Recent revelations suggesting that the FBI suspected President Donald Trump of being an agent working for Russia and opened a counterintelligence investigation in response have put the Russia investigation back on the front page.
Trump has repeatedly denied he has any connections to Russia, telling reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Monday morning that the accusation is a “disgrace”:
“I never worked for Russia. And you know that answer better than anybody. It is a disgrace you asked that question. It is a whole big fat hoax. It is just a hoax.
“The whole thing is a hoax. It is a big hoax and it is very bad for our country. What happened with the FBI, I have done a great service for our country when I fired James Comey, because he was a bad cop and he was a dirty cop. He lied. He really lied.”
But conservative writer Max Boot says today in the Washington Post that he thinks it’s very possible Trump is indeed working on behalf of the Kremlin, laying out 18 reasons he believes prove his case. Here’s a few of the more interesting bits of evidence Boot cites:
- “The Trump campaign was full of individuals, such as Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and Michael Flynn, with suspiciously close links to Moscow.”
- “Trump has refused to consistently acknowledge that Russia interfered in the U.S. election or mobilize a government-wide effort to stop future interference. He has accepted Putin’s protestations that the Russians did not meddle in the election over the ‘high confidence’ assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that they did.”
- “Trump encouraged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails on July 27, 2016 (‘Russia, if you’re listening’), on the very day that Russian intelligence hackers tried to attack Clinton’s personal and campaign servers.”
- Once in office, Trump fired Comey to stop the investigation of the ‘Russia thing’ — and then bragged about having done so to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister while also sharing with them top-secret information.”
- “Like no previous president, Trump attacks and undermines the Justice Department and the FBI (‘a cancer in our country’) — two institutions that stand on the front lines of combatting Russian espionage and influence operations in the United States.”
- “Trump is sowing chaos in the government, most recently with a record-breaking partial government shutdown and ‘acting’ appointees in key posts such as the Defense Department and Justice Department, thus furthering a Russian objective of undermining its chief adversary.”
The only exculpatory evidence Boot is able to offer in defense of Trump is, to put it mildly, flimsy, but it’s also worth taking a look at:
- “In his own defense, Trump claims he has been tougher on Russia ‘than any other President,’ but literally in the next sentence he says, ‘getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing.'”
- “I can’t think of anything that would exonerate Trump aside from the difficulty of grasping what once would have seemed unimaginable: that a president of the United States could actually have been compromised by a hostile foreign power.”
- “If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one.”
Considering the evidence, can there really be any doubt that Donald Trump is in league with Russia?
Featured Image Via the BBC