Trump & the Treason-Enabling GOP

Putin's puppet is actively trying to kill us, civilians and soldiers alike. Why do Republicans let him?

IN MAY OF 2018, I published Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia. The purpose of that slender volume was to lay out, as simply as possible, the many, many times associates of Donald John Trump met with Russians during the campaign, the transition, and the early presidency; the great lengths they all went to in order to keep those meetings secret; and the lies they told about the nature of these meetings, once the cat was out of the bag. Because they all did it a lot, and it was highly unusual.

As I wrote at the time:

In case you were wondering if it’s standard operating procedure for presidential candidates to meet with Russians: it isn’t.

Hillary Clinton did not meet with the Russians during the campaign.

Barack Obama did not meet with the Russians during the campaign.

Obama’s foreign policy adviser and eventual ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, did not meet with the Russians during the campaign.

Why did Trump? And why did he lie about it? Why is he still lying about it?

Once he assumed the presidency—as the beneficiary of election fuckery by his Moscow overlords and fawning media coverage, not by popular vote tally—Trump did not stop meeting with Russians. He did not stop trying to keep those meetings secret. He did not stop lying about the nature of those meetings.

Four years later, nothing has changed. He’s still pulling the same shit. The President of the United States still goes to great lengths to powwow with Putin, in secret if possible, and still lies about the nature of those meetings. For example: He invited two Russian jackals to the Oval Office the day after he fired James Comey, and was photographed yucking it up with them—by Russian photojournalists, because the American press was barred from the premises. He dispatched Rand Paul—whom even John McCain said was working for Putin—to Russia, to hand-deliver a letter. Jared Kushner tried to establish a backchannel to Moscow through the Russian embassy, which even the Russian ambassador knew was a bat-shit crazy idea; do we really believe they stopped trying?

More examples:

  • At the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg on 7 July 2017, after a meeting with Putin, Trump seized the notes from his interpreter, so there would be no record of what was discussed. Later at that same Summit, he met with Putin alone, and Vlad only knows what they talked about.

  • A year later, the two met again, this time at a bi-lateral summit in Helsinki, for two full hours, with Trump accompanied only by his interpreter. Again, we don’t know what was said, although there is reporting that the two came to some “agreements,” which likely involved Trump consenting to whatever Putin demanded.

  • In Buenos Aires on 30 November 2018, Trump and Putin broke away to chat for 15 minutes, accompanied only by their wives; Trump’s wife, the former Melanija Knavs, is 1) from Slovenia, a former Communist country, 2) speaks Russian fluently, and 3) seems to light up whenever Putin comes around.

  • There was no private meeting at the G20 summit in Osaka on 28 June 2019 that we know of, but there didn’t need to be; Trump joked around, wagging his finger in jest, as he warned a grinning Putin not to meddle in the election. There he was, on the world stage, making a mockery of national security—flipping our IC the bird.

I only list the in-person meetings, not the frequent sycophantic phone calls with Putin or his proxy, Recep Tayyip Edroğan of Turkey, reported on by Carl Bernstein.

Since the calendar turned to 2020, and covid-19 swept across the globe, Trump’s abject subservience to his owner has only increased. He sent ventilators to Russia, even as the ventilators were urgently needed domestically. The same day he cowered in the bunker beneath the White House, scared to death of the peaceful protesters assembled outside, he rang up Putin, ostensibly for advice. That was one of a “flurry” of calls placed to his master in that span of time:

And now we learn that Trump knew that Russia put a bounty on the heads of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, paying the Taliban for killing our soldiers—and not only didn’t retaliate, but went right on licking Putin’s jackboots. He knew in January. In January! And did jack shit.

It took the White House over 24 hours to craft a response to this bombshell, and the response was pure, unadulterated Trumpshit: he denied the story, and claimed he’d never heard about the Russian bounty program. Mike Pence, too, had no idea, they said. Which means that…

I guess “colossal, unfathomable incompetence” plays better than treason? I guess?

So: Hillary Clinton warned us, before the election, that Trump was Putin’s puppet. Nancy Pelosi tells us over and over that with this president, all roads lead to Putin. And now, in the Age of Quarantine, it’s obvious to all sentient humans that Trump will happily sacrifice American lives—hundreds of thousands of American lives!—to please his Moscow overlords and secure re-election (and thus avoid prison). The guy is a piece of property, fully and completely owned by agents of a hostile foreign power. Racehorses have more autonomy than Trump does, as do the dogs he tweets so weirdly about.

Putin’s Zedd, and Trump is President Gimp.

