Former senior U.S. national security officials are dismayed at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s repeated refusal to accept the judgment of intelligence professionals that Russia stole files from the Democratic National Committee computers in an effort to influence the U.S. election.The former officials, who have served presidents in both parties, say they were bewildered when Trump cast doubt on Russia’s role after receiving a classified briefing on the subject and again after an unusually blunt statement from U.S. agencies saying they were “confident” that Moscow had orchestrated the attacks.
Trump is simply lying to the American people — saying his Putin’s Russia has not been identified as the hacking culprit. With Putin apologists like Michael T. Flynn and Boris Epshteyn surrounding Trump, this should come as no surprise. What is more stunning is that Trump continues to insist on Russia’s innocence despite replete evidence, thereby opening himself up to the assessment that he is either dumb or an apologist for a foe of the United States. We find ourselves in agreement with former secretary of state and Russia specialist Madeleine Albright, who declared recently: “There is a great term the Soviets used to use: ‘somebody being a useful idiot’ . . . I think that Trump falls into that category of people that are manipulated also by the Russians and the Russians are trying to interfere in our democracy because they don’t have one themselves.”
Too bad GOP leadership and knowledgeable officeholders such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) lack the intellectual integrity and appropriate level of concern about Americans’ national security to denounce Trump and pull their support.
Even when Trump has a legitimate issue, he manages to bollix it up with stupid boasts and out-and-out lies. The media now calls him out, a far cry from the primary season when he was allowed to spew his nonsense without fear of contradiction. There is a legitimate, critical issue — spiking Obamacare premiums — but instead of offering an alternative, he blathers the same platitudes. Worse, he gets tangled up in new lies:
Motioning to his employees, Trump said, “You look at what they’re going through, what they’re going through with their health-care is horrible.” The Affordable Care Act is designed to provide health-care coverage for people not insured by their employer — so Trump’s statement seemed to suggest that he doesn’t offer health-care insurance.But Trump told Fox News later, “We don’t even use Obamacare. We don’t want it.”Trump Doral general manager David Feder told reporters that “over 95 percent” of the resort’s employees receive health-care coverage through the company and that “very, very few” of them rely on plans offered through the federal health-care law.
Trump either doesn’t know what coverage his employees have or doesn’t care. His phony concern for victims of bad policy prompts him to invent facts, exaggerate claims (e.g. murders committed by illegal immigrants) and distract the media from his opponent’s weak points.
Too bad it took this long for Trump to receive the rebukes he so richly deserves from his own party and the media. Here, late truly is better than never.