Tuesday, May 16, 2017

On Trump and Russia, Republicans need to show less "concern" and actually DO something

GOP’s concerns need to turn into definitive actions against this reckless president

Far too many Republicans are accepting of President Donald Trump’s behavior. This goes beyond his term in office — as a candidate, the GOP begrudgingly accepted him as the leader of their party, even as evidence surfaced that he assaulted women sexually.

That alone disqualifies the president from being a leader we can trust. But now, reporting from the Washington Post indicates the president gave top-secret classified information to Russian officials, information that compromises an Ally of ours and greatly delegitimizes the standing of the United States in the world as a leader.

Trump’s communications team categorically denied the report, but Trump himself this morning on Twitter seemed to confirm that he did indeed share this information with the Kremlin.

One Republican member of Congress from Wisconsin, Mike Gallagher from District 8, has actually said that the president ought to be held to account. “While POTUS possesses the authority to disclose classified, even top secret, information, there’s a separate question of whether he should,” Gallagher said on Twitter this morning.

Which is a great start. I commend Rep. Gallagher for recognizing that this isn’t normal. Under any other circumstance, the actions that the president engaged in last week would have been seen as reckless at best, treasonous at worst. Gallagher is someone whom I disagree with on most issues politically, but it's good to see that he seems genuinely concerned about Trump, and willing to dig into his actions deeper to get to the bottom of things.
But other Republicans are too restrained, in my mind, and are hesitant to call out the commander-in-chief for his braggadocious need to outdo others, from his campaign antics that questioned the size of his hands, to this latest escapade in which the president allegedly had to boast about the intelligence he received from a trusted ally. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” a source familiar with his conversations tells the Post he told the Russian ambassador.

Republicans cannot accept this from their leader, much less the leader of the nation. Their concerns have to go beyond just “deeply disturbing” especially since they chastised the Democratic candidate who opposed Trump, Hillary Clinton, for much less.

The Republicans don’t have much wiggle-room, in my opinion. There is no middle ground here. Either Republicans are upset enough with Trump's serious breach of security and other questionable actions (including firing former FBI Director James Comey) that they're willing to join Democrats in calls to investigate and possibly even indict him, or they're a party full of hypocrites that value their political victories over the needs of the country. As of today, it doesn’t look like Republicans care much about the latter.

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