This was a long time coming also, and the past two weeks have been a whirlwind of non-stop disconcerting news about our commander in chief and his ties to Russia. I absolutely have to editorialize, even though I usually just sort of report what I think is interesting, because you can’t write this stuff. So my editorializations will be in bold.
The suspected collusion with Russia on the part of Donald Trump began on the campaign trail, when he ‘jokingly’ asked Russia to interfere with the election and hack into government property to find Hilary Clinton’s emails. Come to find out, the Russians actually did interfere in the American election. Suddenly, it was looking like less of a joke.
Then both Michael Flynn and Jeff Sessions were removed, Flynn from his position as National Security Advisor and Sessions (though still Attorney General) had to recuse himself from Flynn’s investigation because he himself had questionable ties to Russia. The entire time his administration was in question, Trump never said a bad word about Vladimir Putin. In fact, he has praised the dictator on many occasions. This alone should have been enough, in my opinion, for the House and Senate Republicans to at least pull a little of their support. But in today’s America, unfortunately, partisanship is king.
This all happened months ago, but last week, the worrying saga continued. Russian officials visited the White House, and while no American press were allowed in to photograph the event, the Russian press was permitted to attend. At this meeting, Donald Trump personally leaked sensitive information about ISIS and US anti-terrorist strategies that could endanger the informants who risk their lives to give us this information. Whether he was trying to brag about having sensitive information or if he purposely handed over this intel is unclear, but both are equally plausible in my opinion. I’d say he was just impulsively egotistical and desperate to show off, were it not for what happened next. The very next day, Trump fired James Comey, the FBI Director who was investigating his ties to Russia. Ostensibly, Comey was fired for ‘mishandling’ the investigation into Hilary Clinton’s emails. Obviously, if it was about Comey’s handling of Clinton’s investigation, he’d have been fired as soon as Trump got into the White House. But it was clearly about Flynn and Russia, who for some reason Trump is determined to protect. However, sure enough, in a later interview with Lester Holt, Trump said that Comey was fired because of the Russia investigation. This alone raised eyebrows about obstruction of justice, but this week the 24-hour news cycle was packed with even more information and even possible hard evidence that could put Trump’s presidency in jeopardy.
It has now come to light that Comey wrote a memo, as many high ranking officials and FBI employees are wont to do, that detailed a meeting with Donald Trump before he was fired. Trump reportedly made everyone else, including Sessions and Pence leave the room before asking Comey to ‘let Flynn go’ -in other words, stop the investigation-on account of he (Flynn) being ‘a good guy.’ Trump also asked Comey to ‘swear loyalty to him.’ Like he’s some sort of king or dictator! Every time Trump does something questionable, his team’s only defense of his actions is to reiterate that he has the ‘authority’ to do whatever crazy thing he’s done. But having the ability to do something doesn’t automatically make it the right or prudent course of action. Also, this is America, a democracy where title doesn’t automatically guarantee a person to get respect. This is what I think Trump doesn’t understand. I think he literally thought once he was president, he’d be automatically loved. The fact that it’s not true gets to him, since he constantly mentions ‘winning the popular vote’ (which he definitely didn’t), and is infuriated by the media’s criticism of him. The media and the American people are itching to see this memo, as it could be considered evidence. Memos have been considered credible by courts in the past. Trump tried to threaten Comey in a tweet, saying he’d “better hope there were no ‘tapes’ of their conversation.” This backfired though, because since catching wind of Comey’s memo, we all would love it if there was a tape. Put up or shut up, Mr. President.
The memo has a chance of being introduced, as there was finally enough suspicion for Congress to pressure the US Department of Justice into appointing a special and most importantly independent investigator into Trump’s Russian connections. Former FBI Chief Robert Mueller has been praised by both Democrats and Republicans as highly qualified to run this investigation.
The suspicion of Trump and his campaign and his administration’s collusion with Russia had been planted in the minds of Americans since his days on the campaign trail, when he directly asked Russia to interfere. Then, before he’d even reached 100 days, his national security advisor was being investigated because of the connection and his Attorney General had to recuse himself from said investigation because of his own meetings with Russian officials. Trump himself has never said a bad word about Vladimir Putin, and I’m sure if he thought long and hard the could come up with a few. Despite all this mounting evidence, Trump this morning has insisted that the investigation, which will now be carried out by someone he can’t fire, is a ‘witchhunt.’
I’m worried and embarrassed for us. We can’t even trust our own leaders, and I’m tired of feeling like I have to root against my own government.