Remarkably, without even a shred of established evidence, rumors and innuendo about an inappropriate Trump-Russia relationship, exacerbated by the firing of FBI director James Comey, have now persisted for months, even though all major media companies, from the New York Times, over the Washington Post and all major television networks, have with unprecedented intensity searched for even the most minute evidence, and come up short. Like these media outlets, and you the reader of these pages, we, here at The Canary, therefore have currently absolutely no idea whether President Trump and/or his organization did or did not have an inappropriate relationship with agents of the Russian government.
While unable to offer the public even minimal evidence of such an inappropriate relationship, above referenced media organizations, nevertheless present evolving news to the public as if there could be no doubt about such a Trump-Russia conspiracy. Therefore the New York Times’s page-one headline on May 10 read not Trump fires Comey (Director of the FBI) but Trump fires Comey amid Russia inquiry.
Presenting factually true but otherwise unrelated (at least so far) associations to the public as fact, of course, is “fake-news,” and is meant to subconsciously reemphasize to the public, without need of proof it, that something very stinky must be going on in the Trump White House.
We here at The Canary wish to again point out that we have no inside knowledge as to whether the Trump campaign had contacts with agents of the Russian government and, if so, what the nature of these contacts was. Since the possibility of inappropriate contacts has been raised in such a public fashion, we support that these rumors be properly investigated. Like every other U.S. citizen, the U.S. President (and his staff) are, however, presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Based on behavior, a large majority of the national media, however, feels differently!
The principal allegation made against the Trump organization is that Trump’s campaign conspired in secret with agents of the Russian government in defeating Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election. We previously in these pages made the point that, even assuming this accusation to be correct, putting moral considerations aside, such coordinated efforts involving the Trump organization and the Russian government would not necessarily be criminal. It is well known that the U.S. government through a variety of agencies is constantly trying to influence elections in other countries.
President Obama, as has become known recently, supported in the last election cycle opposition parties to Israel’s prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with staff and federal funds in a failed attempt to defeat him. President Putin’s strong dislike for Hillary Clinton, as has been widely reported in the media, is, likely, the consequence of Clinton actively supporting Putin’s opposition with U.S. federal funds as Secretary of State in the Obama administration during Putin’s most recent election.
In other words, accepting “help” from overseas sources, even from the Russian government, is in itself not necessarily a federal offense, – unless, of course, federal campaign laws were broken, the collaboration involves criminal activities (i.e., the hacking of computers and distribution of content obtained through illegal hacking), government secrets were revealed and/or quid pro quo arrangements were reached, obliging a future elected government.
Also, a campaign organization cannot necessarily be held responsible for potentially illegal acts of individuals committed out of self-interest. General Michael T. Flynn, Trump’s short-term first Security Advisor, may be a good example. Should he, indeed, as has been suggested, have received illegal payments from Russian and Turkish sources. One, of course, would still have to wonder how such an individual survived an allegedly serious vetting process, especially since he also does not appear to be particularly bright: How else could the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency not understand that every word he exchanges on an open phone line with the Russian ambassador would be picked up by U.S. intelligence?
That after months of investigations by FBI and committees of House and Senate, still, nothing concrete has been leaked to support increasingly bizarre daily rumors, spun by the media, therefore, to us suggests that, likely, nothing is there to be discovered. We may be wrong, and Trump’s Russia connections may morph into Watergate II. Proving that something does not exist is, however, almost impossible. Considering the current political atmosphere of absolute confrontation and “resistance” in Washington, it, therefore, appears increasingly likely that this affair will stay with us at least until the mid-term elections. Then, it will be again up to the nation’s voters to decide who is right and who is wrong.
Trump, in the meantime, has, however, to recognize that he, in the end, will not be judged based on what Democrats and the media are trying to concoct but on his performance as President. If he continues to allow relatively unimportant things to rule the news, and take up his valuable time, he will be a failed president. If he can concentrate on what is important, he will succeed.