Russia Was in Contact With Trump's People During the Campaign

A journalist writes a material as she watches a live telecast of the U.S. presidential election standing at portraits of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in the Union Jack pub in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Russia's lower house of parliament is applauding the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Ever since the stunning victory on Tuesday, and as the Republican Party enjoys the most bittersweet electoral sweep in memory, there has been a soft push to get everyone back on the same team.

What I commonly hear now, especially from reluctant Trump supporters, is “now it’s time to hold him accountable.”

Ok, I can get on board with that. I already said that as our President-Elect my greatest wish is to have been wrong about how I’ve viewed him. To find out that he’s not a Sociopath but is just a brash guy with a spotty past, ready to be molded into the next great president.

So I will endeavor to do less speculating on how bad he could be and instead focus on what he is doing or what we learn about him.

In keeping with that effort, I need someone to explain to me why it shouldn’t bother me that after seeing for months the denials that there was any existing relationship between Trump and Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin (beyond mutual respect), news now emerges that they were indeed in contact.

Via the Hill:

Russia says it kept in touch with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign before the Republican nominee’s White House win.

“There were contacts,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Interfax news service Thursday, according to multiple reports.

“Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Rybakov said.

“Those people have always been in the limelight in the United States and have occupied high-ranking positions. I cannot say that all of them but quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.”

“We continue this work of course,” he added, without providing further details of the “contacts” between Russia and Trump’s staff.

This is coupled with the fact that it has now emerged that, despite denials from Julian Assange, yes, it is very likely that Wikileaks and Russia were working in tandem to leak information damaging to Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Sergei Markov, a pro-Kremlin political analyst, was jubilant at the result and said a Trump presidency would make it more likely the US would agree with Russia on Syria, where the two powers back different sides and Moscow has intervened decisively on behalf of the president, Bashar al-Assad.

Markov also said it would mean less American backing for “the terroristic junta in Ukraine”. He denied allegations of Russian interference in the election, but said “maybe we helped a bit with WikiLeaks.” (emphasis mine)

And just as a quick reminder about Trump’s relationship with Putin and his overall view of foreign policy, here’s a 3 minute clip about it:

Ok, so, back to holding him accountable.

Shouldn’t this bother us? Didn’t we throw hissy fits of epic proportions when Obama made a hot mic remark to Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more flexibility to work with Russia after the election and Medvedev said in his best impersonation of a Russian spy, “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

I know that remark from Obama bothered me when he said it. I felt like it indicated a willingness to hoodwink the American people into thinking during an election year that he intended on holding Russia’s feet to the fire while the evidence indicated he’d be soft on them after the election.

If all the above is at least as damning for Trump as that was for Obama, can someone from the “new GOP” tell me why it doesn’t matter?

I anxiously await the transmission of this information.