I never miss a Thomas L. Friedman column but this has to be in the category of one of his very best. He is commenting on the republican President Donald Trump’s and his sycophants in the US Congress lack of response to the FBI’s 37 page indictment against 13 Russian nationals and Russian entities, for having criminally interfered in the 2016 US presidential elections, with the goal to sow discord ans chaos among the American peoples and to effect the outcome.
There has been no outcry of outrage that a foreign adversarial country has attacked our US democracy, emanating from the republicans in the White House and / or the US Congress. There’s not even a whimper.
Here is the rest of the story…
On February 18, 2018, Thomas L. Friedman for the New York Times penned the following report, “Whatever Trump Is Hiding Is Hurting All of Us Now”
“What we have instead is a president vulgarly tweeting that the Russians are “laughing their asses off in Moscow” for how we’ve been investigating their interventions — and exploiting the terrible school shooting in Florida — and the failure of the F.B.I. to properly forward to its Miami field office a tip on the killer — to throw the entire F.B.I. under the bus and create a new excuse to shut down the Mueller investigation.”
“To the contrary. Our F.B.I., C.I.A. and N.S.A., working with the special counsel, have done us amazingly proud. They’ve uncovered a Russian program to divide Americans and tilt our last election toward Trump — i.e., to undermine the very core of our democracy — and Trump is telling them to get back to important things like tracking would-be school shooters. Yes, the F.B.I. made a mistake in Florida. But it acted heroically on Russia. What is more basic than protecting American democracy?”
“It is so obvious what Trump is up to: Again, he is either a total sucker for Putin or, more likely, he is hiding something that he knows the Russians have on him, and he knows that the longer Mueller’s investigation goes on, the more likely he will be to find and expose it.”
“Donald, if you are so innocent, why do you go to such extraordinary lengths to try to shut Mueller down? And if you are really the president — not still head of the Trump Organization, who moonlights as president, which is how you so often behave — why don’t you actually lead — lead not only a proper cyber-defense of our elections, but also an offense against Putin.”
“Putin used cyberwarfare to poison American politics, to spread fake news, to help elect a chaos candidate, all in order to weaken our democracy. We should be using our cyber-capabilities to spread the truth about Putin —just how much money he has stolen, just how many lies he has spread, just how many rivals he has jailed or made disappear — all to weaken his autocracy. That is what a real president would be doing right now.”
“My guess is what Trump is hiding has to do with money. It’s something about his financial ties to business elites tied to the Kremlin. They may own a big stake in him. Who can forget that quote from his son Donald Trump Jr. from back in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.” They may own our president.”
“But whatever it is, Trump is either trying so hard to hide it or is so naïve about Russia that he is ready to not only resist mounting a proper defense of our democracy, he’s actually ready to undermine some of our most important institutions, the F.B.I. and Justice Department, to keep his compromised status hidden.”
“That must not be tolerated. This is code red. The biggest threat to the integrity of our democracy today is in the Oval Office.”