While we are all focusing on Hillary and what we fear she would do . . . and probably will as President, we should not be oblivious to the matter of Donald Trump’s extremely close ties with Vladimir Putin and the Russian government. His admiration for the ruthless dictator is no secret and has been discussed quite openly. He has said he admires him and will get along great with him.
Something should be said here about Putin. He is not benign. Nothing of the sort. Vladimir Putin is a former KGB agent known for utter ruthlessness. He has one major focus at the moment: controlling Europe through dependence on Russian natural gas and oil. To that end he has re-subjugated Ukraine first control of its corrupt government, and when that was finally rejected by the people he orchestrated insurrection throughout eastern Ukraine. He got rid of free television when he believed it threatened his power. For the same reason he abolished the Russian Parliament. Members of a musical group were imprisoned for expressing their views publicly. He had former agent Alexander Litvinenko murdered by poisoning him with radioactive polonium 210, an agonizing death meant to send a message, punishment for his having accused the dictator of ordering assassination of two Russian oligarchs. This is how business is done in Russia. We know that Putin is ruthless and remorseless. This attracts the admiration of Donald Trump.
Here is an excerpt from Joe Scarborough’s show, where Scarborough asked Trump his opinion about Putin’s assassination of rivals and journalists:
Scarborough: “Well, I mean, it’s also a person who kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries. Obviously that would be a concern, would it not?”
Trump: “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader. Unlike what we have in this country.”
Scarborough: “But again: He kills journalists that don’t agree with him.”
Trump: “I think our country does plenty of killing, also, Joe, so, you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, Joe. A lot of killing going on. A lot of stupidity. And that’s the way it is.”*
But probably more germane is Trump’s dependence upon Russian investment in his business empire. He has received funding from numerous oligarchs within Putin’s inner circle. The advantages to these people of investing in a man who has been blackballed by the banks in his own nation due to his business plan of serial bankruptcy, is obvious. Hence their open advocacy. The government of Russia has been supporting websites that promote Trump for President. Obviously this “free speech” comports with government interests. Now we know Putin ordered the dumping of the DNC’s emails before the Democrats’ convention – which means they’ve been hacking private email accounts. This was for Trump. They prefer Trump, a known quantity to them, to Hillary, who could be unpredictable and Cruz, beyond their reach and likely to promote America’s interests rather than corrupt ones.
We have already seen the effects of Trump’s dependence upon Russian money and influence. He has openly stated he would not come to the aid of Baltic nations should Russia invade them. He would, instead, “weigh” what they’ve done for us, rather than honor the NATO Alliance pledge. For someone who obsesses about pledges, this is not one he’s worried about breaking.
Newt Gingrich, who has enjoyed a reputation as a tough and knowledgeable “conservative” leader, was asked to comment on this irresponsible statement. Gingrich’s answer was an open invitation to Russian aggression: he said Baltic countries were no more than “suburbs” of St. Petersburg. Trump intervened in the Republican platform with the sole objective of changing a provision protecting Ukraine’s right to self-government. Chief Trump advisor Paul Manafort was Yanukovych’s right-hand man (Putin’s puppet President of Ukraine) and his supporter, General Flynn, was invited to address a propaganda event, seated next to Putin himself.
So what will Putin take away from this? After celebrating with champagne and caviar he will undoubtedly ready his tanks. Before Trump is done he hopes to annex the Baltic nations once again in his program of re-constituting the old Soviet Socialist union. Yesterday, Trump called upon Russia to “find” some 30,000 Clinton emails – he is asking for a foreign government to intervene in the American election process. He claims he’s never met or spoken with Putin. Yet a few months back he said they were “stablemates” in the green room of 60 Minutes – they got along great. The 60 Minutes story was also a lie, though.
We need to consider our national security. After four years of Trump, the Russian government will likely have completely infiltrated our government; they will know precisely our military status and deployment, probably have our nuclear launch codes in their wallet. They quite possibly will also own us financially. Trump has stated that defaulting on our debt would “solve” our problems as they have solved his business problems. In fact he sees no problem.
Let’s demand release of his financial records before we vote. The shadowy Putin is clear on one thing: He likes to say, “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”