Trouble in Trump Tower

As the concerns over the Russian attack on the U.S. elections continues to grow, questions are increasing. Not questions about whether or not the Russians actually did attack the U.S. in an attempt to undermine the integrity of our elections. Virtually everyone, except for Trump, who has received classified briefings are certain the Russians did attempt to interfere with the election through selective leaks of materials obtained through cyber-espionage, and social media campaigns of false news – all to the detriment of Clinton. The questions that are being asked are related to Trump’s response to the attack, which has become increasingly bizarre and worrisome.
I can understand a natural defensiveness about the reporting on the Russian attempts to influence the election in his favor. Some will argue that it delegitimizes the elections, but no one is arguing that it invalidates the election result. The fact is that Trump is invalidating himself. Trump could have responded very differently and led a defense of our Country. He could have been Presidential. For example, he could have said something to the effect that as President, he will never tolerate any foreign interference in our elections and called for even more significant sanctions against Putin. Instead, he is delegitimizing himself by attacking the people providing the intelligence and aligning himself with Putin, even to the point of cheering Putin’s response to U.S. sanctions as “smart”.
For many in the GOP, let alone the military and intelligence communities, the last straw was Trump citing Julian Assange as a reliable source supporting the denials of Putin and himself. Assange is recognized as a man who has compromised our intelligence operations and directly contributed to the death of U.S. troops and intelligence assets. His Wikileaks site claims to be a source of information about government malfeasance, but somehow only releases classified information stolen from the U.S. and our allies. He is on the payroll of Russian State Television, and in asylum in an embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden on a sexual assault charge. Since most Americans recognize Assange as an enemy and reacted negatively to his Tweet, Trump has since tried to distance himself from his own words in typical Trump fashion: he has claimed that the plain words of his Tweet regarding Assange didn’t really say what it said and the media is lying.
The cumulative weight of evidence suggests that something more than simple naiveté, or political miscalculation is going on in the Trump camp. Two important Trump campaign members were forced to resign when it was revealed that they were being investigated as undeclared Russian agents (his former campaign director and lead economic adviser), he directly encourage Russian espionage to find “Hillary’s e-mails” (later claiming he was only “joking”), he has appointed a man who was a former analyst for Russian State Television as his chief intelligence advisor (Flynn), nominated a Putin friend and business ally as Secretary of State, a member of his transition team was forced to resign when he was caught disseminating false news created by a Russian social media site, and he consistently praised and never criticized Putin. His relationship with Putin is unclear. He once denied ever meeting Putin, but had to recant his denial when confronted with an earlier statement that he met and liked Putin. He has refused to release his tax returns as promised, although it is known that Trump has business interests in Russia. Now we have the unprecedented, if not bizarre, sight of a President-elect allying with two known enemies of the U.S. against his entire intelligence network and every Senator of both parties who have seen the evidence. Maybe it’s time for a bi-partisan, independent investigation of the links between Trump, Putin and Assange.

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