Why won’t the president-elect condemn Russia’s cyberwar against the United States? Writing on his Facebook page early Saturday afternoon, Robert Reich suggested a simple way to figure out the answer: “Follow the money.”
As Reich discussed, the disturbing, dangerous pattern of Donald Trump’s coziness with the brutally totalitarian Russian President Vladimir Putin has been long in the making. It has simply come to a head now that Trump is about to become the president of the United States.
For months, as allegations swirled that Russia was behind the ambiguous, unprecedented hack-based propaganda war against the now failed presidential bid of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Trump actively turned a blind eye to what was going on.
The incendiary businessman turned president-elect went from asserting that Russia never carried out any hacking against any American political interests — despite evidence that they had — to acknowledging that the hacks took place but asserting that what happened was irrelevant.
For example, after the soon to be historical Obama administration announced a broad set of sanctions against Russian interests over the hacks, Trump commented, “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things.”
What, however, is more important for the U.S. to concern itself with then the fact that a historically hostile foreign power waged a largely successful propaganda campaign that now has their guy about to assume the Oval Office?
And, if Trump is innocent of the Russians’ plots, then why won’t he acknowledge the seriousness of what’s happened?
Reich answered quite simply, writing, “Follow the money. Always follow the money.”
‘Over the years… friends of Putin have financed Trump’s projects and lent billions of dollars to Trump’s enterprises. In 2008, Donald Trump Jr., told a real estate conference “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets,” and continued, “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”‘
As Reich continued, “the financial ties don’t end there.”
‘Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, came up through the ranks at Exxon by managing the company’s Russia account. After becoming CEO, Exxon bet billions on Russia’s vast oil resources through a partnership with Russian oil giant Rosneft, owned partly by the Kremlin. Putin himself attended the 2011 signing ceremony for the deal.’
Reich’s full post is featured below. Reich served as U.S. Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton.
Featured Image via Win McNamee/Getty Images.