Well, Da! Since The New York Times report last week that the FBI launched an investigation into Trump’s relationship with Russia after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, my déjà vu has been off the charts. Every time I see TV pundits picking over Trump’s multitude of pro-Russian statements and actions as if they’re seeing them for the first time, I go into a meltdown.
Why? Because any person over 12 who’s been paying the slightest bit of attention knows Trump’s allegiance to Russia has always been sincere and all-consuming.
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 [Hillary Clinton] emails that are missing.”
On Russian meddling in the election: “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia.
I could go on and on. These and many other outrageous statements the media reported with insufficient push-back left many of us thinking, “Holy shit! Why isn’t somebody stopping him?”
Right after Trump fired Comey, he invited Russians into the Oval Office to gloat with them about it. We found out from Russian photographs because Trump allowed no American witnesses.
And then we heard about the two-hour private tête-à-tête with Putin in Helsinki, to which Trump allowed no American witnesses save an interpreter, whose notes he later confiscated and probably destroyed. Afterward, Putin bounded before reporters, smiling like he’d just gotten the world’s best blow job, with lumbering Trump looking like he’d been forced at gunpoint to swallow.
And let’s not overlook Trump’s ever-growing mountain of tweets professing love for all things Russian. Out the other side of his face he claims he’s been harder on Russia than any president, ever — even as he tries to relieve Putin’s oligarch henchman and Paul Manafort BFF, Oleg Deripaska, of American sanctions.
For three years, the media has asked, “What could POSSIBLY be going on?” when it’s been obvious all along.
Trump’s Russia fixation is all about money. Back in 2008, (I’m quoting Vox) Donald Trump Jr. said, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” In 2014, Eric Trump said, “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”
Over many years, Trump has done a high volume of all-cash real estate deals at his properties in New York and Florida with Russians worth hundreds of millions.
U.S. banks refuse to lend to Trump because he’s a notorious bad risk, and Trump’s burning bridges with other countries now. I believe he naively thinks that if he presents Putin with the smoldering ruins of the United States on a platter (with the Statue of Liberty’s head on the side), Trump will be ensured wealth beyond his wildest dreams forever — including a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Where Trump miscalculates bigly is that his life post-White House will be anything but business as usual, happily ever after. Trump and, apparently, the 25-30 percent of racist morons who still support him are the only ones who fail to see he’s heading to prison. The feds and New York state have so many felonies to nail on Trump, he’ll look like a used piñata by the time they’re finished with him.
Tax evasion, money laundering, fraud, misuse of funds, conspiring with a hostile power, emoluments violations, campaign finance violations, obstruction of justice. Those are just his greatest hits. Even with plea deals, Trump at 72 faces what’s left of his life behind bars. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is assembling and fleshing out the pieces with hard evidence that will be gift-wrapped and shoved down the throats of every Trump voter and enabler in Congress.
On January 14, in response to the NYT article, Trump uttered the words destined to be carved on his tombstone…
Trump will be pressed on that point, and we know his first response will be, “I never said that.”
When confronted with the video, he’ll say…
“I have never received a paycheck from Russia. When you work for somebody, they have to give you a paycheck, right? Do you think Putin would ever give me a paycheck? What have I ever done for Putin? I hardly know the guy. I don’t get paychecks from Putin. I’ve never even been to Russia.”
What we’re seeing is quid pro quo in action. On the promise of future riches, Putin provides Trump’s marching orders (“Pull your troops out of Syria,” “Pull your troops out of Iraq,” “Destroy NATO,” “Give Deripaska a break,” etc.), and Trump will do as ordered until Congress stops him, one way or another.
Donald Trump is a liar, a thief and a traitor. He’s lurching blindly toward the worst possible end. It can’t come soon enough.