Posted by: maboulette | February 22, 2020

Russia Is Already Colluding With Trump To Help Him In 2020

Putin and Russia

President Donald Trump is already colluding with Russia again to attack American democracy and help him win the 2020 election. According to The Washington Post and The New York Times, Trump raged in the Oval Office and then fired his acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because career officials briefed Congress about the fact that Russia intends to help him in 2020, just like it did in 2016.  In other words, Trump is aiding and assisting the Russian government by weakening the U.S. government’s response, and is currently using his power as president to do so.

WORKED IN 2016

Russian intervention, and the Trump campaign’s collusion, worked in 2016 in part because both remained largely hidden.  The American public didn’t know the Kremlin was covering social media with pro-Trump (and anti-Clinton) disinformation until after the election.  Reporting on WikiLeaks’s email dumps—stolen from Trump’s political opponents—often failed to sufficiently convey that the emails were part of the Kremlin’s pro-Trump effort, giving the email “revelations” undue legitimacy without context.  That also enabled Trump to cite WikiLeaks 164 times—more than five times per day—in the final month of the campaign without it clearly being labeled “collusion”.

KNEW EARLY

The Trump campaign knew as early as April 2016 that the Kremlin was intervening to help them, thanks to Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor. He told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that Russia planned to anonymously release emails stolen from their political opponents to impact the election.

CAPITALIZE ON INFORMATION

The Trump campaign did everything they could to take advantage of on this information, such as:

  • Sharing internal polling data and campaign strategy memos with alleged Russian spy Konstantin Kilimnik on the clear understanding that he would give it to oligarchs close to the Kremlin;
  • Taking the June 9 meetingon the clear understanding that it was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump;”
  • and, at Trump’s unequivocal direction, setting up a backchannel to WikiLeaksto “get the emails” so they’d have advance information about what Russia would be releasing through WikiLeaks.

SECRECY

Trump’s team understood the importance of this secrecy – Trump’s campaign chairmannational security adviserpersonal lawyerlongtime political adviser, and foreign policy adviser have all been convicted of lying to investigators rather than revealing their contacts with Kremlin-linked actors and many are already in prison for what they did.

SAME PLAYBOOK

Meanwhile, Trump has done everything in his power to falsely absolve not only his campaign for collusion but also Russia for attacking American democracy in the first place. This opens the door to running the same playbook in 2020.  Trump is actively enabling Russia’s next attack for his own personal benefit.  Initial reports said Trump was concerned that Democrats could “exploit” the fact that Russia is supporting him, but the truth is clear, Trump is concerned that revealing Russian intrusion would undermine his ability to benefit from it.

INTELLIGENCE

Replacing Maguire with Grenell undercuts the intelligence community’s ability to do its job by uncovering attacks, whether they’re from Russia or anywhere else.  It also sends a clear message to hostile foreign governments that they are free to attack American democracy all they want, as long as it aids Trump.

TRUMP AND FRIENDS

Meanwhile, Trump’s allies, once again led by McConnell, are leaving America’s elections vulnerable to foreign intervention while doing everything they possibly can to hide not only the possibility of another Russian attack, but also the truth about the last one.  Congressional Republicans cleared the way for exactly this type of intrusion. This is what every Republican Senator (except one) excused when they voted yes on Trump’s exoneration. They ratified the totalitarian argument that, as long as Trump believes his reelection is in the national interest, he is allowed to use his powers as president to strike any corrupt bargain with any hostile foreign power—even if it means sacrificing American democracy in order to make it happen.

EXACTLY HOW

We may not yet know exactly how Russia intends to disrupt the 2020 election, but we know that Trump intends to enable and use them just like he did in 2016. Dismissing his acting Director of National Intelligence to make sure Russian intrusion stays secret is only the first step.

 

 

 

 


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