Baby-Boom Benedict Arnold: The Six Emerging Villains of the Russia Story

LET’S BE CLEAR: Despite vociferous denials to the contrary, Donald Trump and his associates worked in concert with Russian operatives to achieve the White House. Once there, he put Putin’s aims above his own country’s, if not his own.

We now know that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, special adviser, and slumlord-cum-bringer of peace to the Middle East, is, ahem, complicit. His clumsy and egregiously illicit attempt to implement a secret means of communication between the Trump administration and the Kremlin, along with the White House’s non-denial of this bombshell allegation—does any serious person believe Trump & Co. went to such extraordinary lengths to discuss Syria, a country whose pitiable refugees they went to equally extraordinary lengths to ban from entering the United States?—confirm what some of us have long suspected: Yes, there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin.

The picture is now crystal clear, the betrayal of country impossible to wish away.

This is the worst scandal in the history of the Republic. If his actions do not match the legal definition of treason—we are not at war with Russia, at least officially—Donald Trump is a traitor to his country, a Baby-Boom Benedict Arnold. And his name should eclipse that by-gone redcoat’s in the annals of infamy.

The list of collaborators in the Russia Story is literally too long to tweet. But Roger Stone exchanging DMs with Guccifer 2.0 or Paul Ryan knowing about Russian money financing GOP campaigns, is, relatively speaking, small potatoes. The (well-done) steak in the Russia Story are the men who took meetings repeatedly with Sergei Kislyak—the Russian ambassador and chief spymaster—and his FSB associates.

We know these meetings took place, we know that these meetings were highly unusual, and we know that the Americans who participated in these meetings lied about doing so—under oath, in the case of Jeff Sessions.

Let’s take a look at the six villains whom we know for sure participated in those meetings: 

Paul Manafort is Bond-villain-level bad. He’s spent most of his adult life as a Washington-based lobbyist for unsavory foreign leaders like Mobutu Sese Seko, Jonas Savimbi, Ferdinand Marcos, and Viktor Yanukovych, as well as various Russian oligarchs and Pakistan’s ISI. He raked in a boatload of money from his recent misadventures in Ukraine, and his own daughters (allegedly) believe he’s an actual murderer. It was after he became chairman of the Trump campaign that the Russian meetings took place, so it stands to reason that he was the man who initiated the collusion, probably at the behest of his Russian whoremasters.

Mike Flynn was a lobbyist for both Turkey AND Russia throughout the campaign, which he failed to disclose. Again: highly illegal. He participated in all the known Kislyak meetings. Trump did not want to fire him despite manifold warnings of his unsuitability, and defends him to this day, texting him to “stay strong” a few weeks ago. Wherefore this loyalty to Flynn, a known crook? Perhaps the more operative question is: Was Flynn Trump’s handler, or just his consigliere? Which man was actually in charge?

Jeff Sessions, the first senator to endorse Trump, participated in the notorious meeting with Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel, as “citizen journalist” Seth Abramson explains:

He had several encounters with Kislyak, and lied about them under oath during his confirmation hearing. Perjury is a felony, which, as an attorney—as the ATTORNEY GENERAL—he must know. Why did he misrepresent himself before Congress, if he’s not guilty of something greater?

Michael Cohen, Trump’s loquacious personal attorney, is a prominent figure in the Steele dossier (which, it should be noted, he claims is spurious). Whether or not he met with Russian operatives in Prague, as Steele reports and Cohen vehemently denies, he certainly participated in a meeting with Trump business associate Felix Sater at Trump Tower, at which the lifting of sanctions was discussed, and delivered the results of that meeting to Flynn. He’s as intimately involved with Trump/Russia as he is with his daughter’s lingerie-modeling career.

Jared Kushner took all the meetings, as well as God knows how many phone calls with Kislyak. He also met, covertly, with the CEO of Vnesheconombank, a sanctioned Russian state bank, the day after his secret Trump Tower rendezvous with Kislyak. His idea to use Russian diplomatic facilities as a “backchannel,” which he mistakenly believed would circumvent the NSA finding out, was so brazen that even the many-chinned Russian ambassador was taken aback. Either Kushner was the mastermind behind the whole operation, or, more likely, he was given an assignment by his father-in-law (“Figure out a private way for us to talk.”). The consensus among spooks is that what he did is punishable under the Espionage Act. Oh, and he also lied on his SF86twice… which is a felony…twice: 10 years in the slammer.

Whether Donald Trump is an active participant or useful idiot, whether he initiated the collusion or was talked into it by Manafort and Flynn, whether there was actual quid pro quo or just kompromat, his firing of Jim Comey (at Kushner’s behest, supposedly), his attempt to woo the directors of various intelligence agencies to disavow the Russia Story, his non-denial of Kushner’s latest backchannel attempt, and his decision to lawyer up and convene a “war room” to combat Trump/Russia allegations, are not behaviors that bespeak of innocence.

He’s already caused immeasurable harm to NATO, lifted some of the sanctions, and invited his Russian whoremasters into the Oval Office; total lifting of the sanctions is only a matter of time. The pertinent question is: What, aside from the election, did Putin give him in return?

That Trump will go down is inevitable; it’s either him or the republic, and the republic will stand. The only question now is how soon, how exactly all the moving parts fit together…and how many of his deplorable associates will come tumbling after.

About Greg Olear

Greg Olear (@gregolear) is a founding editor of The Weeklings and the author of the novels Totally Killer and Fathermucker, an L.A. Times bestseller.
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2 Responses to Baby-Boom Benedict Arnold: The Six Emerging Villains of the Russia Story

  1. Paul G Zolbrod says:

    Thank you for all you’re doing, Greg. Keep it up. I continue to follow you with healthy skepticism (I’m always awaiting further information and access to clear evidence), but I admire how you have gradually advanced this story. Of course if any of this turns out to be irrefutably true, it is unacceptable to say the least and we need to coalesce to do all we can to reverse the corrosive effects of the venomous Trump saga.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Thanks, Paul. As I’m not the first to point out, the story has lagged in the MSM because it’s so audacious that people have trouble accepting it is real. Meanwhile, stories continue to normalize what is, by any measure, egregious corruption. Jared was corrupt BEFORE this revelation…he lied, twice, on his security clearance form, which is a double felony. He has zero experience, and would not be at his job were he not the boss’s son-in-law…a walking definition of nepotism. MSM should bring this up ALWAYS, in EVERY story, but does not.

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