Ever since Trump entered the presidential race, he has studiously avoided saying anything negative about Russian and its leader. He has had personal ties to Russia (which he has repeatedly denied) and has appointed people to office who also have had ties to Russia. And yet, to any objective observer, Russia is a bad actor. It has a repressive government with an abysmal human rights record, has annexed the territory of another country by force and is supporting a foreign rebellion, has assassinated critics both domestically and on foreign soil, and has interfered in votes in democratic countries. Apparently, Trump is fine with this, yet he has no trouble castigating U.S. allies for virtually anything they do.
In an earlier post, I suggested that Putin has some specific hold on Trump:
Putin must have something so damning on Trump that our president dare not anger Putin, lest the Russian leader tell what he knows.After yesterday’s dismaying press conference, the theory that Putin has blackmail material on our president is the only viable explanation of Trump’s behavior other than that Trump is an amoral imbecile. It is hard to pick one of these two theories as the more likely, but I am inclined to think that Trump is subject to extortion by the Kremlin.
How bad can it be, Mr. President? It is time to free yourself of Putin’s hold over you. We know you are a shady businessman; we have come to terms with the golden showers story; we know you are a sexist pig. Have you killed anyone (directly, anyway)? Have you cheated on your income tax? Fess up. Nothing you say will make us think less of you than we already do. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by coming clean.