The Last Time Trump Pushed a Foreign Regime To Influence Our Elections Was … Yesterday
In July 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump publicly called on Russia to hack the email account of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton — something that Russian intelligence operatives attempted that same day. A month earlier, Trump’s son, son-in-law, and campaign chairman had met with a Russian lawyer in Trump’s offices on the promise that they would receive “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia.. very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” In 2020, President Trump has continued to deny and downplay Russian election interference.
In 2019, Trump held up congressionally-mandated military aid to Ukraine, and dangled the possibility of a White House meeting, to pressure Ukraine’s president into announcing an investigation of Democratic candidate Joe Biden, when there was no legitimate basis for such a probe. This effort by Trump, though unsuccessful, was the high crime — abuse of office, extortion, bribery, take your pick — that got Trump impeached by the House and led a majority of Senators to declare him culpable.
Soon after getting caught illegally pushing Ukraine to interfere in our election by announcing a fake probe of Biden, Trump stood in front of cameras at the White House last October and said, “China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine.”
It’s clear that the lawless Trump doesn’t care about the round condemnation he’s received for improperly seeking to get foreign leaders to interfere in our elections. Because, with the 2020 election 10 days away, he did it again Friday.
Trump was sitting at his desk in the Oval Office to announce that Israel and Sudan had agreed to open economic ties. Behind Trump was the familiar tableau of bunched-together, maskless white henchmen, Jared and the rest.
Trump had Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the speaker phone, and after some back-and-forth and press questions, Trump, according to the official White House transcript said this:
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi? Sleepy Joe. I think — do think he would had made this deal? Somehow, I don’t think so.
There was a brief silence before Netanyahu responded, and he didn’t answer Trump’s question:
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Well, Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America. And we appreciate what you’ve done enormously.
Tensing up, and looking obviously disappointed that his attempt had failed, Trump responded wanly:
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: We appreciate very much what you’ve done.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah.
Trump: “Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi, Sleepy Joe?”— The Recount (@therecount) October 23, 2020
Israeli PM Netanyahu: “Uh … well … Mr. President, one thing I can tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America.” pic.twitter.com/LU02tEOXtK
Among the disgraceful sycophants crowded behind him, Mike Pompeo stood out — a West Point and Harvard Law graduate who surely knows better, he has been a relentless hatchetman, brazenly defending Trump’s corrupt abuses, when he is supposed to be protecting and advancing around the world the interests of the American people. He stood by once again and watched Trump pervert our democracy and our foreign relations.
For his part, Bibi may love all that Trump and Sheldon Adelson have done for his right-wing regime, and Bibi well knows that what Trump loves most of all is people who love and suck up to Trump, and help Trump politically, and that Trump doesn’t forget a slight. But Bibi above all loves Bibi, and he hasn’t survived so many decades in Israeli politics, through crises and scandals, without being shrewd and sensitive to realities.
This might have been the moment when Joe Biden became president.
Trump’s latest effort to pressure a foreign government to interfere in our elections was, like most of his corrupt efforts this year, a complete disaster.