Russiagate circles and surfaces again over and within the Trump administration, and this time it comes with cries of treason. It is somewhat academic if Trump was briefed last February that Taliban-linked militants were paid by a Russian military intelligence unit to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan; he would have ignored it anyway.
But unlike the previous collision with Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential elections, the recent disclosures that Trump was advised about the attacks arrive with accusations of treason and that Trump is a traitor.
VoteVets, a group of veterans opposed to Trump, released a new video assailing him over the recent reports about the bounties. “Putin owns Donald Trump,” the organization tweeted on Monday. Along with the video, the hashtag “TRE45SON” went viral over the weekend.
The report, Trump said, was “fake news” and claimed “nobody’s been tougher on Russia” than his administration.
Treason is a word that Trump has been using to target former President Obama, though he has provided no evidence of any such crime. “It’s treason,” Trump said. “Look, when I came out a long time ago, I said they’ve been spying on my campaign. I said they’ve been taping, and that was in quotes, meaning a modern day version of taping, it’s all the same thing.”
As with so many of Trump’s snipes at Obama there is nothing to indicate that Obama spied on Trump.
Meanwhile, treason has boomeranged on Trump and his team is scrambling now to deflect and mute the issue. There was no comment from the National Security Council about the death of Marines and the suspected Russian involvement.
On Monday, June 29, John Ratcliffe, the new director of national intelligence, advised that leaks about the matter were a crime. “We are still investigating the alleged intelligence referenced in recent media reporting, and we will brief the president and congressional leaders at the appropriate time,” he said, explaining that the process required ongoing analysis.
Addressing the situation on Monday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told ABC News, “This is as bad as it gets, and yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed. Just as I have said to the president, with him all roads lead to Putin. I don’t know what the Russians have on the president, politically, personally, financially, or whatever it is.”