, Trump claims his lack of response to the contract killing episode is that he didn't know -- even though multiple reports said the information had been presented to the president, both verbally and in written intelligence briefing reports. Now, even Republicans want answers.
You can bet this story isn't going away, especially with the election just four months away.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNN, "This is as serious as it gets," and speculated that Trump wasn't brief because his aides don't want to make him unhappy "and all roads for him, as you know, lead to Putin."
The Money Connection
Furthermore, there are reports that Trump's businesses are entwined financially with questionable entities in Russia.
According to Craig Unger, author of "House of Trump, House of Putin," who wrote in The Washington Post March 29:
...for more than three decades, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to the Russian Mafia held the deeds to, lived in or ran criminal operations out of Trump Tower in New York or other Trump properties. I mean that many of them used Trump-branded real estate to launder vast amounts of money by buying multimillion-dollar condos through anonymous shell companies. I mean that the Bayrock Group, a real estate development company that was based in Trump Tower and had ties to the Kremlin, came up with a new business model to franchise Trump condos after he lost billions of dollars in his Atlantic City casino developments, and helped make him rich again.
Moreover, there have been repeated reports that entities in Russia have provided financial resources for Trump golf clubs and resorts around the world.
Whose side is Trump on, anyway?
He claimed the other day that his hated predecessor, Barack Obama, was guilty of treason, although he could never explain why.
Trump is the one who should be charged with treason, with selling out our country and putting the lives of American soldiers in jeopardy. Don't be sidetracked by Trump's charges about Biden and China. The real scandal is Trump and Russia and how this president has sold out our country, and apparently, our fighting men and women.