This Is What It Looks Like When Your President Is Owned by Russia

Last night, the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee abruptly concluded that there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign (and/or administration) and Russia, and further that there is no evidence to support the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Putin had interfered on Donald Trump's behalf, and then made public a one-page summary of their report before Democrats had even seen the report.

So that's it for the House probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Just a wholesale rejection of the combined assessment of U.S. intelligence agencies, to say nothing of the refusal to acknowledge the collusion which has happened right out in the open.

Then, this morning, Donald Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, just one day after Tillerson warned that Russia's poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain would "certainly trigger a response."

Trump will replace Tillerson at State with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who, in January, met in Washington with sanctioned Russian spies, including the head of Russia's foreign intelligence agency, possibly illegally, which he defended on the basis that he took the meeting "to keep Americans safe."

That now looks an awful lot like a job interview, especially considering the recent report that Russia had intervened to prevent Mitt Romney from being selected as Secretary of State, asking instead for "Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would cooperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria."

They got Tillerson, upon whom Vladimir Putin bestowed the Russian Order of Friendship in 2013, which Putin "joked" in 2017 he regretted awarding to Tillerson, because "he seems to have fallen in with the wrong company and to be steering in the other direction."

That was after Tillerson told Putin: "Mr. President, same man, different hat." And he was hardly tough on Russia as Secretary of State, but he was tougher than anyone else in the administration.

So now he's out, Pompeo is in, and Pompeo will be replaced (provided she survives a confirmation hearing) by his second at the CIA, Gina Haspel, whose history at the agency includes having overseen "the torture of two terrorism suspects and later [taking] part in an order to destroy videotapes documenting their brutal interrogations at a secret prison in Thailand."

A country in which, by coincidence (or not), Nastya Rybka, the Belarusian sex worker (with close ties to Oleg V. Deripaska, who in turn has close ties to Putin) who asserts to have information about Russia's election interference, is jailed. And when the FBI tried to meet with her, "the request was refused by Thai officials."

And here we are. House Republicans declare that Trump is innocent of collusion, and the very next day he fires the Secretary of State and nominates as his replacement a man who doesn't seem to have the same qualms about indulging Russia.

When your president and his party are owned by Russia, and they're the governing majority, your whole country is owned by Russia.

I am gutted. This is everything I feared, predicted, screamed about, was mocked for saying. I and many other people, including the woman who should have been our president, who was capable of standing up to Putin and willing to do it.

Meanwhile, this is something the Washington Post felt compelled to publish today.

I would say we are doomed, but we are long past that.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus