Connecting the dots on a few of Monday’s news items in advance of tonight’s State of the Union speech. These are things you WON’T hear about from President Trump.
- CIA Director Mike Pompeo declared that Russian operatives are continuing their work to influence elections around the world, including this year’s U.S. congressional contests.
- The Trump administration announced that it will not impose congressionally-mandated sanctions intended to punish Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election,
- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that “poll after poll says that frankly no one cares” about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of whether the Trump campaign was aware of or participated in it.
- The House Intelligence Committee split along partisan lines in voting to release a classified, Republican-written report that is said to accuse people inside the FBI of conspiring to undermine the president. The committee’s Republican majority declined to release a Democratic counter-report.
Put all that together and what emerges looks more-than-suspiciously like a coverup on behalf of the president and the Russian government.
While the nation’s spy services – now headed by a Trump appointee – continue to insist that Russia ran a covert campaign to disrupt our last election and intends to do it again, the president is giving Russia a pass and waving off the threat of future election interference.
In the White House press room, the president’s spokeswoman trivializes serious inquiries about the Russian campaign and ridicules the journalists who pose them. On Capitol Hill, the president’s allies have ginned up and plan to release a report that seems designed to discredit the Mueller investigation and are suppressing a Democratic-written rebuttal.
Only a few months ago, Russia’s bad acts were so apparent to lawmakers that sanctions legislation was supported by all but five of Congress’ 535 members. Now, Republican congressional leaders are all-but-silent in response to Trump’s refusal to follow through and actually punish Vladimir Putin’s government.
Meanwhile, contrary to Sarah Sanders’s assertion, it’s apparent that a lot of people care about what Russia did and think Trump is at least complicit in it. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll indicates that about half of Americans believe that the Trump campaign cooperated with Russia’s election meddling in 2016; almost as many think the president is trying to obstruct Mueller’s investigation.
The weight of the evidence suggests those people have it right.
Office: Common Cause National
Tags: Executive Ethics