Sunday, September 03, 2017

Look At The Connections

For the moment, Hurricane Harvey has taken the focus off Donald's Trump's connections with Russia. Ruth Marcus writes that it's important to keep your eyes on Trump's Russian business partners:

While he ran for president, Trump was simultaneously — and secretly — pursuing financial opportunities with a foreign adversary. Not just any adversary, but Russia, a country described by his party’s previous presidential nominee as the United States’ “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” And not just pursuing financial opportunities in Russia, but actively seeking the help of at least one senior Russian official to gain government approval for the project.

Once again: This is not okay. When you run for president, you cannot — you should not — put yourself in the position of using that candidacy as a door-opening business opportunity. You cannot — even if the prospect of winning seems remote — put yourself in a position of being financially beholden to a hostile foreign power.

Trump Tower Moscow was not another instance of Trump as unabashed cross-promoter-in-chief, like using the campaign press corps to help tout the reopening of his Scottish golf course. It represented something much more disturbing, even unpatriotic.

And recall what Trump said during the campaign about his Russian connections:

“For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia,” he tweeted in July 2016. This past January, as Trump prepared to take office, he reiterated, “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA — NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” Shades of Bill Clinton — it depends on what the meaning of “have” is.  

And, after he assumed office, Trump still maintained he had no important ties to Russia:

As recently as his interview this summer with the New York Times, Trump disingenuously played down his financial interests in Russia. “I mean, it’s possible there’s a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? . . . They said I own buildings in Russia. I don’t. They said I made money from Russia. I don’t. It’s not my thing. I don’t, I don’t do that. Over the years, I’ve looked at maybe doing a deal in Russia, but I never did one.” Including the one he was pursuing while running for president, but failed to mention.

The connections are there. They've been there for a long time. Hurricane Harvey is an opportunity for Trump to change the channel. Wise observers should not follow his lead.



Marie Snyder said...

And, beyond just a distraction, we're back to Milton Friedman's "Only a crisis - actual or perceived - produces real change." After Katrina, public school unions were trashed along with many of the schools in favour of privatization of education. Let's see how much worse it plays out this time under this leadership.

Toby said...

Owen, for Canadians, Trump is the distraction. We are constantly urged to watch the orange bloat while Justin and crew toil pretty much out of sight. Yes, what happens in our large neighbour affects us but what happens in Canada affects us even more. We can point fingers at awful shenanigans in the US but we have them here too. Americans are responsible for and subject to climate disruption; so are we.

Our Canadian media keeps us so busy watching American antics, mostly trivial, that one has to wonder what they are hiding.

Owen Gray said...

It's another example of what Naomi Klein calls "disaster capitalism," Marie. The misery of many can be very profitable for the few.

Owen Gray said...

It's all about getting citizens to take their eyes of the ball, Toby. You can get away with all kinds of things when people aren't looking.

Lorne said...

Pursuant to Toby's comment, Owen, have you noticed we have heard nothing more about our government investigating reports of Saudi Arabia using our armoured vehicles against their people?

Owen Gray said...

Interesting, isn't it, Lorne, that -- in a fast paced world -- governments rely on Collective Attention Deficit Disorder to survive?

Steve said...

Owen if you give any credence to the Russians did it theory, I will have to say your just and English Major. :)

Owen Gray said...

I'm sorry, Steve. What do you mean by, "did it theory?"

Steve said...

Owen, that Hillary lost the election because of Russian meddling.

Owen Gray said...

It's clear that the Americans did it to themselves, Steve. And the Russians were correct in assuming that, with a little encouragement on their part, a significant number of Americans could be persuaded that Trump was the better choice.