In a stunning op-ed in The Atlantic published Thursday, senior editor and Policy Exchange chairman David Frump slams President-elect Donald Trump for “collaborating” with Russian espionage and interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The former George W. Bush speechwriter says that claims that investigating the interference from Russian President Vladimir Putin in favor of Trump would delegitimize Trump’s presidency. This is a point brought up frequently by Trump supporters as more evidence comes to light, and in Frump’s viewpoint, it should be.
Frump states that information regarding Putin’s cyberattacks and the distribution of illegally obtained Democratic Party emails must be brought to light, saying:
‘The president-elect of the United States reportedly owes his office in considerable part to illegal clandestine activities in his favor conducted by a hostile, foreign spy service.’
Frump acknowledges that Putin took a great deal of risk with his interference, knowing that after Nov. 8, the Russian president might be facing a hostile Hillary Clinton instead of the tractable Donald Trump.
Frump contrasts Putin’s favoritism for Trump with other foreign leaders who have openly favored one U.S. presidential candidate over another, such as our French and German allies preferring that George W. Bush lose the 2004 election. He states that these foreign heads were openly critical and above board, but that Putin’s method was much more sinister.
‘The word “clandestine” is the key term here… What they did not do was organize their spy agencies to break the law of the United States.’
Frump then accuses Trump of not only collaborating with the Russians, but of misusing and inflating the impact of the leaked information.
The leaked emails themselves, says Frump, are basically innocuous and any concern should have normally died off quickly after their release. However, Trump’s “wild characterizations” of the information within them created much ado about nothing.
‘Without Trump’s own willingness to make false claims and misuse Russian-provided information, the WikiLeaks material would have deflated of its own boringness.’
Frump references Trump’s statements on his website regarding the leaked emails, saying that Clinton’s preferences for an open global market made her a “vessel for a corrupt global establishment that is raiding our country and surrendering our sovereignty.”
Frump then puts the blame squarely on Donald Trump for perpetuating and escalating the damage done by the Russian hacks:
‘The Russian-hacked material did damage because, and only because, Russia found a willing accomplice in the person of Donald J. Trump.’
Frump then reminds readers that Trump’s agenda aligns so very closely to Vladimir Putin’s:
‘But on issues from Crimea to Syria to NATO to the breakup of the European Union, Trump’s publicly expressed views align with Putin’s wishes.’
President Barack Obama has promised a thorough investigation and full reveal of its results before Donald Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20. Frump states that he believes there are deeper reasons why Donald Trump wants the truth hidden.
‘Maybe he is wise to leave the mystery in place: as delegitimizing as it is, it’s very possible the truth would be even worse.’