Donald Trump’s strange relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin never made much sense. He walks around dropping little hints, much like a man having an adulterous affair, at times trying hard. At other times, wanting to be found. In retrospect, everything will fall into place. Trump has done his best to scare people into voting for him. Truth be told, there really are monsters under the bed.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) screwed up. Now, Attorney General William Barr has set himself in stone as its head, he has been perfectly willing to take the Donald Trump ride all the way to a full dictatorship. Yet, the real problem was before Barr’s time.
The DOJ never finished its investigation into the president’s relationship with Russia, according to The New York Times. Of course, Special Counsel Robert Mueller III:
‘[He secured] three dozen indictments and convictions of some top Trump advisers, and he produced a report that outlined Russia’s wide-ranging operations to help get Mr. Trump elected and the president’s efforts to impede the inquiry.’
The problem was that the investigation didn’t look deeply into Trump’s ties to Russia. Some of the top FBI counterintelligence investigators believed the president posed a national security threat. They even opened an investigation into it. Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein halted them with no explanation of why. Instead, he insisted that it was a lost cause.
The newly-released bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee came the closest to revealing the answers:
‘Senators depicted extensive ties between Trump associates and Russia, identified a close associate of a former Trump campaign chairman as a Russian intelligence officer and outlined how allegations about Mr. Trump’s encounters with women during trips to Moscow could be used to compromise him. But the senators acknowledged they lacked access to the full picture, particularly any insight into Mr. Trump’s finances.’
Now that Trump has passed through his first term with no real consequences to his blatantly illegal actions, he has begun to publicly flaunt his acts. He called for “law and order,” but plenty of people recognized it for what it truly was: overthrowing the rule of law.
Putin just sent his planes to mess with a US Air Force B-52 bomber over the Black Sea in international waters. A statement from the US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Public Affairs Commander General Heff Harringian. It indicated that the two Russian aircraft made an “unsafe, unprofessional” interception of the US jet.
The Russian pilots crossed a mere 100 feet in front of the bomber many times, generating turbulence and thus, “restricting its ability to maneuver:”
‘Actions like these increase the potential for midair collisions, are unnecessary, and inconsistent with good airmanship and international flight rules.’
‘While the Russian aircrafts were operating in international airspace, they jeopardized the safety of flight of the aircraft involved. We expect them to operate within international standards set to ensure safety and prevent accidents.’
In spite of Russia interfering in the 2016 US presidential election, the new American president stayed mum. He aggressively refused to admit the Russians helped him win, and they did by
- Releasing Secretary Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails at crucial moments
- Social media propaganda
- Funneling propaganda through television
- Advising Trump
- Maniuplating FB analytics
Rosenstein shut down the investigation because he said that there “lacked sufficient reason” to hold one. He did not tell McCabe that he was closing the investigation down. So, the FBI assumed that Mueller was carrying on the Trump probe. McCabe said had he known that Mueller had to halt the investigation, he would have instructed the FBI to take it on:
‘We opened this case in May 2017 because we had information that indicated a national security threat might exist, specifically a counterintelligence threat involving the president and Russia. I expected that issue and issues related to it would be fully examined by the special counsel team. If a decision was made not to investigate those issues, I am surprised and disappointed. I was not aware of that.’
In May 2017, Rosenstein announced that he told Special Counsel Mueller:
‘[Examine] any links and/or coordination between the Russian government [and Trump’s campaign.’
However, Rosenstein privately told Mueller just to look into whether he found anyone “broke the law in connection with Russia’s 2016 election interference.” Rosenstein said he told Mueller, according to journalist Jeffrey Toobin:
‘I love Ken Starr, but this was a fishing expedition. Don’t do that. This is a criminal investigation. Do your job, and then shut it down.’
‘It was first and foremost a counterintelligence case. Could the president actually be the point of coordination between the campaign and the Russian government? Could the president actually be maintaining some sort of inappropriate relationship with our most significant adversary in the world?’
Agent Peter Strzok talked about counterintelligence investigation into Trump, but that line of questioning fell through when he sent tweets and emails. McCabe said:
‘It was the most enormous exhale of my life. I had been holding my breath [since the night Mr. Comey was fired.]’
It appeared that Trump continued the discussion with Moscow to build a Trump Tower. The Senate report also included references to Trump’s possible:
‘[C]ompromising encounters with women in Moscow in 1996 and 2013.’
When, McCabe left the FBI, he still believed Mr. Mueller was investigating Mr. Trump’s personal and financial ties to Russia.
New York Times journalist Michael Schmidt’s book Donald Trump v. The United States: Inside the Struggle to Stop a President, Schmidt comes out Tuesday, according to Random House publishing.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.