(https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/20/confession-of-a-no-longer-russiagate-skeptic-219022) by Blake Hounsell, Politico, July 20, 2018
I can appreciate that many disagree with the President for their reasons. Admittedly, he is many ways a bull-in-a-china-closet iconoclast.
None the less, the article cited is rife with factual inaccuracies that matter. Then again, it’s an opinion piece. As New York Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan observed — “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”
Too many put a focus on words and not actions. I fully admit the current President’s verbal predilections tend to exacerbate things rather than move them forward. More often than not it’s how he says it and not the actual substance that give his political opponents fodder.
The key premise (though other items are listed; items upheld by biased speculation, wholly lacking what would qualify as in law as evidence) appears to be the current Administration’s actions his administration have taken that are “tough on Russia” are not credible.
Blake says Trump opposed both the idea of arming Ukraine and bristled at Congress’ Russian sanctions. He cites the tepid presser (which I don’t think it not served the President well) as proof of collusion, or cooperation at least with Putin and Russia.
Here’s what the Trump Administration as actually done regarding Russia. Actions versus words.
Re-institution of the European missile defenses:
- Obama stopped this – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/sep/17/missile-defence-shield-barack-obama
- Trump activated it – https://www.cnn.com/2016/05/11/politics/nato-missile-defense-romania-poland/
Provided arms to Ukraine, specifically to aid it’s efforts to defend itself against Russia.
- Obama resisted it – https://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/obama-ukraine-russia-putin-219783 (despite a Treaty in which Europe and the US bound themselves to Ukraine’s protection against Russia).
- Trump approved it – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/josh-rogin/wp/2017/12/20/trump-administration-approves-lethal-arms-sales-to-ukraine/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.b3627e0bf859
I would agree on the surface without looking at the whole picture, one might be able to think Trump is being soft on Russia. To do so one has to turn a blind eye to what he is actually doing. Regardless of what he has actually done, versus the speculation of what he may have done because of how he expressed himself, will never assuage those who oppose the President.
The President’s and his overall Administration’s actions, sometimes in spite of his words, provide a better assessment of his position, precisely because actions taken are what actually occurs and affects us. Actions are not in the realm of speculation, supposition, theory or opinion, unlike so much of what is propagated as news these days.
As the old adage says: actions speak louder than words.
To preclude the anticipated citing of the various indictments, particularly the last two announcements, not one single indictment cites collusion by the President. Not one. Read them for your self. Plenty of speculation by many. A plethora of innuendo. No facts, otherwise the indictments would state such.
2) Rosenstein’s announcement was reviewed and approved for release by the President PRIOR to his European trip.
3) Rosenstein’s own words, ….”there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
4) The previous Mueller indictment disclosed much the same:
- The Mueller indictment of 13 Russians seems to clear the Trump team of collusion, at least in this part of the case.
- But the most important part of the indictment is the fact that it says the Russian efforts had no effect on the election.
- That’s a major shot in the arm for American voters, who have proven able to resist foreign meddling.
5) Russia meddling does not require Trump’s cooperation. As more actual EVIDENCE has come out, especially the background documents thanks in part to the various investigations, reports and the FOIA lawsuits to force transparency on the various agencies, the more it supports President Trump’s insistence he did not collude.
Parallel to “actions speak louder than words”, evidence, not speculation especially when bolstered by prejudice/preference is what matters. If ever evidence show there was collusion, the consequences are obvious. Thus far however, not one single shred, not even a “smidgeon” of evidence has been presented. All hat and no cattle.
We’re harming ourselves with such myopic obsession, when little more than biased speculation supports it. Some might call that delusion. Either way, none of this is helping us be a better nation, much less better and more respectful neighbors with one another.