In plain sight

Greg Sargent at the Post points out that Republicans are avoiding the core issue.

They don’t acknowledge the intelligence services’ consensus view that the Russian sabotage effort was designed to elect Trump.

The Republican evasion on this is not just a political dodge to avoid offending Trump voters. It’s also substantively important. The big unknown right now is why Trump refuses to take Russian sabotage of our democracy seriously, at a time when our own intelligence officials say it will happen again. The easy answer that has been pushed by Republicans and some Trump loyalists is that the president doesn’t want to diminish the appearance of his victory’s legitimacy. It’s just a matter of ego and temperament. It’s just crazy Trump being crazy Trump.

But as this Brian Beutler thread demonstrates, that explanation cracks up against the known facts. We all had good reason to suspect in real time that Russia was interfering, and Trump relished it, and even encouraged it, as it happened. Now that Mueller’s indictments have started fleshing out the fuller dimensions of this sabotage and its now-confirmed goal of electing Trump, this can no longer be about guarding appearances of legitimacy, because his current conduct makes that more suspect. The only conceivable explanation is that he was both perfectly happy to benefit from Russian interference and wants to obstruct/or and delegitimize the ferreting out of the truth.

Ok so a mystery remains: if Trump badly wants to conceal the fact that Russia helped him get elected (despite having publicly encouraged them to do just that during the campaign) then why did he insist on that meeting with no one else present except the translators? Surely it can’t really be so that they could Discuss Their Cunning Plans…because surely they would have preferred a rather less visible way of doing that, and therefore would have come up with something.

Unless it’s just that Trump is so stupid that that never occurred to him. Putin of course doesn’t need to care, because our intelligence services can’t do anything to him. Putin murders people right out in the open.

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