Why Didn't They Tell You?

Dr. FRANK MARTINS COMMENTARY ON HISTORICAL, SOCIAL & ECONOMIC ISSUES OF OUR TIME

… that the continual attempt to connect Trump with Russia is ludicrous?

The continual attempt to link President Trump to Russia is a laughable absurdity. In spite of the fact that the Mueller Report definitively declared that there was no evidence of a conspiracy (read the page from the summary of the Special Counsel Report shown as Featured Image above and a few pages from the full redacted report issued by Mueller under References below; pertinent passages are highlighted in yellow) between Trump or the Trump Campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, some highly placed individuals are still asserting or implying that Trump colluded with the Russians or was elected because of Russian interference on behalf of Trump; Mueller investigated whether there was a conspiracy rather than collusion because collusion is not a crime, according to Mueller. In recent testimony before Congress, former FBI Director James Comey intimated that there was some nefarious connection between President Trump and Russia. A few days ago (September 29, 2020), Hillary Clinton asserted that Trump knows that he was elected with the help of Russians. Furthermore, in the minds of many (probably millions) Americans, Trump and Putin are in bed together.

Besides the fact that when the Special Counsel Investigation headed by Mueller began, there was no evidence indicating any crime or any conspiracy/collusion between Trump and the Russians, an understanding of Russia’s geo-political goals relative to Donald Trump’s actions and stated goals should have ruled out the possibility of the Russians’ pushing for Trump to be elected President of the United States. Donald Trump’s election in no way served the self-interest of the Russians. In fact, a case could be made for the contention that Trump’s being elected President of the United States was Russia’s worst nightmare.

Reasons Why Russian Collusion/Conspiracy with Trump Is Unlikely

  1. Trump’s announced intent to strengthen the U. S. military was not welcomed by Russian but had to be viewed with alarm. Again, it is ludicrous to think that Russia welcomed a militarily strong America. A militarily weak America is what Russia wanted and was more likely to get under a Clinton administration than under a Trump administration. Trump has followed through with his announced intent by building up the U. S. military as evidenced by the large increase in military spending. How does this square with the alleged continual intimacy between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin?   
  2. Donald Trump’s campaign was very pro-Israel. Trump put his promises in action by moving the U. S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and taking the U. S. out of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. I doubt that these moves endeared Trump to Putin.
  3. Donald Trump’s push for American energy independence puts the U. S. in direct competition with Russia which is a major exporter of oil and natural gas. Regardless to how you feel about it, the U. S. expanding fracking is not viewed by Russia as a good thing. Generally Democrats are against it; Biden said he would stop it but has equivocated a bit lately.
  4. The U. S. has supplied Ukraine with the lethal weapons, Javelin anti-tank missiles, needed to deter Russian aggression. The temporary withholding of $250 million of U. S. aid to Ukraine was the centerpiece of the argument for impeaching President Trump. The pause in releasing military aid to Ukraine in 2019 did not put Ukraine’s security in jeopardy because the weapon sales had been approved and taken place before the impeachment hearings and did not affect those military hardware sales. Even witnesses hostile to the President, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, for example, acknowledged that during the first two years of the Trump administration lethal weapons had been supplied thereby strengthening Ukraine’s defense capabilities, something which the Obama administration denied the Ukrainians. Do you think the Russians were elated over this development? I think not. If Putin and Trump had been playing footsie, this action would have been enough to put an end to it.
  5. Under President Trump, the role of the United Nations in dictating U. S. positions on foreign policy has been diminished considerably. This cannot be a development that Russia has viewed favorably.
  6. It seems that historically Russia and the Communist Party generally have targeted the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party, because their outlook, platforms, and in general, world view, have been viewed as more congruent with the Russian world view than those of the Republican Party. One of the important factors in breaking the Republican Party monopoly on black votes in the 1930’s was Russia supplying resources to the Democratic Party apparatus through its Communist Party USA. Wilson Record concluded that the civil rights platform adopted by the Democratic Party in 1948 was essentially that articulated by the Communist Party. Recently it has been revealed that the person responsible for coming up with the disinformation in the Steel Dossier, the document used to secure warrants to spy on the Trump campaign and that led to the multiple year investigation of the President, was a Russian operative. Furthermore, Hillary Clinton paid for this “opposition research”. In the summer of 2016, the then Director of the CIA John Brennan relayed to President Obama that Hillary Clinton was cooking up something to connect Trump with Russians in an alleged attempt to influence the presidential election of 2016 in Trump’s favor.

