Friday, May 12, 2017

TOP STORY >> Russians, Kissinger and Trump

Leader Executive editor

“The eyes of America—perhaps of the world—are turned to this Government; and many are watching the movements of all those who are concerned with this Administration.”

—George Washington

“I’m trying to avoid the conclusion that we’ve become Nicaragua.”

—Former CIA director Michael Hayden

The Russian foreign minister and ambassador visited the White House on Wednesday, perhaps hoping for an update on the Russian investigation the day after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey.

A shrunken Henry Kissinger was also at the Oval Office, sitting in a plush chair that almost swallowed him up. It was a strange photo opportunity because here was another reminder of the Nixon White House of 1973-74, as if this administration needed more comparisons with the most lawless administration (so far) in history, which ended badly for Nixon and all the president’s men.

American media were barred from the Oval Office when the distinguished Russian visitors arrived. Only the Kremlin’s photographer was allowed to take photos of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak, a more than usually red-faced president and Kissinger, who posed with the help of a cane.

Kissinger looked disoriented, but the others were beaming, thinking maybe that after Comey’s firing, no one could connect this administration to Russian subversion before a grand jury. The Russians love Trump. Wonder why.

Kislyak was Gen. Michael Flynn’s handler and channeled funds to the disgraced former national security adviser, who is said to be seeking immunity from prosecution. The Russian plot against America was audacious, but thanks to our system of constitutional checks and balances, the Russians and their American collaborators will pay a price for that betrayal.

Putin is a cunning adversary, but far from brilliant. We know the high-stakes games he’s playing, but we can checkmate him from now on. The Russians interfered with our elections, but they failed last weekend in France, where their dirty tricks were uncovered before they could affect the voting. Their neo-fascist candidate, Marine LePen, received just one-third of the vote.

If the Russians are so smart, why did the Soviet Union collapse?

There are ways to fight Russian hacking, but inviting them to the White House is not how you do it. A thorough investigation into the administration’s ties to Putin should shed more light on the friendly relations between our two countries.

George Washington, who was mindful of his responsibilities as president of a new republic, fought against “political Mountebanks,” as he called them, who dismissed the idea of the new United States even after the colonies were victorious. Washington knew his actions would make or doom the new nation, and he acted accordingly: His dignity embodied the hopes and dreams of a struggling republic. He refused to be a monarch. His title was simply Mr. President and he would retire after serving eight years.

The first president knew all about political mountebanks, both foreign and domestic, who would tear this nation apart. He would not have allowed Russian spies into the White House. Ambassador Kislyak (whose triple chin makes him a dead ringer for the British actor Charles Laughton) is a member of the Russian secret service responsible for the deaths of dozens of journalists and opponents of the Putin regime.

The oleaginous Lavrov has an uncanny resemblance to one of his notorious predecessors, Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov (perhaps they’re related). Molotov signed the diabolical Hitler-Stalin pact in Berlin in 1939 that divided Poland between the Nazis and the communists until Germany invaded a stunned mother Russia in 1941.

Sure, this is ancient history, but anyone who trusts the Russians as this administration has is betraying this nation’s greatest principles as set forth by Washington and the Founders.

Anyone who invites the likes of Kissinger, Kislyak and Lavrov to the White House dishonors our best traditions and insults the sacrifices of the men and women who have defended our Republic and who must remain vigilant against the enemies of civilization.

We should know more as the FBI investigation accelerates even without director Comey, who sought to expand his Russian investigation before he was fired. The men and women at the FBI are determined to take their investigation wherever it may lead them. The American people deserve a full accounting. The Framers would not want them to accept anything less.