When did I first think there was something to the allegations about the Trump campaign and Russia? In July 2016. That's when the Trump campaign softened the RNC platform on supporting Ukraine in their fight against the aggressive and hostile actions of Russia in Crimea and northern Ukraine. The Republicans have always hated Russia, so why give them some love now? It just smelled wrong.
Now we are almost a year later and we've had the DNC emails hacked by Russia and leaked to Wikileaks, we've had Russian trolls carpet bombing the internet with fake gnus to spread lies and disinformation against Hilary, and we're up to like a dozen Trump campaign or administration officials who have LIED about meetings with the Russians. Look, the news may say that they "omitted", "forgot", or "failed to disclose" these meetings on their forms. I'll be straight with you if you'll pardon the pun. They LIED. I'm a little bit familiar with the clearance process and having to report foreign contacts. They didn't omit, forget, or fail to disclose. They LIED ABOUT IT ON AN OFFICIAL DOCUMENT. There is no way in this (or any other universe) that the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency "forgot" to disclose these contacts. He omitted them intentionally.
So what's the motive? And I'm speculating, but I think it comes down to good old fashion greed, power, and revenge. Flynn, Lendowsky, Manafort? Flynn hated Obama after he was fired from the DIA, so revenge makes sense. They all made bank off their work with Russia and other foreign governments where they sold their knowledge and access to officials still in the US government to help them get lucrative consulting contracts. The problem I suspect, is that the money came to easily. And once they were "bought", it was time to turn this relationship into a two way street. The Russians want the sanctions lifted against them. And they thought if they could get their agents inside the campaign and administration to pressure, coerce, or convince Trump to do that, then it was money well spent. A couple of million in bribes, I mean consulting fees, as compared to the hundreds of millions they can make when the sanctions are lifted is a pretty good investment.
Today there's a report that the CIA knew that Putin had specifically authorized the attack on our election with the intent to help get Trump elected. I mean, it was clear that Hilary would not be a friend of Putin. And Trump was . . . malleable I think is the word I want to use. Once your agents have infiltrated the organization you are targeting, then you need to work on setting up the right conditions to make the most of your investment. So you spend a little bit of money on internet trolls and hackers to help push the election in Russia (and Trump's) favor. The fact that you are undermining the basic foundation of our democracy is just a bonus for Putin.
So what about Trump? Is he the master mind in all of this? A Putin puppet? Or a clueless ego maniac with a huge narcissistic disorder? I'm not sure. I think he got into the election to prove he could win after being made fun of after so many years. And to make money of course. It's always about the benjamins for him. But I think there were people around him who help maneuver him, guide him, and coerce him into making the decisions that they/Russia wanted him to make. To convince him that Russia is our friend, that we need to work with them, to share our intelligence, and to, of course, lift the sanctions against them.
Why did Trump wait almost 3 weeks before firing Flynn after the acting AG told him that Flynn had been compromised? Why did he fire James Comey? Why did he share classified information with Russia? Why does he still deny that Russia hacked into our election? There are so many unanswered questions so I'm sure my speculation may be a bit off.
But there is something rotten at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave and I hope we figure it out quickly before it eats away at the basic core of our country, our democracy.