Sunday, July 24, 2016
Is Donald Trump Putin's Siberian Candidate?
We know that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin have an unusually warm relationship.
We know that Trump greatly admires the Russian strongman, and that Putin feels the same way about him.
And although they do make an odd couple, I have always assumed it was just one power hungry narcissist, admiring the other.
But what if it was something more sinister?
What if Putin had some kind of strange hold on him, and was trying to influence the result of the American election, to help his pet or his puppet win?
Because this e-mail leak, just before the Democratic convention is due to begin, is clearly designed to help Trump.
Top officials at the Democratic National Committee criticized and mocked Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the primary campaign, even though the organization publicly insisted that it was neutral in the race, according to committee e-mails made public by WikiLeaks Friday.
By angering Bernie Sanders' supporters, and making it harder for Hillary Clinton to unite her party.
And this should set off alarm bells.
While WikiLeaks did not reveal the source of the leak, the committee said last month that Russian hackers had penetrated its computer system.
Because if you add that to Trump's recent statement that he might not defend NATO countries.
Or the fact that his campaign manager Paul Manafort worked for many years for the pro-Russian Ukrainian premier Viktor Yanukovych, whose overthrow triggered the civil war in that country.
Or consider Trump's shadowy financial dealings with the so-called Russian Mafia, the powerful oligarchs who surround Putin.
One really has to wonder whether that dangerous demagogue is, as Paul Krugman suggests, Putin's Siberian Candidate.
If elected, would Donald Trump be Vladimir Putin’s man in the White House? This should be a ludicrous, outrageous question. After all, he must be a patriot — he even wears hats promising to make America great again.
But we’re talking about a ludicrous, outrageous candidate. And the Trump campaign’s recent behavior has quite a few foreign policy experts wondering just what kind of hold Mr. Putin has over the Republican nominee, and whether that influence will continue if he wins.
Wonder what dirt Putin might have on Trump to make him sound like his American ambassador?
Or wonder again why Trump won't release his taxes, and who or what is he trying to hide?
His money or his friends?
Or wonder whether Jeffrey Goldberg is also right, when he suggests that Hillary Clinton is really running against the Russian dictator.
The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.
Donald Trump, should he be elected president, would bring an end to the postwar international order, and liberate dictators, first and foremost his ally Vladimir Putin, to advance their own interests. The moral arc of the universe is long, and, if Trump is elected, it will bend in the direction of despotism and darkness.
You know, I'm not a conspiracy theory buff, I have no time for Cold War politics, and I'm not a big fan of NATO. It often strikes me as an organization looking for a war to justify its existence. Which needless to say is dangerous.
But Vladimir Putin is a former KGB agent, and a ruthless political thug, and if he has some kind of hold on a man who could end up in the White House we all need to know.
For that would be even more dangerous, it could lead to absolute disaster.
Even the end of the world as we know it.
And Paul Krugman is right.
At some level, Mr. Trump’s motives shouldn’t matter. We should be horrified at the spectacle of a major-party candidate casually suggesting that he might abandon American allies — just as we should be horrified when that same candidate suggests that he might welsh on American financial obligations. But there’s something very strange and disturbing going on here, and it should not be ignored.
Something strange is going on. It is too big to ignore.
The Democrats must use it to smear Donald Trump as a Russian agent.
And use it as one more good reason he should never be President...
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