Vladimir Putin must be so thrilled with himself and his espionage efforts in the United States. His wildest dreams have come true with the weakest American president in the history of this country, one who has proven to be fully submissive to the former KGB chief. Like the 9/11 hijackers who took down both World Trade Center Towers, this Russian mission was probably more successful than the they ever imagined. An America torn apart along political divisions, a weakened economy, bumbling military decisions, a divided House and Senate where norms are eroding by the minute, a partisan, broken justice system being tested to the limits and a toothless imbecile leading American diplomacy, willingly doing Putin’s bidding at every turn. For Putin (and China), it could not be going any better.
With that in mind, it’s time to revisit 2016. It’s painful, but we must. It’s important. Go back and listen to Hillary Clinton again, the woman who won the popular vote of the 2016 by millions of votes and should be guiding this nation from the White House as I type. She tried to warn us all in 2016 about Donald Trump’s coziness with Vladimir Putin. During a nationally televised debate, the hard-as-nails former chief diplomat of the State Department rebuffed Donald Trump’s incredibly rude claim that Putin “didn’t respect this person” and she punched back with the truth—of course Putin would prefer Trump, he was acting as Putin’s puppet. While the puppet line was memorable, please take a moment to listen to the rest of her comments.
As you re-watch this exchange, note that the moderator, through a viewer question, essentially started off calling Hillary Clinton “two-faced” and a liar. No follow-up about his numerous conflicting statements about whether he did or did not know Vladimir Putin. No follow-up to Donald Trump, a man who would go on to lie to the American public day in and day out, about his bogus claims of tax returns and an IRS audit that is apparently never going to finish. This exchange is not only painful because of the naked truth that Hillary lays bare for us all to see—that the Russians were working overtime to prevent her from being president—and that the media played right into their hands, obsessed with some corrupt caricature of Hillary they helped to create over the years, all while giving Donald Trump a pass on the facts, allowing him to lob one lie, one insulting fireball after another instead of turning the tables on him. We still don’t have his damn tax returns. Think Hillary could get away with that?
But, perhaps the most troubling part of Trump’s performance in that clip is his statement about Russia. “I know nothing about Russia. I know Russia, but I know nothing about the inner workings of Russia. I don’t deal there, I have no businesses, I have no loans from Russia.”
Even as Trump was standing there on national television telling the world he had “no business” in Russia, his attorney, Michael Cohen, was actively seeking a real estate deal to build a Trump Tower Moscow, with the full knowledge and guidance of Donald Trump. Numerous high profile Russian oligarchs had snatched up Trump condos and other Trump real estate at unusually high prices. Around the same time Trump was on that stage with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, through attorney Michael Cohen, had made a corrupt offer to Vladimir Putin via Dmitry Peskov, his press secretary—approve the Trump Tower Moscow deal and Putin would be given a $50 million penthouse condo in the building. Of course Putin had to be watching the debate and even if there is no other blackmail material (like the pee-pee tape), Putin would’ve known at that very moment that he could have taken down Donald Trump by releasing the details of his corrupt penthouse offer. From at least that moment in time, if not well before that, Putin had Donald Trump right where he wanted him. What if, heaven forbid, Putin has more? More than the tape, more than the shady, corrupt real estate offers? Congress has an obligation to get to the bottom of it, no matter how low it goes.
Putin wanted a weak, corruptible American president and he got what he paid for. She knew, she tried to warn us all.