This morning, before departing to speak at the American Farm Bureau Federation Convention in New Orleans, President Trump addressed lingering questions about his involvement with Russia.
He told reporters, “I never worked for Russia. Not only did I never work for Russia, I think it’s a disgrace that you even asked that question because it’s a whole big fat hoax. It’s just a hoax.”
On Saturday, Trump had an interview with Fox’s Judge Jeanine Pirro in which she asked, “Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?”
President Trump did not answer directly, instead saying, “I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked.”
This morning President Trump also addressed the investigation that has resulted in eight people pleading guilty, four of those from his campaign, one being affiliated with his former campaign manager, and one being his personal attorney. He used the opportunity to bring up the oft spoken of Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, and James Comey while speaking about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
He said, “The people doing that investigation were people that have been caught that are known scoundrels. They’re … I guess you could say they’re dirty cops. And I’ll tell you what, it is so unfair to what’s what happened to the FBI in terms of the men and women working in the rank and file of the FBI, I know many of them. These are great people. They are so embarrassed by their leadership. I have never seen such a turn around in a bureau or agency.”
The president was initially asked the question in regards to the bombshell New York Times article, published Friday evening, that stated the FBI opened an investigation into whether the president was working with Russia. His actions after firing then FBI director, James Comey, in addition to suspicious behavior through his 2016 campaign, prompted the highly sensitive investigation into whether the president is wittingly or unwittingly under the control of the Kremlin.
An additional report, from the Washington Post over the weekend, detailed how President Trump sought to conceal details of his conversations with Russian president Vladimir Putin. The Post states that Trump went to “extraordinary lengths” to prevent even his advisers from gaining knowledge of the conversations, at one point even instructing his interpreter to not speak of the conversation and confiscating her notes.
Why It Matters
The striking issue here is that the President of the United States has to be asked, “Are you now or have you been working with Russia?” While other presidents have acted unethically and even criminally while in office, no other president has been suspected of actually being an asset of a hostile nation.
The other question that must be asked as well is “If President Trump was a Russian asset, what would he be doing differently?”
That these questions even enter the minds of Americans, let alone must be said out loud is a striking, sobering, history making moment. The well being of the American experiment rests on the answers to these questions.
The one thing our founders feared above all else was the specter of a POTUS who was under the thrall of a foreign government.
Donald Trump had concerning Russian connections long before he became the GOP candidate in 2016 – many of them public knowledge and spoken about at length. The Republican base ignored those red flags and now is attempting to sweep them under the rug. But what has been learned about his connections to Russia since 2016 makes his behavior more than suspicious – it is a profound threat to our nation.
The answer to these questions is far more important than the survival of a political party. Republicans need to remember what they once stood for and defend the Republic because it is the essential action to take.