It was hiding in the open

Published 10:30 am Friday, July 20, 2018

He told us, we warned us and, long before his public display of disgusting subservience to the Russian president in front of the world, Donald Trump told us it was all a “witch hunt.” He was, for a rare moment in his public life, speaking the truth.

There are witches, and the U.S. intelligence community has been naming them, one by one, as they sought to undermine the 2016 and now the upcoming 2018 elections. Just this week, a witch was arrested and jailed, one Maria Butina, a Russian citizen in the U.S. accused of spying for the Kremlin. Ms. Butina is accused of using sex and money to get close to Republican conservatives and the NRA, possibly to channel money into the 2016 election for Trump.

Witches, of course, are famous for their casting of spells, and one definition of a spell is (from The Free Dictionary) “A compelling attraction, charm or fascination.” Surely, in the modern age of politics, there has been no greater fascination than observing President Trump fawning, yielding, and surrendering U.S. power and justice to Vladimir Putin, his mentor, guide, superior and role model.

Email newsletter signup

And surely, it must be a spell, because no U.S. president, for any reason, would surrender the truth of the U.S. intelligence community to a dictator who murders his enemies and simply says, “I did not do it.” Putin’s rejection of the facts of 13 hackers named and charged, and 12 Russian intelligence military staff indicted by the FBI is not unlike denying the Statue of Liberty exists in the New York City harbor. No one actually needs Putin to bother declaring his innocence, the facts name his guilt in seeking to advance the candidate he admits he favored, Donald Trump, to the U.S. presidency.

Trump, for his part, the gullible child-like accidental president, has played his role, the supplicant in waiting, by attempting to discredit the FBI, the CIA, and any investigation of interference in the 2016 election that might reveal the extent of the Russian success in altering the outcome of that election.

Consider the depth of humiliation that this president presented before the cameras this past Monday when he said, rolling the entire U.S. intelligence community under the bus, “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia.” And contemplate the depravity of calling the European Union “foes” of America, while suggesting Russia is just a “competitor.”

The president followed all of this by timidly, and conviction-free, claiming that he did not mean his own words, gestures or claims about how much he trusts Putin.

But, even then, Trump followed his insincere apology with the statement, “…could be other people,” who interfered in the 2016 election.

Then, only mere hours later, when asked if the Russians still posed an election threat to the U.S., this president said, “No,” in contradiction to his entire national security team, the U.S. Senate committee, and every thinking person on the planet.

It is nearly unimaginable that the president of the United States is somehow compelled to support our Russian adversaries even over this nation’s interests.

Yet, when Trump attacks our allies and our alliances and yields to the wishes of the Russian president, one cannot help but consider if the Manchurian Candidate actually became president as a result of the efforts and success of Russia.

Our Republican Congress stands largely silent and open-mouthed in astonishment and in its inability to control this neurotic man-child. They must not continue to enable the destruction of our foreign relationships and our values, while fawning in praise of murders and dictators.


Jim Crawford is a retired educator, political enthusiast and award-winning columnist living here in the Tri-State.