To the Editor:
I submit this with full respect for anyone who loves Donald Trump but because I am perplexed by his behavior regarding Russia.
At the Republican National Convention last week, what was not said is maybe more important that what was said. Donald Trump touted himself as a law and order president, but he never mentioned that on August 26, in eastern Syria, Russian troops rammed a United States soldiers’ vehicle and injured four of our troops. He never mentioned that earlier in the summer, news came that Putin paid bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump shows no curiosity or conviction in stopping Russia in these violations and prior to the RNC convention said that in several conversations with Putin on the telephone that he never mentioned it.
Trump is quick to accuse others of treason but colluding with the enemy during war is the definition of it and these behaviors are coming close to that. The RNC convention, in the four days I listened and watched, never mentioned Russia except once. That was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who briefly mentioned the administration’s effort to stop “Russian aggression.” My reaction, when he said it, was that he will be in trouble with Trump who inexplicably defends Putin and Russia.
While Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson can say that any concern about Trump and Putin is a “Russian hoax”, there is no denying that early in 2017, he hosted then Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Oval Office without an American journalist or White House recorder in the room. From a Russian journalist, America learned that he bragged to them that he had fired FBI Director Comey, calling him a “nut job”, and that he would no longer cause trouble. While those two Fox News hosts deny findings in the Mueller Report about Russian involvement in the 2016 election, there has now been a confirmation by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee that Trump’s previous campaign director Paul Manafort shared information with the “Russian intelligence officer” Konstantin Kilimnik. Senator Marco Rubio, the committee chair, said, “We found irrefutable evidence of Russian meddling” in the 2016 election. Former Intel committee chair, Republican Senator Richard Burr said that Russia, “attempted to undermine our faith in the democratic process itself,” in the 2016 election.
Is Trump ever going to stand up to Putin? He did not do it at the RNC Convention. Trump’s 70-minute speech at the convention, by totally avoiding mentioning Putin or Russia, showed that four more years of “Make American Great Again” will worsen the safety of our troops and the integrity of the election. Trump’s bravado and swagger stops at the Russian border. A Trump victory, I fear, will put Putin as the de facto American president and we may all need to learn to speak Russian.
ARTIE ANN BATES