Donald Trump is one of the least transparent people on earth, and with good reason, the Trump University fraud settlement is just the tip of his iceberg.
Despite his attempts to deflect, to actually deny there is any such thing as, the truth - after 100 + days in the public eye a pretty clear picture has emerged, will continue to unfold - and some of it is quite troubling and dangerous to we the citizens of the United States. Troubling too, around the world.
This week it became clear that Michel Flynn, one of the President's most trusted advisors and ardent supporters, his selection as National Security Advisor to the President, spent time while the Russians had compromising evidence on him - and he lied about it.
That becomes worse when it becomes clear that Trump was warned of exactly this, and was warned by several sources to steer clear of Lieutenant General Flynn.
There is a long series of reasons to be concerned about President's Trump love for Vladimir Putin and the Russian dictatorship he oversees. It has oft been stated. Candidate Trump even publicly pleaded with Russia to hack deeper, to hack into his opponents' email history, to tip the scales further towards Trump.
And there are reasons to be concerned that the President himself might be kompromat, in relation to the Russians.
- Is Trump, the Trump Organization, or Trump's inner circle of advisors involved in Russia's mysterious "sale" of 19.5 percent of Rosneft, the Russian Oil Conglomerate? That has been alleged, and needs to be addressed. Is it possible that Putin, a KGB Foreign Intelligence Officer for 16 years, had cultivated Trump over several years as part of a plan to subvert the West? The only way to make clear that the Rosneft stake was not an investment made to gain direct access to the United States National Security policy makers; is to open up Trump's murky financial past. Short of that - this story makes a lot of sense.
See this, from Foreign Policy, for more background:
- Is there a "golden showers" film? Given "grab them by the p@#$%", would we be surprised?
Now there is the firing of FBI Director, James Comey. Comey had recently requested additional funds from Jeff Session's Justice Department to further the FBI probe of the Russian connections to our Presidential campaign, and possible collusion by members of the Trump Campaign. (again, remember Trump requesting more Russian hacking form the campaigh trail)
Today, news breaks that seven days into his term, Trump had dinner with Comey, and requested his loyalty.
This from today's NY Times: "Mr. Comey declined to make that pledge. Instead, Mr. Comey has recounted to others, he told Mr. Trump that he would always be honest with him, but that he was not “reliable” in the conventional political sense."
Which is exactly what we count on.
This, I suspect, is beyond the President's ken.
Just yesterday, in a bizarre and Trumpian turn, the President announced he was hosting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Whether surprised, of he did not want to announce, Trump also hosted Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, who has been at the center of several controversialist of late (you could look it up). To add a Mark's Brothers turn to the meeting, photographer Sergey Kislyak, crashed the party. He told the White House (often paired w the word "chaotic" these days) that he was the official photographer for the Foregoing Minister - actually he is a photographer for Tass, the Russian state-run news agency - and here he is a few feet from our President.
Bizarre-on-Bizarre - the US Press was banned from the meeting, a White House photographer was on hand. Tass posted a set of three pals photos right away. One of them, on this post. The photos from the White House hid the Russian Ambassador from view.
So what is the take away here?
Is the President a puppet by circumstance? or just extraordinarily fond of the current Russian Government?
Is the firing of Comey because the FBI was getting too close to home with opening up the true nature of the ties between Trump, the Trump Organization, and / or the Trump Campaign - and Vladimir Putin and his interests?
Who else has gotten,can get to within a few feet of the President of the United States - on false grounds?
So where're the hope?
With the FBI's independence in the balance, only the United States Senate now stands in Trumps way when it comes to an independent investigation of the multiple threats that Russia now poses to the United States.
As luck would have it, members of the Senate tend to be deeply patriotic, and a few of them have good reason to hate Candidate Trump's guts. "I like people who were not captured" - who, older than 8 years old, says that?
There is good reason to believe that they will persevere, fight through all the venom the President will surely throw their way, and get to the bottom of this all.
May it be so
A final word:
Sinclair Lewis was a writer, in the Depression era. He wrote the novel Elmer Gantry, which featured a con man. He made a study and developed a fine ear for the con.
He also wrote It can't Happen Here which is about Buzz Windrip, a populist politician who wins the Presidency by fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and "traditional" values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes a plutocratic/totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force (where in history have we seen this before?).
#Recommended - a good, chilling, summer read.
It happening here is always in the balance - the desire for complete control can come from right or left, from the very wealthy, from the "military industrial complex", from outer space (kidding :- )
We need to stay alert and stand strong - together - across our ideologies and for the common good for our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Right now, we are counting on the Senate to see this through