Intelligence gathered by the FBI, CIA, and NSA, concludes with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.
– Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) Report, Jan. 5, 2018
I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be. – Donald J. Trump, Helsinki, Finland, July 15, 2018
Treason – The crime of betraying one’s country.
– Miriam-Webster’s Dictionary
Sometime in the afternoon of Monday, July 15, 2018 the president of the United States stood on a stage, mere feet from arguably the most dangerous and powerful international tyrant of the early 21st century, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and defended him against the entirety of his government’s intelligence community that has all the evidence needed to convict the Russian government of its ongoing cyber war against America. It was, even for this moronic stooge of a chief executive, a stunning achievement; he managed in a few sentences to betray the sovereignty of the nation he purports to lead on foreign soil while simultaneously acting like the weakest lapdog this nation has sent into any summit. Donald J. Trump, the 46th president of this republic boldly told the world without coercion — filled with the kind of icky compliments he saved for the other tyrant that suckered him last month, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un — that Russian and Putin are now the big players on the world stage and the U.S. will gladly rubber stamp its aggression against its neighboring nations, its war crimes in Syria and the overt acts of war against us.
By its very definition, and coming from a president, these words amount to treason.
And in case that assertion might be consumed as columnist hyperbole, even the zombie-eyed Kool-Aid cultists who have defended every goofy thing Trump has done since he stumbled into 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue echoed similar rhetoric the minute he left that podium. Most of the state-run TV hosts at FOX News had a fit. Newt Gingrich…Newt Gingrich! The man who has a poster of a shirtless Trump hugging a money bag over his bed ripped him a new asshole. CIA, State Department and Homeland Security officials had to issue statements rebuking this craziness, and even heretofore frightened congressional Republicans took to the airwaves to decry him as some kind of capitulating traitor that looked guiltier now over all this collusion talk than ever before.
Of course, this major gaff meets crime in the continuing saga of the Trump era begs several interpretations, but to begin it is hard to ignore that this president has already been shadowed by the FBI in the summer of his campaign due to Russian ties and is currently under investigation by a special counsel on this very point. Even the man for whom he did backflips to ass-kiss buried him when Putin openly admitted in the same presser that he wanted no part of a Hillary Clinton presidency. She was, as she was as Secretary of State, going to lean hard on Putin’s shenanigans as Trump spent most of the campaign complimenting Putin and making excuses for his abysmal reign, and then followed this up for two years as president denying every fact, every arrest, and every piece of evidence that Russia was deeply invested and unprecedentedly manipulative of our democratic system.
The results of what Trump did can only be seen these ways; you choose: 1. Our president is a Russian special agent. 2. Trump is in Putin’s back pocket because he helped hand him the presidency. 3. The Russian government has a ton of evidence of Trump’s wildly analyzed and duly reported decades of illegal Russian business dealings and money laundering or the alleged photos of hookers pissing on him. 4. Trump is the stupidest person you have ever seen with absolutely no sense of self-preservation and literally makes up every sentence that bounds around his mostly empty cranium the millisecond it leaves his mouth or runs down his fingers into the sub-mental blather that make up his imbecilic tweets.
I vote for the last one.
I do not think Trump has some Russian grand plan. Trump has no plan, grand or otherwise. This whole thing is just another reality show and PR campaign to make him feel loved by his dead father. The fact that he is using this nation to work through these issues doesn’t necessarily bother me, but it is getting tiresome. I truly believe he spends more time on manipulating that hair of his than anything to do with international intrigue. He knows we all think the Russians helped him and about half the people who had anything to do with him becoming president has/had Russian ties, and many of them have been arrested or indicted to this end. He is a megalomaniac who wants everyone to think he does everything by himself and only he can do it and everyone else is a stupid idiot. The narrative that Putin handed him the gig and controls his every move pisses him off — even the implication of it, quite apparently, as his years of angry tweets and endless comments; he actually spent part of the presser talking about Hillary Clinton and the electoral college. This whole thing sends him into a frothing rage. Also, his knee-jerk response to everything since the 1980s lets you know he gives no thought to what he is about to think or say, so yeah…it’s that.
However, being an egotistical mouth-breather is no excuse for selling your country down the river on the world stage at the behest of a tyrant.
Donald Trump committed treason. This is what the history books will record down through the centuries and this is what the tattered and embarrassed fallout for America will be after July 15, 2018.
Of course, once Trump returned from Finland he was confronted with this shitstorm and got some lackey to whip up a mea culpa, which he read in Clintonian splendor, a little bit of the Checkers Speech meets Reagonesque, “I don’t recall” trying on his best Manny Ramirez, “I really meant…” None of which anyone with a functioned cerebellum bought. So he predictably took to Twitter and went all Kanye West meets the teenage girl down the block and unleashed on everyone but himself. Blah blah blah, same Trump shit.
Some enterprising people who still give a crap about this country noticed that in the same appearance the president let out (once again, self-inflicted wounds) that in his two-hour private Putin meeting with only interpreters in the room that the administration has still not framed for the American people, he was considering allowing an American citizen and former Russian Ambassador Michael McFaul to be interrogated by the Russian government.
Once again…shit storm. And then half-assed explanations from the press secretary, followed soon by a qualification that, um, no that ain’t happening — this after the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense told the press that there would be resignations in the face of such madness.
Somewhere in there another Russian agent, this time on American soil, was arrested for working with National Rifle Association to gain funds and enact espionage on Democratic candidates during the 2016 campaign.
Without the knowledge of anyone in the United Stated government, you know, the people he chose to do these jobs framed in the Constitution, Trump announced he has invited Vladimir Putin to the White House. On live national television in the middle of an interview, Trump’s Director of National Intelligence heard the special announcement and did what amounts to a double-take before sitting silently for a good 30 seconds and stammering, “That should be something.”
By this morning, things are moving so fast for all I know Putin is sitting at Trump’s desk right now, the president is back to denying the Russians had anything to do with election meddling and to this date his administration has done absolutely nothing to prevent it from happening again this November.
So, where were you when the president of the United States committed treason? Then did it again? Then made flimsy excuses for it? Then denied he made excuses? Then reneged on the excuses? And then invited an enemy of the state to hang out in the people’s house?
I was here, at The Desk, where I have been for 20 years, and not since 9/11 have I had a column that had to be written as early in the week as this one.
Where were you?
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”
And coming in June, 2018; “Accidentally Like a Martyr – The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon”