Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has pivoted towards Moscow for his general election campaign, and is signaling his intent to be a surrogate for Vladimir Putin, if elected as President of the United States of America. Republicans usually obsess over states rights and American exceptionalism, so it is an unusual play to support nominee who might hand control of our Federal government – the most powerful organization on the planet – to a foreign dictator like Russia’s Putin.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook said today that experts identified the recent #DNCleak email robbery as perpetrated by Russian state actors. Meanwhile, a thorough report based on the Panama Papers revealed this week, that Trump’s new campaign manager Paul Manafort is not only a political agent of Putin, but deeply involved in global businesses with pro-Russian oligarchs and maintains a web of offshore accounts and companies.
Rank and file Republican party members are belly laughing for the moment, as one of our country’s major national party had its data security intentionally breached and leaked by Russia. The leak arrived conveniently, only one day after the Republican Party’s tepid convention.
The con artist and candidate Trump later tweeted that he thinks the Democratic Party’s data breach by Russian hackers is nothing more than a big joke, and he’s the recipient of the laughter “because Putin likes me.”
The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2016
The Washington Post reported this week that state actors in Russia were behind the breach known as #DNCleak in a classic example of counter-leaking, in this case revenge for knocking Russian athletes out of the up coming Summer Olympics for a sophisticated state-run doping scam.
“We’ve been looking at this very closely from both the technical and non-technical spheres,” said Richard Barger, chief information officer for ThreatConnect, a cyber-intelligence software firm. “Based on our analysis, we strongly feel Guccifer2 is linked to a Russian information operations campaign and is not the independent Romanian hacker that he claims to be.” The apparent link to Russian intelligence raises troubling implications for U.S. foreign relations and national security. Russia has not to date tried to interfere in U.S. elections, analysts say. But if this is a deliberate effort by the Kremlin to meddle, it is worrisome, they say.
Michael G. Vickers, who served as undersecretary of defense for intelligence from 2011 to 2015, said an effort by the Russians to release intelligence in advance of a U.S. election is likely unprecedented. “What is really new here is the attempt to influence the politics of the United States.”
“That is the problem.”
Donald Trump turned the Republican Party on it’s head this election season, and continues to do the same by redefining the political term of art “pivoting for the general election,” into territory that move his sinister campaign of racist bigotry from offensive to downright terrorizing. Most candidates tack towards the political center for the general election. Instead, Donald Trump fired his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and turned to Paul Manafort, a known ally of Vladimir Putin.
Since at the Republican National Convention, where the Trump campaign completely ignored the Republican Party’s entire platform process, which enshrined an old culture war inspired anti-LGBT ideas like gay conversion. Trump only intervened to announce he would ignore NATO Article 5 which is the central collective defense agreement that’s kept Europe free of major wars since before Trump or the Democratic Presidential nominee Clinton were born.
As I reported just three weeks ago in this column, Manafort’s emergence as the top campaign aid and surrogate to Trump’s fascist-style campaign is a sinister turn. Now, we have confirmation that this year’s Presidential election and really entire general election is no longer a choice merely between Liberal and Conservative, left or right, blue or red, but a choice between electing an American President and electing a Russian vassal as President.
It’s a sad day in America.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition