Brunswick Beacon, 04.07.22
Did FDR, in his 1940 campaign, ask Hitler to dig up dirt on Wendell Willkie? Did Ike, in 1952, ask Stalin to go after Adlai Stevenson? Did Bush, in 2004, ask Bin Laden to smear John Kerry? No. It never occurred to them to trade favors with America’s enemies. Donald Trump has done it twice.
The first time was July 27, 2016. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” said Trump, seeking dirt on Hillary Clinton. Russian hackers attacked Clinton’s private server later that day. The American intelligence community and the United States Senate concluded that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump win.
Trump just asked Putin to do it again.
Putin’s war crimes in Ukraine include bombing schools, maternity wards and buildings marked “children.” The civilized world calls Putin a war criminal. Trump calls Putin “a friend of mine” and trades favors with him.
Last week Trump said, "As long as Putin is not exactly a fan of our country…I think he should release it” referring to whatever Putin can come up with to support Trump’s claim that Hunter Biden took improper payments from Russians.
CNN, Politifact and USA Today fact-checked and found no evidence that he did. Still, Trump is eager to exploit Putin’s hatred for America to feed his own narcissism, even if he helps Putin divide and weaken us. Russian State Television returned the favor, saying it’s time to “again help our partner Trump become president.”
But Trump should be careful about asking Putin to release things. A federal judge just found it likely that “Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct” Congress on January 6, 2021. What if Putin finds the missing White House call logs for the seven hours when Trump’s mob stormed the Capitol?
War criminals make famously fickle friends.