Mr. Donald Trump was for leaks before he was against them.
Mr. Trump is strong in the truth because so little of what he says is true – and we all cherish what is rare.
Mr. Trump “won” an election by suppressing the truth and now he hopes to give flight to his lies by suppressing the press that would tell the truth about his lies.
Mr. Trump favored leaks in his public bromance with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they compromised former Secretary Hillary Clinton.
It’s a different “story,” however, when the leaks uncover how Mr. Trump’s adviser, Michael Flynn, may have been undermining the Obama Administration’s sanctions against Mr. Putin’s Russia for interfering in our nation’s presidential election.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates found the taped conversation that Michael Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in late December “highly significant” and “potentially illegal” because Mr. Flynn discussed the Obama sanctions against Russia.
At the time Mr. Flynn was a citizen.
When interviewed by the FBI, Mr. Flynn reportedly recalled no discussion of sanctions.
It is actually a crime for “any citizen” to have any communications “with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States…”
According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, “there were [also] contacts” with the Trump team during the presidential election; Ryabkov said, “Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage.”
This begs the question, whether and who in the Trump “entourage” may have acted in concert with the Russian’s hacking campaign during the election.
This traitorous line of conduct, undermining sanctions against a foreign nation state that interfered in our presidential election, makes unlawful sense because Mr. Trump was the direct beneficiary of that hacking interference.
During the campaign, Mr. Trump thanked Vladimir for hacking a high government official, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and called on Russia to keep it up, do more hacking, and release whatever else the Russians found.
When Fox’s Bill O’Reilly asked Mr. Trump how he could admire Trump, “he’s a killer,” Trump answered, “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?” Mr. Trump has an elastic definition of what’s “innocent.”
“Truth” be told, and Mr. Trump would deny this as well, Mr. Putin is a grand master of KGB treachery, seeking out opportunities in the political vacuum Trump is creating, and Mr. Trump is, by comparison, an inflated narcissist who can’t admit what he doesn’t know about such intrigues.
Indeed, former President Obama’s sanctions for Russia’s interference in our elections may have been effective, when you consider that we now have a Russian ship running up and down our Atlantic coast conducting surveillance and gathering intelligence that perhaps was available otherwise before the sanctions. The Victor Leonov, the Russian ship, armed with an array of intelligence gathering equipment used to intercept communications and analyze U.S. Navy sonar capability, loitered off Virginia’s shore, near the world’s largest naval base.
We could use a variation on President James Monroe’s doctrine, President Teddy Roosevelt’s “big stick,” or President John F. Kennedy’s Cuban blockade to cut short this surveillance.
Asked what he intended to do at his latest Orwellian hate rant against the press, Mr. Trump said, what do you want me to do, blow up the ship? Is that the best he can do? If you’re Trump, and you don’t read, and you refuse briefings, perhaps it is. Do we really have no way to jam their surveillance? Are we not warning them to back off? Really?
Plainly, the Russians have “private” information about Mr. Trump’s finances or something so much worse that even this brazen tv reality star can’t stand to have the information made public.
Senator John McCain has decried the chaos in the West Wing. Mr. Trump says the government is running like a Swiss clock.
The whole sorry story of the corrupt Mr. Trump will be known – sooner or later.
In the meantime, the nation is at risk.
We are talking about a breakdown of the constitutional separation of powers, of the necessary checks on Mr. Trump’s despotic inclinations, of preserving the freedom of the press, and of the security of the nation.