I have long noticed a disturbing pattern in Donald Trump’s behavior — he often accuses others of doing bad things of which he himself is guilty. And he does it even if we don’t yet know that he is doing those bad things. Maybe it is his way of getting ahead of a story, so that he can try to use whataboutism if his misdeeds become publicly known.
So when Trump started accusing Barack Obama of treason for completely specious reasons, I got suspicious.
Then Trump doubled down by accusing Obama of “Obamagate”… without ever even explaining what that was.
But on Friday, the other shoe dropped. Unfortunately, the main articles about this are behind paywalls, but here is a good review of what happened from historian Heather Cox Richardson (starting in the second paragraph).
In summary, Donald Trump and quite a few members of his administration were briefed in March that Russia was paying Afghan militants to kill American soldiers. Potential responses were discussed, but the White House never did anything, and Congress was never informed (which they should have been).
Instead, after the briefing our commander-in-chief continued to kiss up to the Russians:
- Trump issued a joint statement with Vladimir Putin commemorating the 75th anniversary of the meeting between American and Soviet troops in Germany that signaled the final defeat of the Nazis.
- Trump called Putin and talked for 90 minutes. Afterward, he said “Had a long and very good conversation with President Putin of Russia. As I have always said, long before the Witch Hunt started, getting along with Russia, China, and everyone else is a good thing, not a bad thing.”
- A few weeks later, the US sent a $5.6 million aid package to Moscow, containing medical equipment to fight the coronavirus (even though Trump told US states to buy their own equipment).
- On June 1, Trump made another call to Putin and then started lobbying for Russia to be readmitted to the G8.
- Two weeks later, Trump ordered the withdrawal of 9,500 US troops from Germany, who were there to protect Germany against Russian aggression.
Treason is the only crime defined by the US Constitution, and the definition includes giving Aid and Comfort to our enemies. A country that pays people to kill our soldiers is definitely an enemy, and Trump explicitly gave the Russians actual aid, and is providing them comfort.
So while Trump’s accusations of treason against others are baseless, there is strong evidence that he committed treason himself.
On Sunday, in response Trump started tweeting in his typical blunderbuss fashion, claiming that he was never briefed about this (unlikely), calling the story from the NY Times “fake news” (while not disputing any of the information in it), asserting that “nobody’s been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration” (which is patently false), and trying to shift the story by asking “Where’s Hunter?” (a reference to Joe Biden’s son, who was on the board of a Ukrainian company — a “fake news” story that has nothing to do with this one and which has been completely debunked).