We cannot trust President Trump to act with wisdom, objectivity, and reasonable perspective when dealing with our most potentially dangerous adversary, Russia.
Trump's inner circle, along with former members of the same, have been hopelessly stained by strange and worrisome associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin's thuggish regime.
As I wrote about another president back in August 1998: "If there's a stain, remove it. That's simple logic. Now there's a stain … on the presidency." The conclusion back then: Because Bill Clinton's actions were "not just disturbing but dangerous," it was "time for [the president] to resign."
Likewise, one way or another, Trump, should leave the White House.
Bill Clinton's perjury and obstruction and all his administration's other transgressions were sins against the U.S. system of justice. They merited serious punishment that they never fully received.
The Trump world's transgressions, though, are potentially more damaging still because they put our national security at risk. They merit prophylactic action – namely, a resignation for the sake both of the public weal and of Trump's family honor.
Even if you do not have Trump's decades-long history of seeking business with morally questionable Russian entities or his 10-year history of bizzaro-world praise for Putin or his abject betrayal of American honor by implying that our human rights record is as bad as Russia's … yes, even if none of that strangely pro-thug-Russian context doesn't already exist, you should be mortified to learn that your namesake son, your extremely close son-in-law to whom you have given a huge White House portfolio, and your then-campaign manager all met with somebody sold as a "Russian government lawyer" as "part of Russia and its government's support" for your campaign.
Even to seek help for reaching the presidency from a nation decidedly hostile to the United States and its interests is to terribly compromise your entire campaign and incoming administration.
To be blunt: It puts you in hock to that hostile nation (or even further in hock, as may be the case here).
Long before Donald Trump Jr. joined Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to meet this supposed representative of the Kremlin, the Internet was buzzing with reports of Trump-team collusion with Russian interests – and six federal agencies already had begun an investigation into the reports. By June 15, just a week after the meeting, even House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was saying behind closed doors that he suspected that "Putin pays" Trump. In such circumstances, with suspicions of Trump-Putin ties already rampant, anybody with sense or with a moral compass would have steered clear of such a meeting.
For Trump's three most politically important associates/family members to be so blinkered as to not recognize this meeting invitation as being morally compromising is for them to bring serious dishonor to a candidate and father with any sense of honor.
But this is a billionaire huckster with long-standing purblindness about Putin's evil and long-standing ties of a shady nature with those in the corrupt Russian oligarchy. In the early 2000s, Trump was doing deals with a guy named Felix Sater who was fingered for Russian mob connections, and Trump even had to testify in court about those dealings. Sater is a thug of the first order once imprisoned for a year for attacking a commodities broker with a broken margarita glass, but Trump's companies repeatedly gave him office space and business cards as a Trump associate.
And, of course, Donald Trump Jr. in 2008 admitted or, rather, bragged that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. … We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."
One would think, with all this smoke, that President Trump would be embarrassed about his family's material cooperation with Putin's orbit. But, no, even after all this, Trump's administration this week tried again to undermine a bill imposing sanctions on Russia – even though the bill passed the Senate in a rare 98-2 vote.
Team Trump's kowtowing to Russia long ago reached epic proportions. Trump hired a campaign director with shady Russian ties, he hired as his original national security adviser a man with shady Russian ties, and he nominated a secretary of state who had been personally honored by Putin with the Russian Order of Friendship.
Now nobody in the public and no foreign heads of state can trust the Trump team's assessment of Russia's moves on the international chessboard.
This is untenable. For the sake of public confidence in America's honorable conduct of foreign affairs, President Trump should forfeit his office.
Quin Hillyer (@QuinHillyer) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. He is a former associate editorial page editor for the Washington Examiner.
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