Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Donald Trump flouted with treason — and revived loud calls for his impeachment — when he flat out blamed his own country, the United States, for its terrible relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia, and for the nth time denied any Russian meddling in the election that made him president.
In an unprecedented and disgusting display of what some termed outright treason, Trump again declared he didn’t believe Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016. This lie runs contrary to the unanimous findings of the entire U.S. Intelligence Community. It also flies in the face of Special Counsel Robert Mueller indictment last week of 12 Russian spies belonging to the Russian military’s intelligence agency for their role in hacking the Democrats and Hillary Clinton during the campaign.
“I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Putin, explaining why he said there was no Russian meddling. “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
Trump set the stage for this seditious announcement by tweeting hours earlier he blamed the United States — and not Russia — for the adversarial relationship among both countries. “Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt!” tweeted Trump.
The refusal of “Putin’s Poodle” to even snarl at Putin, his Russian master, led to the hastag “#TreasonSumit” going viral with thousands of tweets condemning Trump’s treason. The anger was loud and bipartisan. And while only a few Republicans called out Trump for betraying the country he’s supposed to defend, the Republican leadership led by Sen. Mitch McConnell remained predictably silent about this latest scandal involving their president.
The GOP is not expected to issue a statement condemning Trump for his betrayal of trust. McConnell could only say in response to Trump’s outlandish defense of Putin that “The Russians are not our friends. I’ve said that repeatedly, I say it again today. And I have complete confidence in our intelligence community and the findings that they have announced.” He refused to answer questions from the media.
Dan Coats, the current Director of National Intelligence (DNI), blasted Trump and Coats and defended the U.S. Intelligence Community’s assessment about the 2016 election in a statement following Trump’s meeting with Putin.
“We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security,” said Coats.
John Brennan, who served as the CIA director under President Barack Obama, tweeted that the news conference was an impeachable offense, and “nothing short of treasonous.”
“Donald Trump’s news conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
Former CIA Director John Brennan said Trump’s statements at the news conference were enough for Congress to consider impeachment.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who rarely rebukes Trump’s controversial statements, said “there is no question that Russia interfered in our elections.” He called on Trump to recognize that Russia “is not our ally.”
“The President must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals,” said Ryan.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called Trump’s servility “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”
“It is tempting to describe the news conference as a pathetic rout — as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience,” said McCain. “But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician.
“These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.
“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are — a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Thomas Pickering was angered and dumbfounded. “It’s a breathtaking denial of something that is so clearly obviously true that it represents the epitome of President Trump’s effort at self-promotion over defending the national interest of the United States,” he said.
Trump’s refusal to accept the truth denies the conclusion of six top U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. In early January 2017, the DNI released a report concluding with “high confidence” that Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.”
Putin’s goals, the report said, were to “undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency” — and to boost Trump’s election chances.
“This is a disgraceful moment,” said former Secretary of State John Kerry. “The president’s party knows better. I know they do. I served with many of them. America needs them to speak out with clarity and conviction not just in this news cycle, but until there’s common sense governing America’s foreign policy.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader, said that in the entire history of the U.S. “Americans have never seen a president of the United States support an American adversary the way President Trump has supported President Putin.”
“A single, ominous question now hangs over the White House: What could possibly cause President Trump to put the interests of Russia over those of the United States? Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous behavior is the possibility that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump.”
He revealed four specific actions he said Republicans should take: increase sanctions on Russia; demand that Trump’s national security team testify before Congress; defend the Department of Justice and other intelligence agencies and demand that Trump press Putin to extradite the 12 Russian intelligence agents who were indicted by Mueller.
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