New Revelations Fuel Both Sides in Trump-Russia Controversy

USA

When it comes to the Trump-Russia controversy, there are many different possibilities to be considered. Those who suspect that the President harbors the most sinister motives within his political ambitions and dealings are certain that he requested and received assistance from Vladimir Putin in securing the 2016 election.

Trump’s staunchest supporters, meanwhile, contend that the President was never aware of pre-election contacts between his advisors and Russian officials. That is, if contact with Russia was made at all.

In viewing the facts, collusion has yet to be proven, and no evidence points to the fact that the 2016 election results were anything but legitimate. However, the President himself admitted that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn acted deceptively in his representation of dealings with Russia to Vice President Mike Pence.

Clearly, pre-election contact with Russia was made by members of the Trump camp, and the contact was significant enough to warrant the firing of Michael Flynn. Even if Flynn’s ouster was prompted solely by his deception of the Vice President, Flynn obviously believed that some aspect of his communication with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was worth lying about.

Now, this does not indicate that Donald Trump himself had any knowledge that one of, and likely several, of his underlings were in contact with Russia prior to the election. But, recent reports that 18 correspondences, both phone calls and emails, were made between Flynn, several other Trump aides, and Russia in the seven months before his election add a significant layer to this story.

To be clear, I am generally of the mindset that the Trump-Russia connection has been hugely overblown to stoke the flames of fear among a largely uninformed liberal base. Anything short of direct manipulation of the election results means, in my mind, that the media’s reaction to the Trump-Russia narrative has been greatly exaggerated. Trump’s order to bomb valuable sites held by the Russian-backed Syrian government shows that he is not in the Kremlin’s pocket. Admittedly, Vladimir Putin’s words should be taken lightly, but he has adamantly held that Russia did not meddle in the American election, even stating that he could provide a transcript exonerating Trump from such allegations.

However, it is important to understand as clearly as possible where any U.S. elected representative stands with respect to Russia. For the President, this is obviously true in the utmost. While we are no longer living in the Cold War era, to forget the adversarial feelings long-held between Russia and the United States is foolish. For these reasons, even Trump’s most avid supporters should channel their inner skeptic when it comes to this matter, if only for credibility’s sake.

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