Before President Obama left office, he imposed sanctions against Russia, for its involvement in the 2016 election.
Russia indicated it would respond in kind. Obama described Russia’s involvement as “Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities.” Obama ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the country, and ordered the closure of two Russian properties in the U.S.
“Why should I tell Putin what to do?” Trump said. “Let me tell you, it’s not even about Russia or China or whoever it is that’s doing the hacking. It’s about what was said in those emails. Those were terrible things.” To make matters worse, Trump encouraged the continued hacking by Russia. Trump said:
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said, referring to Clinton’s deleted personal emails. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens. That will be next.”
It is now clear that the Trump campaign met with Russian representatives as a result of representations that they had damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
It is problematic that Trump and his team have a habit of lying in public about its contacts with representatives of the Russian government. However the greater problem is the potential for blackmail. It was a concern over potential blackmail that caused the concern over the Trump/Russia story that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had discussions about sanctions during the Obama-Trump transition period. But Flynn lied about the conversation both externally and internally to the administration.
Sally Yates, the acting attorney general at the time, warned White House Counsel Don McGahn that “the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians.” If you lie about meetings with the Russian government, the Russian government will know that you lied and could threaten to release embarrassing and personally damaging information unless you take positions they like. Trump fired Yates.
Russia is now threatening Trump. Russia has indicated that if Trump doesn’t restore property it believes should be theirs, that ” Russia has the right to take retaliatory measures in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.”
Thus, the unmistakable conclusion is:
- Trump publicly encouraged Russian hacking of the 2016 election.
- Trump Jr. met with Russians for the purpose of obtaining dirt on Hillary.
- Russia hacked the 2016 election.
- People around the world were shocked that Trump won the 2016 election.
- Obama imposed sanctions on Russia due to the hacking.
- Russia has threatened America if the sanctions aren’t withdrawn.
- Trump fired Yates and Comey.
- Yates expressed concern about the vulnerability of Trump to blackmail.
- Comey was investigating the hacking of the 2016 election by Russia.
- Trump metwith Russian representatives in a private meeting in the White House where only Russian reporters were allowed.
11. Trump is now considering withdrawing the sanctions against Russia, put in place by Obama. The only thing that has changed in the Russian investigation since Obama put the sanctions in place is that there has been more revelations to confirm that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.
12. Trump has talked about Vladimir Putin at least 80 times.Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump effusively praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.
13. Trump has given directly contrary statements about whether he knows Putin. At least nine times Trump himself claimed that he had spoken to, met, or made contact with Putin. But as the 2016 campaign wore on, Trump changed course, denying having ever met the Russian president.
“I never met Putin,” Trump said at a July 2016 news conference. “I don’t know who Putin is. He said one nice thing about me. He said I’m a genius. I said thank you very much to the newspaper and that was the end of it. I never met Putin.”