Did Trump Collude with Russian in the 2016 Election? Part 1 of many

A question that seems to have been dragging on for months is whether or not President Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 Presidential election? While there has been all kinds of reports, speculation and various reports in the media from various sources; there appears to be nothing conclusive as to what was going, who was responsible and if anyone is guilty of a crime or not. It is now almost two years since the election and even with the release of some ‘official reports’, nothing seems to be clear as to what is and was going on. If a crime was committed, then it needs to be brought before a court and the people responsible held to account for their actions. If there was no crime, then an official account and report needs to be made to the public so people can have faith in the administration, its elected officials and not worry that a foreign power has or had undue influence over the US government and the country. After more than two years of investigations going on, it should be possible to get such a report done and issued. If the people running the investigations can’t or won’t make a report, then they need to replaced with people who can issue such a report in a timely manner or explain what else they need to investigate before such a report would be possible and to provide updates on their progress on being able to issue such a report.

Along the way, there seems to be a number of questions that should or need to answered plus other things that have occurred to me as this process as gone on since the election in 2016.

1: If Trump was colluding with the Russians to get elected, wouldn’t Jeff Sessions, now Attorney General (AG), have NOT recuse himself from the Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations and instead stopped any and all investigations into the issue? Jeff Sessions recused himself early in the process from all investigations in the matter. It seems that if he was somehow involved that instead of recusing himself from the investigations, that he would instead have done everything possible to stop any inquiries as soon as he was confirmed as AG.

2: Just because there may have been some Russian interference with the election, it does NOT necessarily mean that Trump colluded with Russians to win the election. If Russia did do or try to do something to influence the election, it does not mean that Trump or anyone working with his campaign had any idea what was going on or involved with it.

3: WHAT exactly was the Russian influence in the election of 2016? So far no one seems to be able to willing to tell the public EXACTLY what the Russian influence is or was. As best as I can tell, the Russian influence was some FaceBook ads of $100,000 run AFTER the election and did not necessarily all be in support of Trump. It also seems unbelievable that someone spending $100,000 in ads could change the outcome of an election when the total campaign spending for the Presidential and Congressional elections in 2016 was something on the order of $6.5 billion with $2.4 billion spent in the presidential elections, according to Opensecrets.org. I originally thought the whole presidential campaign spending was ‘only’ $300 million. How could only $100,000 in FaceBook ads change the outcome of an election? What or how could anyone alter an outcome with such a small amount of money?

4: Was there anyone on the Trump staff part of any investigation? One of the stories that seems to be making the rounds is that the then administration, under President Obama, had one or more people working as part of the Trump staff working on an investigation or even working to do some kind of ‘counter intelligence operation’ to prevent the Russians from influencing the Trump staff or Trump himself. If this is so, where is the results of that work? Why does no one seem to be clear on what, if anything, such work found? If Russia somehow was colluding or did gain influence over some of Trump’s staff, did anyone warn or notify Trump so he could deal with the problem? If the problem was so bad that Russia did have major influence over the staff, and in effect had co opted one of the staff of one of the major candidates for President, why didn’t the Obama administration tell the public or do something? i.e. Why let the election go forward if there really was a major problem? Another aspect is that even if there was someone working with Russia on the staff, it does NOT mean that Trump was part of it.

5: If Trump was working with Russian, why did Trump talk about how Germany is buying gas from Russian and giving them money and making them stronger while the US is helping to defend Russian against Germany as part of NATO?

From July 11, 2018 Washington Post article quoting President Trump at NATO meeting:
Trump’s complaint about Germany and Russia, explained

” “I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” Trump said. “So we’re protecting Germany. We’re protecting France. We’re protecting all of these countries. And then numerous of the countries go out and make a pipeline deal with Russia, where they’re paying billions of dollars into the coffers of Russia.”
“Germany is totally controlled by Russia,” he later added, “because they will be getting from 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia and a new pipeline. And you tell me if that’s appropriate, because I think it’s not, and I think it’s a very bad thing for NATO and I don’t think it should have happened.”

This is not exactly what you would expect a President Trump to be saying on the record and in public if Trump was colluding with Russia. One of the few sources of foreign exchange for Russia is its energy exports. The pipeline deals with Europe is going to be a major source of that revenue. If Trump gets Germany and other European nations to shift some of that spending to US exports, it will cost Russian billions in revenue for years to come.

Louis J. Desy Jr.
Saturday, August 25, 2018

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