Donald Trump's phone call to Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his fraudulent electoral victory in Russia today was nothing short of an act of treason. Not only did Putin rig the election in his country after rigging America's in 2016, but he just ordered an attack on the country's historic greatest ally, Great Britain.
Putin's 'victory' comes just weeks after the Kremlin had a former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter poisoned on British soil with Soviet era nerve agent Novichok, one of the deadliest chemical weapons ever created. The diplomatic incident has half the planet up in arms, with the EU scrambling to find a way of containing the Russian despots increasing brazen acts of aggression. While Trump pretended he would support Britain, as predicted, he has reneged on his word and is now back on chummy terms with a man all US intelligence agencies believe directly ordered cyber attacks on America.
“We had a very good call,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office -- an astonishing recap of an interaction that should have focused on the Russian strongman's act of war against Great Britain. As the NY Times reported:
That strategy has put Mr. Trump at odds with his own advisers: in preparing the president for the call, aides advised him to raise the nerve-agent attack and wrote on his briefing materials, “DO NOT CONGRATULATE.”
But congratulate Putin he did, making an already shaky international crisis that much more precarious.
Why would Trump do this? He must understand at some level just how bad the optics are -- spitting in the face of your major ally, congratulating a dictator for winning a sham election while completely ignoring the intelligence briefings from your own government agencies isn't going to play well with anyone, even the diehard nutjobs still wearing MAGA hats. The only rational answer is that Putin has something on Trump -- "Kompromat" (the Russian term for "compromising material"). This is not how innocent people behave, and Trump is unwittingly signaling to the country that he is severely compromised by the Russian government and cannot do anything about it.
Make no mistake about it, this is treasonous behavior and any self respecting Congress would rake him over the coals. Alas, only Republicans like John McCain had any real criticisms of the president, with Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell saying meekly that “Calling him [Putin] wouldn’t have been high on my list.”
Of course some will point to the fact that President Obama congratulated Putin for 'winning' an election during his presidency, but Putin hadn't just hacked into the electoral system and orchestrate a mass propaganda campaign to disrupt the outcome of a presidential election, or attacked America's greatest ally. Obama's decision can certainly be criticized, but Trump's decision must be condemned in the most withering terms.
What will it take for Trump supporters to realize their president is not working on their behalf, but for a repulsive tyrant who believes the Cold War has yet to finish?