Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Senator Al Franken (again). I've met him a few times before. I asked him one substantive question, probably shouldn't have, he's trying to relax on a plane ride at the end of the day, but I couldn't help myself. My question was, "Does the Democratic Party leadership recognize that the claims against President Obama are merely a distraction, an intentional distraction, by President Trump to take focus off the very serious allegations about collusion between Trump and Putin?"
His answer was essentially, "Yes, it's clear to all of us."
I was pleased to hear it and in watching James Comey's testimony, specifically the questions and the answers to those questions, it was clear that the Democrats finally seem to be showing some wisdom regarding Trump. They still (incorrectly) blame the FBI for Clinton's loss, they still (equally incorrectly, imho), think Trump won because he's a man and she's a woman. They didn't realize that feeling "trumps" fact when people vote and Trump made people feel like they were winners, like they'd "win" their jobs back, like they'd be prosperous if the prosperous man won. That he's mostly just playing a confidence game wasn't something they wanted to believe.
And then along came his rather obvious association with Vladimr Putin. Trump is an inveterate blowhard, he demeans anyone and anything he feels he can get away with in order to pump himself up. We're not "winning" in Iraq, demean our military leadership, John McCain doesn't like his comments on torture, demean McCain's military service. So, when Russia is involving itself in propping up Bashar Assad, normally a man like Trump would have been all over Obama, he never restrained himself before where President Obama was concerned, but with Russia, with Putin, all you ever got was crickets. He clearly had been to Russia, he certainly has ties to that part of the world (he has a large hotel in the capital of Azerbaijan, a dictatorial state run by a Putin puppet). That didn't happen out of thin air nor coincidence. He had reputed/alleged ties to Russian "suppliers" of concrete at a time when those suppliers shut down every other construction project in Manhattan. In fact, the list of ties to Russia for Trump is so long, this post would be three pages before I stopped naming simply the first and second tier (ties through an immediate family member or close associate) between Trump and Russia.
And then there's the fact that Trump was SILENT on the nature of the Wikileaks attacks except to at one point encourage them. This may have telegraphed his myopic understanding of the law and of the gravity of any collusion which may exist. Remember, the first thing he said was (paraphrase), "If Russia can find those missing e-mails, be my guest." Perhaps he wasn't even aware such attacks weren't just an illegal attack on Ms. Clinton but would rightly be seen as an attack on the United States. He's flouted the law in the past, perhaps he felt cyber attacks, which happen all the time, are no big deal. After he was admonished, his line then became, "Well, you don't know it's Russia." A line he continued up until recently when he was advised and it was made very public, that we in fact do know. His mockery of our intelligence community on this point undoubtedly was a catalyst which lead to the leaks he so despises, for undoubtedly that intelligence community took a look at the man and decided if he was going to attack them for doing their job correctly, they had ways of letting him know they knew his secrets.
The story at this point goes then to this. Trump has close ties to Putin and Russia and the various ex-KGB, oil oligarchs who surround Putin. Those ties are deep, they include Mike Flynn (taking payments from Russia during the campaign it is alleged) and Paul Manafort, his campaign chair until the news about Russia started to leak and Trump fired him to save himself and for no other reason.
All of the things that have come up, from investigating leaks to blaming Obama for the investigation, they are all distraction, distraction meant, vainly tried, to take the focus off of Trump himself, off of what may well prove to be collusion between Trump's senior staff (and so almost certainly Trump) and hackers, hackers very likely directed by and employed by the Russian government. If that turns out to be true, it would make Trump a guilible tool, a useful fool to use the Russian/KGB terminology. It would make him facile and feckless, a pawn to be exploited. If true, Trump will be guilty of something for which he not only should be impeached but should be in prison. Some might even call him a traitor, and if it proves to be true he helped Putin either before or after the break into DNC servers, if he colluded after the fact with Putin's men, then I'd be one of those looking long and hard at what we call treason and whether we should apply it to Donald John Trump. The man who may well have the shortest Presidency in history where he did not die in office, and rightly so, if true.