The Collusion Is Right out in the Open: Syria + the European Union Edition

As I've been saying for a very long time, the collusion between the Trump Regime and the Kremlin has always happened right out in the open. Despite whatever else may be going on behind closed doors, there's been plenty of evidence right before our eyes, ever since then-candidate Donald Trump, at a speaking engagement on the campaign trail, publicly invited Russia to hack the State Department to access Hillary Clinton's emails.

That was two years ago next month, and, in the interim, the open collusion has continued as Trump has obstructed justice to derail the Russia investigation; has denied Russia intervened in the election; has unilaterally overruled the legislative branch to Russia's benefit; has removed staff that don't toe his line on Russia; has refused to enforce sanctions on Russia; has called for Russia to be reinstated to the G-7/8; has blamed Obama for Russia's annexation of Crimea, but not Putin; has repeatedly praised Putin and sought a meeting with him, which has now been officially scheduled; and in countless other ways generally downplayed Russian aggression and pursued foreign policy that benefits the Kremlin, while domestically trying to stymie any attempt at accountability for his disloyal actions.

All while we wait interminably for "proof" of his collusion from investigators.

Today, there are two more important stories demonstrating the collusion that continues to happen right out in the open.

1. [Content Note: Video may autoplay at link] Michelle Kosinski and Zachary Cohen at CNN: Trump Privately Floats Plan to Make a Deal with Putin on Syria.
One source told CNN that Trump believes he can strike a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin on a so-called exclusion zone in southwest Syria that will allow the US to "get out ASAP."

...Now Trump appears intent on reviving the issue and will have an opportunity to discuss the topic with Putin when the two meet in Helsinki, Finland, next month. US officials have said Syria is on the agenda for the summit, but they have offered few specifics as to what the two leaders will talk about.

According to these sources, Trump's plan would allow the Russians to help Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad take back an area along the Jordanian border where the US-led coalition and its military partners are experiencing increased opposition from "an unidentified hostile force" in recent days despite a previous ceasefire.

...The President's desire to exit Syria as soon as possible has raised concerns among US allies in the region, particularly the rebel Syrian Democratic Forces, and could embolden the forces of the Syrian regime, Iran, and Turkey, all of which have mostly resisted attacking US allies in Syria due to concerns about US retaliation.
At the Washington Post, David Ignatius further notes: "Trump's willingness to accede to Russian power in Syria — and to give up hard-won U.S. gains — troubles many Pentagon officials, but they seem to be losing the argument. ...Putin has taken a decisive position in Syria at minimal cost — with a deferential Trump now seeming ready to confirm his victory."

I have previously noted that the 2016 presential campaigns of every one of Hillary Clinton's chief rivals advocated a policy of working with Russia in Syria that did not make sense then and does not make sense still. Trump is now president, and here we are.

2. Josh Rogin at the Washington Post: Trump Is Trying to Destabilize the European Union.
During a private meeting at the White House in late April, Trump was discussing trade with French President Emmanuel Macron. At one point, he asked Macron, "Why don't you leave the E.U.?" and said that if France exited the union, Trump would offer it a bilateral trade deal with better terms than the E.U. as a whole gets from the United States, according to two European officials. The White House did not dispute the officials' account, but declined to comment.

Let's set aside for a moment the point that Trump's proposal reveals a basic lack of understanding of Macron's views and those of the people who elected him. This is an instance of the president of the United States offering an incentive to dismantle an organization of America's allies, against stated U.S. government policy.

...Trump has been publicly trashing the E.U. and NATO since his campaign, but the pace and viciousness of his attacks have increased.

...Of course, Trump's opinions closely track those of Putin, including on the status of Crimea, aid to Ukraine, and Russia's interference in the U.S. elections. Overall, Trump's attack on the E.U. and the U.S.-Europe relationship is a huge strategic windfall for Russia.
Emphases mine.

To pretend this is not collusion with Russia is to inexplicably believe that Trump continually makes decisions that coincidentally are also exactly what Putin wants and coincidentally serve Putin's agenda, and that's just a lucky break for the guy who intervened in the election which landed Trump in the very position to make those decisions.

Imagining this is mere serendipity beggars belief.

None of this is an accident. It's collusion. And it is happening right out in the open, so brazenly that reasonable people are convincing themselves that they can't possible be witnessing what they actually are.

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