None of this is, or should be, a shock. What is shocking is that Republicans in the House and the Senate have gone right along with Trump’s treachery. Elder statesmen like Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Chuck Grassley, and Ted Cruz know damned well who and what Trump is—most of them are on the record, back in 2015 and ’16, calling him out. Where is the outrage now? What has changed? Mitch McConnell has the power to end the Trump presidency tomorrow. Why doesn’t he? Is it really just to pack the lower courts with a few more retrograde judges? And don’t tell me it’s because they fear Trump. No one’s afraid of a mobbed-up moron with approval ratings lower than Russell Westbrook’s 3-point percentage.

It’s one thing for your Hannity-loving uncle to MAGA, or a syphilitic retiree from The Villages. They’ve been brainwashed through years of military-grade psy-ops delivered on the zombie box by big-headed windbags and bimbonic blondes. The actual GOP politicians have no excuse—especially the ones who abruptly reversed course after 2017 and fell in with The Donald. What do Trump and the Russians have on the likes of Graham, Cruz, and Paul? Given that the bad guys are actively trying to kill Americans and destroy our democracy, the dirt must be damning indeed. Not just career-ending, but prison-guaranteeing.

At this point, it’s fair to wonder: Remember those recent rumors about Lindsey Graham and the male escorts? Or that time Ted Cruz accidentally “liked” a page of MILF porn on the Twitter? Could it be that those were not mistakes, but intentional deflections, to throw us off the scent of something much more acrid—and highly illegal? “Lady G” is quite the sobriquet, but better an unflattering nickname than the indelible shame of the hoosegow. MILF porn, meanwhile, is perhaps the most socially acceptable porn there is, for men of a certain age; that he likes it almost makes Cruz seem human. Are we sure his onanistic predilections aren’t of a less wholesome variety? Nothing can be ruled out.

Because, here’s the thing: Dark forces have co-opted the Republican party. Whether these politicians are being blackmailed, playing politics with our lives, or just stupid, greedy assholes who hope to be American mobligarchs like their scumbag cohorts in Mother Russia, all of the GOP, and especially the seditious motherfuckers in the Senate, have betrayed the country. Are they really afraid of a Trump tweet, as we’re supposed to believe? Or do they recognize that the barrel has gone over the falls, and the only way to survive into a new term is to take the plunge and hope they aren’t smashed on the rocks?

The kindest possible explanation is that there exists a sistema in the Republican party, similar to what Vladimir Putin has established in Russia, where the threat of potential kompromat from all angles makes everyone uneasy and compliant. Mutually assured destruction—how many did not take dirty rubles via the NRA?—keeps the party in line. As Adam Davidson explains in the New Yorker:

Alena Ledeneva, a professor of politics at University College London and an expert on Russia’s political and business practices, describes kompromat as being more than a single powerful figure weaponizing damning evidence to blackmail a target. She explained that to make sense of kompromat it is essential to understand the weakness of formal legal institutions in Russia and other former Soviet states. Ledeneva argued that wealth and power are distributed through networks of political figures and businesspeople who follow unspoken rules, in an informal hierarchy that she calls sistema, or system. Sistema has a few clear rules—do not defy Putin being the most obvious one—and a toolkit for controlling potentially errant members. It is primarily a system of ambiguity. Each person in sistema wonders where he stands and monitors the relative positions of friends and rivals.

Might a similar sistema explain the sclerosis of the Republican party, and its baffling inability to take action against Trump? Might it explain why White House official after White House official said nothing as the President of the United States made a fool of himself, and the country, on every phone call with every foreign leader?

Whatever the reason, the GOP has become the party of treason, a sad gaggle of Vichy traitors, and Mitch McConnell is Marshal Pétain—except that Marshal Pétain was once an actual war hero, while Mitch just likes to pose for pictures in front of a Confederate flag. Party of Lincoln? More like Party of Judas.

The latest Russia scandal in an administration that cranks out Russia scandals like Shades of Grey novels demands a unified Congress stand up to the Putin-compromised, mobbed-up, drug-addled rapist in the White House—the greedy, analphabetic, incontinent racist who is actively trying to kill us all. It is no longer a question of whether Trump is guilty; the only argument we should be having now is how severe his punishment should be. If the Republicans continue to defend this president, to cover for his egregious treachery, they are fully complicit, and deserve the harshest penalties available under law, when the “law & order” Trump keeps tweeting about resumes in January.

No quarter for traitors, and no mercy. Vote these seditious creeps out of office, and then, prosecute them to oblivion. Make their names synonymous with collaboration, like Quisling’s and Marshal Pétain’s. Whatever unspeakable acts Graham and Cruz and Paul and McConnell may have committed in the past are not as bad as what they’re doing right now. Treason trumps all.


Photo credit: President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, meets with Republican and Democratic legislative leadership Wednesday, January 2, 2019, in the Situation Room. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)