WASHINGTON — Things are moving so fast that we already have forgotten that just a few days ago we learned the FBI thought there is such a high probability that Donald Trump is a Russian asset it opened an active investigation of the president of the United States.
Here are some of the reasons that convinced the FBI that Trump could be a viable threat to the security of this country.
Trump hoped and still hopes someday to build the world’s largest Trump Tower in Moscow. These efforts continued long after he declared for the White House. Trump offered Russian leader Vladimir Putin the penthouse apartment for free once it was built.
Trump sold condos and large estates to Russians for huge profits that made no sense in the real estate world. Money laundering was widely thought to be a likely motive. Trump is friends with Russian oligarchs with checkered legal histories.
Time after time Trump has expressed admiration for and kinship with Putin, who runs the country that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agree is America’s most dangerous enemy.
When what the FBI called “incontrovertible” evidence was presented to Trump that Russia actively interfered in the 2016 elections and continues to this day to interfere in our elections, Trump said he believed Putin’s denials.
Trump’s son and top campaign members met at Trump Tower in June of 2016 with Russian agents, hoping to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Trump’s longtime friend and unofficial campaign adviser Roger Stone knew from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that Russia possessed stolen documents from Clinton’s campaign. Longtime Trump lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen testified Trump was told of this by Stone.
Putin, who wants a smaller U.S. military presence around the world, advised Trump to cancel military exercises with South Korea last year to appease North Korean dictators Kim Jong Un. Trump did so.
(Trump went from vowing to bring “fire and fury” on North Korea and threatening to “totally destroy” the country, to claiming that Kim Jong Un writes him love letters and that they are best friends.)
Russia says Trump asked for advice on how to deal with North Korea.
A key Putin goal is to defang NATO. Trump has consistently undermined and ridiculed NATO.
Trump let top Russian spies into the Oval Office with no U.S. officials there. America learned about this from Russian state TV media.
Trump has had several one-on-one meetings with Putin with no U.S. officials in the room. To this day, they say they don’t know what the two men discussed.
Top members of Trump’s campaign repeatedly lied about contacts they had with Russian agents. After Trump gained the GOP nomination in 2016, the GOP platform suddenly acquired language conciliatory to Russia over its aggression against Ukraine.
Convicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort gave secret polling data about the election to Russians.
When Congress tried to impose tougher economic sanctions against Russia for interfering in the U.S. elections (and also continuing to invade Crimea and war against Ukraine), Trump tried to block them. For once, Congress went ahead despite Trump’s protests.
It is in Russia’s interest to undermine Americans’ respect for their institutions. But it wasn’t until the FBI began investigating Trump and his ties to Russia that Trump began his full-out assault on the FBI, its competence, its independence and its fairness.
Trump fired the FBI director for lack of loyalty to Trump personally and then the deputy director 26 days before he would have been eligible for his pension earned by more than two decades of service as an FBI agent. Trump denounced the Department of Justice by demeaning and ultimately firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself in the Russia investigation. Trump then demanded an investigation of the investigators investigating him and his predilection for Russia.
And then Trump began an all-out assault against special counsel Robert Mueller for investigating Russia’s attack on U.S. democracy. He demanded that “real Americans” (his supporters) disavow Mueller and the Russian investigation, which he called a “scam.”
Whatever Mueller finds (beyond gaining indictments of 30 or more people) and whether or not Trump is ever called to account for anything, the facts are that Trump has been extraordinarily friendly and helpful to dangerous adversary of the U.S., the Russian government. Why?
Email Ann McFeatters at email@example.com.