The net closes on Trump: either a traitor or a useful idiot

May 11, 2017 at 8:10 pm (Asshole, corruption, fascism, Jim D, nationalism, plutocrats, populism, Putin, reaction, Russia, strange situations, Trump)

It’s pretty obvious that former FBI director James Comey was sacked because the FBI’s investigation of Russian government interference in the 2016 election was closing in on Trump. All other explanations – and in particular, that the cause was Comey’s handing of the Hillary Clinton email affair – are simply preposterous.

Trump has denied any collusion: but he would, wouldn’t he? All the (admittedly, so far largely circumstantial) evidence points to Trump being either a traitor or Putin’s useful idiot.

Putin has always denied attempting to influence the US presidential election: but he would, wouldn’t he? Albeit, with a smirk.

Comey spoke in March at a rare open hearing of the congressional intelligence committee, which is also investigating the links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. He said the investigation was “very complex” and he could not give the committee details that were not already publicly known. He also said he could not give a timetable for its completion. “We will follow the facts wherever they lead,” he said.

Also testifying before the committee was National Security Agency (NSA) chief Admiral Mike Rogers.

He said the NSA stood by an intelligence community report published in January, which said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a campaign to damage the presidential  prospects of Hillary Clinton.

What are the allegations?

In January, US intelligence agencies said Kremlin-backed hackers had broken into the email accounts of senior Democrats and released embarrassing ones in order to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.

Since then, Trump has faced well-sourced allegations that his campaign team had links to Russian officials.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said he is in no doubt that the Russian government was behind the hacking of the Democratic Party during the election, but that at the time he left his post in January, he’d seen no evidence of collusion.

However, Adam Schiff, the committee’s top Democrat, said the material he had seen offers circumstantial evidence that US citizens collaborated with Russians to influence the vote.

If the Trump campaign were found to have colluded with Russia it would eclipse the Watergate scandal and be the most outrageous act of treason in US history.

Which campaign members have been accused of deception?

Two senior officials in the Trump administration have been caught up in the allegations – former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Attorney-General Jeff Sessions, who was forced to recuse himself from any federal probe of Russian meddling in the presidential election, because of his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US, but now – outrageously – turns out to have been heavily involved in the Comey sacking.

Flynn was fired after he was exposed as having lied about his conversations with the Russian ambassador before he was appointed national security adviser. Flynn has a long history of close and friendly relations with the Putin regime, and has received payments from the regime’s propaganda channel RT.

flynn.jpg Flynn (left) dines with Putin

He lied about having discussed US sanctions with ambassador Sergei Kislyak. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy.

Meanwhile, Sessions was accused by Democrats of lying under oath during his confirmation hearing in January, when he said he had “no communications with the Russians”:  it later emerged that he had met Kislyak during the campaign.

Sessions denied any wrongdoing, but removed (‘recused’) himself from the FBI inquiry into Russia’s interference in the election: now it transpires that he’s played a key role, at Trump’s behest, in getting rid of Comey.

Trump could be heading for impeachment over his corruption and treacherous links to Russia. But, unlike even Nixon, Trump doesn’t play within the rules of bourgeois US politics.

Trump is still very popular with his base. He can argue plausibly that he has tried using Executive Orders to do what he said he would do. Where these orders are being reversed by the courts or bureaucracy he will point to the key idea that the system is broken and dominated by a liberal elite.

The Russian issue doesn’t currently  impinge on his supporters’ admiration for him as they are in general isolationists. He’s on 80% approval ratings with Republican voters.

Trump won’t go quietly and the ace up his sleeve is the movement behind him. It is a  genuine mass movement, plebeian in character (often sole traders, shop keepers, small business owners, lumpen blue collar workers, the unemployed, farmers etc) and radical in the sense they don’t defer to authority. If he wanted he could probably mobilise enough of them to turn up outside the Capitol with guns and set up camp. There is a history of this kind of thing happening in the US at state level.

The impeachment of Trump would in all likelihood enrage his mass base, fuelling ‘deep state’ conspiracy theories and resentment against bourgeois democracy: fertile ground for American fascism.

That doesn’t mean that the left shouldn’t use the charge of treason and collaboration against Trump, or not campaign for his impeachment. Some on the left (and even the liberal-left) have recoiled against this, on grounds of supposed “McCarthyism” (a claim that Trump himself has raised): but that’s nonsense. The suggestion of collusion with Putin is not comparable to the anti-communist witch-hunts of the 1950s and ’60’s: Putin is behind an ultra right wing international campaign to promote reaction, nationalism and isolationism wherever he can. He’s backed Brexit, Trump, Le Pen and a host of other ultra-right and semi-fascist movements.

It’s not McCarthyism to denounce Trump for his links with Putin, up to and possibly including outright treason. But it’s not enough: the US left must also engage with Trump’s working class base and convince them that this billionaire racist, shyster and charlatan offers nothing worthwhile to American workers.