Lessons That Should Have Been Learned

It is fashionable to say that Donald Trump is a divisive figure. Yet what could have been more divisive than when right after the election and before inauguration, massive demonstrations against President-Elect Trump began with people screaming and shouting, “He’s not my President.”? Immediately, these demonstrators alienated almost half the country and the 63 million people who voted for Trump. The only way this divisiveness can be attributed to Trump is to say he caused it by getting himself elected President of the United States. The Resistance shifted into full-gear. To this very day, people are saying that Trump is not a legitimate President. The main proof of his illegitimacy was the allegation that Trump won the election through colluding with Russia. That was the clarion cry for three years.

The three years of promoting what Greg Jarrett has called the “Russian Hoax” and the subsequent impeachment have exacted a heavy toll on the nation. It clearly contributed to divisiveness. In many ways, it crippled efficient and stable governance. Though the economy did well before the COVID-19 epidemic, it could have done better. The one area of the economy that that did not take off as it should have is real investment. I am not talking about the buying and selling of stocks and bonds but things like construction of new factories, expanding business operations, and implementing new innovations. Such real investments look for political stability. The decrease in taxes and regulations was good for real investment but it was dampened by the uncertainty about how long these policies would stand, given the threat and actual impeachment of the President. The Republican majority in the Senate was not large enough to ensure that the Democrats could not have peeled off enough Republicans to remove the President from office. Though the majority of incumbent presidents have been reelected, the continual onslaughts against this President put that in doubt. When there is robust investment, the largest gains accrue to workers. Greater real investment increases worker productivity and increases in wages follow. It’s like clockwork. Given this atmosphere of uncertainty, the President’s hand in negotiating trade deals has been weakened. China may reason that maybe they should wait and see if a president who does not strike as hard a bargain as Trump is elected.

Our relationship with Russia has been damaged by this multiple-year investigation into alleged collaboration between Trump and Russia. Acknowledging that Russia is a geopolitical threat to the U. S. (an assessment by Presidential Candidate Romney during a 2012 presidential debate and ridiculed by President Obama and other Democrats) does not mean that we cannot, or should not, have a somewhat amicable relationship with Russia. Indeed we have had that type of relationship in a number of ways since the fall of the Soviet Union. U. S. and Russian scientists have collaborated as evidenced by Russian scientists even spending time at our national research laboratories. After President Obama discontinued the U. S. space shuttle flights, the U. S. had to hitch rides with Russia to the Space Station. We now have our own transportation there. And lastly, and very importantly, Russia is a major nuclear and military power that we need to have continual dialogue with. Such dialogue does not mean that we are in agreement on all, or most, things, but such relationships are necessary in an interconnected world. We had that with Russia even during the Soviet era when the relationship was much more adversarial.  

Please note that nothing said above denies that Russians interfered in America’s electoral process in 2016; they had done it before 2016 and will do it again. What is denied is that Trump or his campaign conspired or colluded, explicitly or implicitly, with the Russians in an attempt to influence the 2016 election.

Accept the truth and the truth will make you free.

References

Mueller Report, Pages 1 & 2

As set forth in detail in this report, the Special Counsel’s investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election principally through two operations. First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working on the Clinton Campaign and then released stolen documents. The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign. Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

Mueller Report, page 9

… while the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges. Among other things, the evidence was not sufficient to charge any Campaign official as an unregistered agent of the Russian government or other Russian principal. And our evidence about the June 9, 2016 meeting and WikiLeaks’s releases of hacked materials was not sufficient to charge a criminal campaign-finance violation. Further, the evidence was not sufficient to charge that any member of the Trump Campaign conspired with representatives of the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 election.

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