The dirty little secret that everyone knows is out: Russia interfered with the democratic process in order to elect Trump.
The Russians have confirmed that they were behind the Wikileaks hacks of Clinton’s emails. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also said that there were numerous contacts with Trump’s campaign and admitted, “We know most of the people from his entourage.” He added that many of them had been staying in touch with Russian representatives on an ongoing basis.
Why have Trump and repressive Russian dictator Vladimir Putin been cozying up, and why did Putin help him win the presidency? Trump has business ties to Russian oligarchs and Putin would love to have undue influence over an American president. So both hope to benefit hugely, one financially and the other politically. Russia is powerful and aggressive, and Trump is consumed with self-interest. So all in all, it presents a scary scenario for the American people.
Trump’s inner circle with close ties to Russia includes Paul Manafort, a lobbyist who illegally took $12.7 million under the table from the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort resigned as Trump’s campaign manager shortly afterward. The old comrade’s network also includes Carter Page, an investment banker and major investor in global Russian energy company Gazprom. Multiple sources report that Page has opened up negotiations to lift sanctions from Russia that were imposed when Putin annexed the Crimea in 2014. Page, of course, stands to profit personally from this.
Russia’s hacking of emails to help Trump win is ironic, considering that in June, USA Today reported that Trump has been destroying emails, many in defiance of court orders and subpoenas, as far back as 1973. Apparently, that’s sauce for this goose.
Former CIA chief Michael V. Hayden called Trump “Russia’s useful fool.” As well as being the beneficiary of a foreign power influencing our election, Trump will also not be calling out Putin on the human rights abuses Russia perpetrates in Syria. Is this how he’ll make America great again?