Now that Trump is pulled in two critical directions (North Korea and Syria), the chatter in the press about Russian collusion has quieted down somewhat, while Trump tries to convince us of the bigger story here: surveillance by Obama and Susan Rice. The New York Times tried to press him on this in a recent interview and asked for evidence, which he, as of yet, still hasn’t provided. Nunes apparently saw it in the White House (of all places), but Nunes still hasn’t shared it fully with his committee, and now has taken a back seat anyway, so the chances of anyone believing that daft little smoke screen is hopefully on its way out.
I became mesmerized by the NYT interview as they printed the entire transcript of the interview and you can see how Trump’s mind works. As we all know, the syntax is shockingly demented. You have to go hunt for the more complex sentences (main clause and sub clauses) because everything is one affirmative sentence (main clause only) after another, which is compensated for, I guess, by bigly hyperbole.
We all know that Trump hasn’t said a single negative thing about Russia and Putin yet, whereas he has managed to piss off a great number of world leaders already and there’s nothing new in that story either.
But the Syrian tragedy is a test. Putin is in bed with Assad, so if you deal with Assad, you’ll be dealing with Putin, too, and therein lies the test. And we don’t know all the details: if Assad did this, did Putin know about it beforehand and are Assad and Putin colluding to provoke Trump and start another war in the Middle East? This would ramp up the refugee crisis and pressure on Europe even more and would weaken both the Middle East and Europe which is what Putin wants. And please remember WWI: when one domino stone falls, more will follow and before you know it, this will indeed turn into a world conflict.
Again, I may not be telling you anything new. The reason for this blog is that I do think Trump has committed treason because the moment Russia becomes the topic of conversation, even in the context of a gas attack on innocent children, Trump controls his verbal diarrhea vis à vis Putin and turns into Mr. Diplomat. Take a look at this (verbatim fragments from the NYT interview):
TRUMP: Well, I think it’s a very sad day for Russia because they’re aligned, and in this case, all information points to Syria that they did this. Why they did this, who knows? That’s a level — first of all, they weren’t supposed to have this. Obama said, “It’s all cleared away.” Well, that’s another thing he didn’t do. This was a big moment, a big moment in the Middle East was when Obama drew the red line in the sand, and it was immediately violated, and did nothing. That was a big moment in the Middle East. I know you’re not going to report it, but — that was a big, bad moment in the Middle East.
Hmm, very sad day for Russia? Or is it sad for Donald Trump and Putin that Russia is now implicated in a heinous attack, the new Axis of Evil being Assad, Putin and Iran? It’s a sad day for the Donald because now he has to act, and possibly act against Russia which he doesn’t want to do, because they have a shitload of intelligence on Trump. Flynn was subject to blackmail by Russia, but Trump’s language betrays he may be subject to blackmail, too.
Please notice the language he uses to describe the Assad-Putin connection: “they’re aligned”. That’s a sissy way to describe an Axis of Evil, and scandalous when you think Russia has been bombing Syrians, too, and apparently worse than Assad: According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, “Russian air strikes have killed at least 1,700 civilians, including more than 200 children. The Syrian Network for Human Rights puts the number even higher, and in its report stated that Russian attacks have killed more civilians than either ISIS or Assad’s army, i.e. 4700 civilians, about a quarter of them children).” (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_military_intervention_in_Syria)
So not a single word of criticism (aside from the fact that it’s very sad for Russia), and then Trump starts the blame game again, and resorts to kindergarten bullying tactics, blaming Obama who left him with this Middle East mess. No one listened to Obama, Trump says (making Obama look like a loser) and it was a big, bad moment in the Middle East … but much worse of course for all those civilians Putin chased to their graves, yet he doesn’t go there at all. Not a single word or reference. Obviously, Obama is a far worse leader than Assad and Putin combined. It’s a shame that the NYT reporter didn’t delve deeper into Putin’s relationship with Assad (and Trump), but instead, goes on the defense, covering for the NYT.
THRUSH: We both reported on it extensively. And we grilled both [the former White House press secretary] Jay Carney and the president —
Trump ignores the point from the failing NYT and then tries to sound like Mr. Humanitarian:
TRUMP: If that were violated, you would not have had this happened. It couldn’t have been any worse in the Middle East, because you have five million people, now they’re all over the place, including millions of deaths, in my opinion —
Those are the five million refugees that have been uprooted. Even though the US destabilized the Middle East by going into Afghanistan and Iraq, under Trump we’re not willing to take in a single Syrian family because Trump has been feeding this rhetoric that’s very popular with his base, i.e. every refugee is a potential terrorist, just as every Muslim a potential terrorist, too. Never mind that some recent (mass) shootings in the US were committed by American white (supremacist) terrorists. So sorry, Mr. President, but we don’t trust you when you feign pity for those poor uprooted people “all over the place”, like Germany, worthy of credit, but none is given.
The NYT reporter then puts the interview back on the rails:
THRUSH: Is this the level of something you would contact Mr. Putin about, personally?
TRUMP: I never talk about what I do militarily. I’ve been complaining about that for years. In terms of Syria. I just don’t talk about it. People say, “Will you do something with Syria?” I just don’t talk about it.
Do you see how Trump ignores the question completely? He diverts attention from Putin and therefore covers for Putin.
The reporter will have nothing of it:
THRUSH: What about Russia’s role in all this in abetting the —
TRUMP: Well, I think it’s very disappointing. I think it’s very disappointing. Now this was done by — the information is, this was done by Syria purely. But anybody aligned with Syria — this is very disappointing.
AIDE: If we have any more questions about infrastructure, and then we just have to wrap up.
Abetting Assad, helping to kill people, trapping people in the hellhole that Syria has become is “very disappointing”. If Obama or Hillary were part of this, we’d hear words like disaster, mess, horrible etc. But he takes it a step further and goes out of his way to make sure he says nothing bad about Russia: Now this was done by — the information is, this was done by Syria purely. So Russia is not to blame. Phew. He modifies that with But anybody aligned with Syria — this is very disappointing. so we have the aligning again but he doesn’t condemn it, but keeps it intentionally vague, which is what you do when you don’t want to piss off someone who has the goods on you.
The Aide jumps in then, probably realizing that this is turning into a hot mess for Donnyboy.
It’s all in the language– and yes, there definitely is a whiff of treason in the air. We’re being played by Russia and Putin’s tentacles reach all the way into the Oval Office. We should be very worried, indeed.