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Deeper and Darker: Trump’s Unknown Financial Connections to Russia May Hold the Key to the Widening Scandal
Deeper and Darker: Trump’s Unknown Financial Connections to Russia May
Hold the Key to the Widening Scandal
Deeper and deeper: Congress wakes up as Trump’s ties to Russia look more tangled and troubling than ever
TOPICS: CONGRESS, DONALD TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP BUSINESS, ORGANIZED CRIME, RUSSIA, TRUMP ORGANIZATION, VLADIMIR PUTIN, NEWS, POLITICS NEWS
A shorter URL for the above link:
Theres a joke going around about President Donald Trumps former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to the effect that he has the dubious distinction of having been fired by both Democratic and Republican administrations. But thats not really very funny when you consider that he was fired by one for his erratic behavior and from the other because he was implicated in a scandal concerning possible connections to the Russian government.
Something has gone very wrong with our system that such a person could come so close to high levels of power in two administrations. But Flynn did. His short tenure and the circumstances of his departure have brought all the questions about Russian involvement in the campaign to the White Houses doorstep, where they cannot be ignored any longer.
I always had tended to believe that Trump probably didnt really have any personal relationship with Vladimir Putin. Trump is such a serial exaggerator that his allusions to one struck me as hype. His great pleasure in being stroked with Putins compliments indicated that Trump didnt actually know him. Its also obvious that he truly admires Putins strongman leadership style and thats disturbing enough.
Still, there has been the nagging sense for some time that theres something off about the way Trump speaks about Putin. Its obsequious and submissive, which is very uncharacteristic of his normal style and one cannot help but wonder why that is. Trump is not servile toward anyone in this world except Vladimir Putin. It would be one thing if we could chalk it up as another one of Trumps weird psychological tics and hope that he isnt so subject to flattery that he decides to help the Russian leader carve up Europe just to keep his approval. But it seems theres more to it than that.
The Russian story has been bubbling under the surface for months, of course. The hiring of Paul Manafort, best known in recent years for his career as a lobbyist for pro-Russian Ukraine politicians and a stranger to American politics since the 1980s has seemed odd. Still, there has been no reason for serious suspicion since Manafort had once been partners with Trumps good friend Roger Stone and had lived in Trump Tower at one time. Anyway, the world of political consultants is very small. So no big deal.
When the word came down that the Democratic National Committee had determined it had been hacked by what its security firm said were foreign actors associated with the Russian government, I dont think anyone saw an immediate connection. But then came that weird incident at the Republican National Convention in July, when Trump representatives intervened to soften the GOPs official policy on Ukraine. Again, by itself this would not be a huge deal. But when combined with Trumps strangely passive attitude toward Putin and the hiring of a man who had spent years working in politics in the region, people started to wonder.
It was only a few days later that Trump made his shocking public invitation to the Russian government to find Hillary Clintons personal emails and deliver them to the media. He suggested afterward that he had only been joking. Maybe so.
Since that time suspicions have only grown. The U.S. government verified that the Russians had hacked the files of various people and institutions in the presidential campaign, the WikiLeaks dumps happened and we have learned that the FBI had been investigating possible connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government since last spring.
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