Whether the Russian government has kompromat on President Donald Trump has become virtually irrelevant as Trump’s presidency marches onward, argues Michael A. Cohen in The Boston Globe.
What matters now are the real world consequences of a president who, for whatever the reasons, approaches foreign policy with an allegiance only to himself and, increasingly, the desire of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Wittingly or not, the President of the United States is an agent of the Russian government, and this cannot be permitted to continue, Cohen writes.
In Helsinki, at a summit that never should have taken place, President Trump sided with an authoritarian dictator, and against his own intelligence agencies and the Department of Justice on the question of whether Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election.
Numerous indictments against Russian operatives reveal, in painstaking detail, the extent to which Putin’s cronies tried and succeeded to interfere in American politics and poison American democracy.
All of this is consistent with the unanimous view of America’s intelligence agencies — one backed up just last week by Trump’s own Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats — that Russia was not only responsible for the 2016 hacking, but is plotting to do it again in 2018 and 2020.
Yet, on Monday Trump dismissed it all. The president was asked if he believed US intelligence agencies or the former KGB agent, unrepentant liar, and murderer standing next to him. “He just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said in reference to Putin. “I don’t see any reason why it would be.” Then Trump launched into an incoherent rant in which he blamed the Democratic Party for the hack and asked repeatedly about the “DNC server,” which is a fevered argument of election-hacking truthers.
Why does he do this? The answer to this question is not so significant as the consequences of his words and actions:
The why is less important than the practical impact — which is that Trump seems more interested in safeguarding the reputation of Russia than he is in safeguarding US national security interests. These are not the normal actions of a president loyal to the Constitution he swore to uphold. They are more consistent with someone who has actively betrayed his country and continues to do so.
It cannot be permitted to continue, says Cohen — Congress must step up to the plate and address what has become an increasingly dangerous president.
This is as grave a political crisis as any we’ve seen in our lifetimes — a US president more loyal to his own ego and to a foreign rival of the United States than to the country he leads. Trump is a clear and present danger to US national security. Every American needs to demand that Congress do something, anything, to end this madness. This can’t go on.