16 Comments

  1. @pplswar said,

    Not either/or but both. Sources in the intelligence community say there are even audio tapes of Trump offering the Kremlin a quid pro quo — help him win the election in exchange for modifying/lifting U.S. sanctions. Indictments are coming soon but how far up they will go is anyone’s guess. Flynn and campaign manager Paul Manafort are almost certainly going to jail. Carter Page, Roger Stone, and members of Trump’s family are also pretty likely to end up as defendants.

    • Mick said,

      Claims like that have been bogus before and can be again. If there’s a genuine leak, motives are suspect when so much is classified. And if not, it’s more leftist mania.

      Obama heavily politicized law enforcement. Eric Holder did an awful lot of damage and there are plenty of Dem-leaners in all the wrong places ready to blab nonsense to CNN.

  2. Mick said,

    The evidence IS circumstantial, so all this is waffle until some smoking gun is found.

    Especially when PRRI/Atlantic found most blue collar whites voted Trump because of alienation by PC leftists. You know, the ones blaming ‘old white men’ for everything. So bloggers will gain nil by whining.

    Clapper said in a Senate hearing that he saw no evidence of collusion, so Trump may be tempted to let the investigation run its course and declassify a whole bunch of papers once its time, to prove what he always denied. He does that anyway, apparently.

  3. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Just shows the way the elites treat the population as idiots. As if the Russians could interfere in a USA election when the great CIA and FBI are around. Those people are the cutting edge who have destabilised governments and caused mass murder and torture. And now they claim to have been compromised. Oor Wullie could not have mzde this up.

    • Mick said,

      The Dems, in their turn, treat people like idiots. They hated Comey too, a bit of a loose cannon, right until it was Trump who fired him.

      I don’t see how the FBI destabilised governments. And as for CIA, the dangers in letting foes run undeposed shine on (whatever idiots commit murder in the chaos) – the CIA heads water down Islamic terrorism training as that offends Muslim groups, right at the the time Islamic jihad threatens the US more than ever in this century.

      • Jim Denham said,

        The evidence against Trump and his family is – so far – circumstantial. The evidence against Flynn, Sessions, Carter Page and Paul Manafort isn’t.

        Now that a few mainstream journalists like Carole Cadwaldr are on the case, I predict we’ll be hearing more revelations. Impeachment is not inevitable, but its looking increasingly likely.

        Trump supporters and apologists like Mick and GWC are in denial.

        The net is closing:

        https://davidhemond.wordpress.com/2017/04/23/carole-cadwalladr-of-the-guardian-connects-dots-on-trump-russia/

        …while one of Trump’s handlers has a good laugh:

      • Mick said,

        It’s more innocent until proven guilty than denial. And if these guys are as guilty as the left assume, Sally Yates is an incredibly poor inquisitor, using hunches instead of evidence to fill the gaps in her knowledge. That’s fine for us, though.

  4. Jim Denham said,

    • Mick said,

      That said nothing either. Not even clearing up that Sessions’ Sir Humphrey-style explanation that he didn’t meet with Russians merely in his capacity as Trump campaigner came out garbled and misunderstood.

      For all the noise Elizabeth Warren and her followers make, I do still expect a smoking gun every time. But nobody knows about it if all the White House says is false and the Dem-skewed inquiries can’t get a balanced question together. These are hostile politicians running this, not dry academics.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Of course (as the title of the main ABTL piece makes clear) I leave open the possibility that Trump may be a useful idiot rather than a conscious traitor … only time will tell. I notice he’s still squirming, wriggling, blustering and continually changing his story, like the pathological liar he plainly is.

      • Mick said,

        That’s another thing – since when do the left care about treason?

        Listen to American snowflakes and they tell you that America was never great, that it needs to be emasculated, given away to Mexico or have its constitution broken.

        The Dems indulge in electoral fraud and were best buds of Trump for years and years. Just the people to have the fiery political inquiry which is of no consequence compared to the proper one by the real services.

      • Jim Denham said,

        “Since when do the left care about treason?”

        Mick, I really *do* suggest you read the main articles before asking your inane questions.

        You should also take Trotsky’s advice, and “Learn To Think”.

      • Mick said,

        Well, with Mr. Trotsky, you thought the right thing or you got SHOT!

        I did read the article. It’s just left wing cobblers about treason is always so hollow, particularly when Trotsky fans paid allegiance to Moscow anyway, regardless what their capital city actually was.

  5. Glasgow Working Class said,

    Jim , why would Trump be a traitor and to whom? Do you think he was a Soviet plant in the old days😂 And does not realise CCCP is long gone!

    • Jim Denham said,

      No, as the main piece posits, he is an agent and/or stooge of Putin’s ultra-right project. Nothing to do with the USSR.

      BTW Glasgow “Working Class”: do you bother actually reading articles before you comment?

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Yes.

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