The Mueller Report already detailed how the Trump campaign — and Trump himself — repeatedly sought and welcomed Russian help in finding derogatory information about Hillary Clinton. While the Report concluded that there were insufficient grounds to charge anyone with conspiracy, the campaign’s receptivity to such information is now a matter of public record.
Now, the president has confirmed that he would still welcome such information from a foreign power, and would not tell the FBI. Mr. “America First,” who insists on building a “big, beautiful Wall” on the southern border to keep out the undesirables from Central America and Mexico, now reveals his true identity. To win elections, he recognizes no national boundaries.
That Trump apparently has so little regard for this legal and cultural norm suggests that — building the Wall notwithstanding — national sovereignty means little to him.
This should not surprise. As a businessman, Trump has never been limited by national boundaries. One place is as good as another, if he stands to make money. Having refused to yield ownership of his businesses, he seems to see the presidency as just another business opportunity. He even said that as a businessman he would never call the FBI: he would have other ways to deal with problems. He sounded like a Mafia don.
But when it comes to presidential candidates, we have laws about this. It is illegal for any foreign national or foreign government to contribute anything of value to a political campaign. If opposition research is not a thing of value, why do campaigns pay big bucks for it? More fundamentally, we have a long-standing expectation that foreign powers will not be allowed to influence American elections. This goes back to Washington’s farewell address, and even further, to the Federalist papers.
That Trump apparently has so little regard for this legal and cultural norm suggests that — building the Wall notwithstanding — national sovereignty means little to him. He will sell out the integrity of American elections for his own advantage. He'd lacks the moral compass to see that there’s a problem, if he personally stands to gain.
He lacks the historical perspective to realize that he is reducing the United States to the status of one of the Central American countries he so loves to scorn (“s____hole countries”) which for a century have had to put up with US interference in their elections, often with the cooperation of their own politicians.
Tool of the Russians? What, me worry? I have Air Force One! Soldiers salute me. My base loves me. What’s the problem? And Vladimir is such a great guy, so misunderstood. Sad!