LONDON — The poet Rupert Brooke voiced the exhilaration of those Britons who welcomed the war in 1914 as a chance to escape monotonous normality, “as swimmers into cleanness leaping.” They got four years mired in Flanders’ mud. In a 2016 referendum, Britons voted, 52 percent to 48 percent, for the exhilaration of emancipation from the European Union’s gray bureaucratic conformities. They thereby leapt into a quagmire of negotiations with an EU determined to make separation sufficiently painful to discourage other nations from considering it.
Two blockbuster news reports have added ominous new dimensions to the already disturbing issue of President Donald Trump’s interactions with Russia’s government. The New York Times reported Friday that early in Trump’s presidency, the FBI was concerned enough about his aggressive attacks on the Russia probe that it launched an investigation into whether he was working against America’s interests on behalf of Moscow.