Some people are still waiting for the full Mueller report to decide if there was any collusion with Russia in the 2016 election and if there was any obstruction of justice in the investigation. I’m not. I believe there is plenty of evidence already reported that makes a pretty strong case for collusion/collaboration with Russia and for obstructing the investigation.
First, Donald Trump was endorsed by Vladimir Putin to be president. Do you ever remember an American candidate being embraced and supported by a leader of a foreign country that is a rival/enemy of the United States? I don’t.
Second, he asked Russia to investigate his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and turn up dirt on her emails and correspondence. Do you ever remember a US presidential candidate requesting a foreign enemy to help with their campaign? I don’t.
Third, he held a meeting in Washington with Vladimir Putin and refused to allow US news people to attend the meeting (or any other American representative). He only allowed a Russian interpreter/journalist. He has actually had several meetings with Putin where he has not had a US representative….only Putin has the translator/notetaker. On the one occasion where he did have a translator/notetaker, he refused to disclose any of the information and, in fact, seized the notes of the meeting. Do you ever remember a US president meeting with a foreign leader, especially of an enemy country, and not allow it to have a public presence and public disclosure? I don’t.
Fourth, he offered Vladimir Putin a free $50 million dollar penthouse in a building in Russia as a bribe/reward to work with him on business interests in that country and as a sign that he would do Russia’s bidding on issues of sanctions and other US-Russian relations during the 2016 presidential campaign. Do you ever remember an American presidential candidate offering a huge bribe to a Russian leader…..for any reason. I don’t.
Fifth, there was a meeting in Trump Tower in June of 2016 where Russian officials met with several people in the Trump campaign. Included in the meeting were Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, campaign chair Paul Manafort, Russian lawyer Natalia,Veselnitskaya, lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and publicist Rob Goldstone. Trump first denied that he knew of the meeting…..then later said it was about Russian adoptions! Ever remember a presidential candidate’s family, friends, and campaign staff meeting with representatives of foreign enemies? I don’t.
Sixth, he still refuses to show his income taxes. He promised to do it after the IRS audit was completed…but is has been years since he said that. Then on Nov 7, 2017, he refused to release them claiming “they are too complex and Americans wouldn’t understand them.” No other presidential candidate in modern history has refused to release their income taxes. Any reasonable person would assume that the reason he is refusing to do so is there are some horrible things he is hiding…like not paying any federal tax, or worse, having financial ties to countries like Russia and Turkey and other places that are rivals of the United States. Until he releases his taxes, he should be assumed to be a traitor who is hiding serious conflicts between his interests and that of the United States.
Seventh, he has enacted policies that are contrary to the interests of the United States as a world player. He has withdrawn the US from many international agreements, the Paris Climate Agreement, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, NAFTA, and has recently withdrawn the US from the Russian nuclear arms agreement. All these policies are favored by Putin and Russia. In addition, he is withdrawing the US from Syria and Afghanistan…..strengthening Russia’s role in the region and undermining our ability to work with countries in the area. He has called African countries “shithole countries” alienating them from wanting to interact with the US and opening economic markets for Russia and China to fill the void. He has also opened federal lands and seacoasts for expanded oil and gas drilling and has also opened up opportunities for collaboration with Russian companies to explore drilling in the Artic region.
Last, he continues to deny that Russia interfered in our 2016 elections and were partly responsible for his election. He hasn’t done much to support securing our election process and seems willing to have Russia interfere again, as long as it benefits him and his party. He accepts Putin’s denial of any involvement over the findings of his own intelligence community. Do you ever remember a president disagreeing with our intelligence community and siding with the word of an adversarial leader about the undermining of our entire election process? I don’t.
Actually, the list goes on and on. There have been 32 indictments by the Mueller team against many Russian individuals and at least 3 Russian companies. There have also been indictments against Trump personnel: such as George Papadopoulos, Trump campaign foreign policy advisor; Paul Manafort, campaign chair; Rick Gates, former campaign aide; and Michael Flynn, former national security advisor. There are more than enough people, situations, and apparent guilty pleas of wrongdoing to strongly suggest the Trump campaign and the president, himself, have been involved in some horrible activities.
For all these reasons, we should assume that Donald Trump is closely connected to Russia, Russian influence, and a simple cozy, comfortable relationship with Russians and Russian leaders. Some people need more proof. I don’t.