Imagine for a moment a Democratic presidential nominee who had continually trashed the United States, saying things like our nation is in “chaos,” that “we never win anymore,” and who constantly maligned our President while praising the leader of Russia. Add to that this Democratic candidate avoiding serving in the US military during the Vietnam War when he had a chance while mocking a POW who had served our nation proudly in Vietnam.
But wait, there’s more. This Democratic candidate publicly asked Russian intelligence agencies to hack into the email server of his Republican presidential opponent to help his own candidacy.
You got all that. Okay, now ask yourself what would Donald Trump call that Democrat? Certainly we would hear words like “traitor,” “Un-American,” a “Manchurian candidate” sent to destroy America, or maybe even a “foreign born Muslim.” (I mention the last one because that’s Trump go-to.)
No one can deny with straight face that Trump would be publicly slamming that Democrat from the rooftops. Trump would likely be demanding to see that candidate’s passport to see he ever traveled to Russia like he demanded Obama’s birth certificate. Trump would be calling on the FBI to look through the Democrat’s emails and phone records to determine if he had made contact with Russian agents, even if accidentally. He would also be mocking that candidate on Twitter, perhaps claiming that the Democrat wanted to replace “Hail to the Chief” with the Russian national anthem. And the list goes on.
But when Trump has engaged in the exact same conduct as outlined above, he thinks it’s A-OK. It’s not.
True, Trump has made so many outrageous remarks in this campaign it’s hard to be shocked. But Trump’s comment Wednesday calling on Russian intelligence services to hack into Hillary’s emails was truly stunning. And to be clear, Trump called out directly and explicitly for this to happen: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” Adding, “I hope they do” hack her emails.
It’s unlikely that any American politician has ever asked for the assistance of the Russian government to defeat their political opponent in American political history. (Except for maybe a past Communist Party candidate.)
What I find even more curious, and frankly suspicious, is that at Wednesday’s press conference when Trump was asked about Putin meddling in this election, he steadfastly insisted: “I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is.” (It reminded so much of the Bible story of Peter denying knowing Jesus that I was expecting to hear a cock crow.)
The reality is that Trump had bragged just a few months ago at GOP debate that he was close with the Russian leader: “I got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates, and we did very well that night.” The question, of course, is when was Trump lying to the American people: At that debate or Wednesday? It’s up to voters decide when Trump lied to you.
Keep in mind this is this is same Trump who recently inferred President Obama was an ISIS sympathizer because Obama simply refused to use the made up term “radical Islam” when discussing ISIS. Of course Obama has waged an aggressive military campaign to destroy ISIS in Syria and Iraq and ordered the killing of numerous terrorists, including Osama Bin Laden.
But that didn’t stop Trump from questioning the President’s loyalty: “President Obama is acting the ways he acts and can’t even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism.” He ominously added, “There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable.”
Now to be cIear, I have zero evidence that Trump is actually involved with Putin in anything more than a mutual love fest. Putin has praised Trump and Trump has lavished accolades on Putin numerous times while trying to undermine our President. Trump, for example, stated that Putin has done “a great job outsmarting our country” and “America is at a great disadvantage. Putin is ex-KGB, Obama is a community organizer. Unfair.”
But it does cause me pause that former CIA Director Leon Panetta told CNN on Wednesday that Trump’s call on Russian intelligence services to hack Hilary’s email is a possible “conspiracy” with a foreign power, causing Panetta to question Trump’s loyalty.
Trump truly needs to come clean with the American people on this issue. But one thing is certain, as Trump once said about Obama, “There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable.” And the only people who can clear this up are Trump and his comrade Putin.
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.