Russia and President Trump versus the world

Russia and President Trump versus the world

Russia and President Trump versus the world
February 16
09:00 2017

The Editorial Board

Next Monday, it will be a month since Donald Trump became our president. This week, he’s had to fight for his credibility more than ever before, gradually compromising the U.S. government in the process.

On Feb. 13, Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security advisor after serving for only three weeks. His resignation happened after it came to light that last year he made telephone calls to Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S., regarding the American sanctions on Russia.

For the past month, Flynn denied any considerable conversations with the ambassador to television interviewers, Vice President Mike Pence and other White House officials. According to CNN, on Jan. 26, Trump was told by the Justice Department that Flynn was lying about the extent of his telephone calls, due to evidence from a former administration official.

According to two current administration officials, Pence didn’t find out Flynn was misleading him until Feb. 9. Last month, Pence even told CBS News that the emerging details were simply “bizarre rumors that [had] swirled around the candidacy.”

Because the Justice Department began fearing that Flynn was now susceptible to Russian blackmail, Flynn filed a letter of resignation.

In his letter, he admitted to holding “numerous phone calls with foreign counterparts, ministers and ambassadors.” After weeks of being dishonest, he finally claimed that “these calls were to facilitate a smooth transition and begin [building necessary] relationships between the president, his advisors and foreign leaders.” Ironically enough, it was his own obtrusive way of preserving our national security, even if it required the president covering it up and lying to his vice president about it.

This also calls into question why WikiLeaks wouldn’t have picked up on these events sooner, considering how the organization claimed to be “nonpartisan” in their approach to hacking the Democratic National Convention emails of last summer. Despite claims from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that his intel does “not [come from] the Russian government,” Russian code in various hacked documents all point to Vladimir Putin and company being primary sources.

In fact, on Tuesday, the allegedly nonpartisan publishers tweeted that a “destabilization campaign” by the press, Democrats and American spies was the reason Michael Flynn had to resign.

Let’s also take into account that in 2012, when WikiLeaks began running out of funds, Julian Assange hosted a television show through Russia’s state-funded news network. To this day, Assange has never disclosed how much Russia paid him to continue working.

On Tuesday, intercepted calls and phone records showed that multiple members of Trump’s presidential campaign had conversed with Russian officials over the course of the past year. All of the anonymous American officials who were interviewed by the New York Times revealed that the conversations were dwindling in recent weeks due to Trump’s overly optimistic rhetoric about Putin and how that was increasing public suspicions about his administration.

According to federal law enforcement officials, the FBI is the leading investigator in this series of call logs, travel records and banking receipts between “Trump’s associates and the Russian government.”

On Wednesday morning, Trump stormed all over his Twitter account, targeting the Times, the Washington Post and the FBI for their investigations of domestic politics.

It’s ironic that he said the Times was “failing,” especially since the publication added over 41,000 paid subscriptions after the 2016 election came to a close. This was the largest subscription increase for the Times ever since they introduced their paywall in 2011.

More importantly, Trump’s early morning actions confirmed that many of his associates will most likely be implicated in the FBI investigation – however soon that may be. It also confirms Trump’s “fake news” campaign and how he seeks to direct the public away from credible information to just mindlessly follow his leadership.

If that’s not enough, Trump is bent on finding a replacement for the Iran nuclear deal that Barack Obama brokered internationally. The truce resulted in Iran pledging to never “seek, develop or acquire nuclear weapons” ever again.

But Trump has different plans, according to Reuters. On Wednesday afternoon, Trump said to the press that the deal is “one of the worst” he’s ever seen, declaring his administration “has already imposed new sanctions on Iran” and he “will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing” nuclear weaponry.

In addition, Trump offered the national security advisor position to Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of the U.S. Central Command, who spent formative years in Iran under his father’s advisement of the Iranian military. In response to the offer, Harward said he needed a few days to “think it over.”

Only time will be able to tell how deep the corruption in the Trump administration goes. Considering how he deflects the Federal Bureau with his BlackBerry, and that his colleagues are quick to jump ship whenever accusations transform into realities, the U.S./Russia alliance is now Trump’s only means of hiding deception any longer.

Featured Illustration: Samuel Wiggins

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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