I wonder what revelations will gradually seep out over the next year or so about Donald Trump and Russia. Trump has verbally attacked just about every nation in the world, especially traditional U.S. allies, but he has never once had anything bad to say about Russia. Russia committed plenty of grievous sins, including the massive cyber attack against the U.S. and the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. But the worst was probably the offer of bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing U.S. troops. And Trump has said nothing.
Trump verbally attacked hundreds of people, especially on Twitter (from which he is now banned). Why was Trump so hesitant to criticize—or even mention—Vladimir Putin?
I can only conclude that Russia—or maybe Vladimir Putin—has some kind of power over Trump. Maybe it’s financial. Trump has colossal debt. Maybe it’s personal, some scandalous act Trump committed that only the Kremlin knows about. That possibility strikes me as unlikely because Trump doesn’t seem to care much about scandal. Maybe it’s legal. Maybe Russia has damning evidence of crimes Trump has committed.
Or maybe it’s Trump’s pure admiration for dictatorship. While Trump has verbally abused just about every western democratic leader, he has been gentle with autocrats like Egypt’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman. Indeed, he has expressed envy for the power that tyrants hold.
Time will tell. I suspect that in coming months we will learn of some kind of secret tie with Russia that Trump succeeded in concealing during his years in the White House. As more and more of Trump’s secret dealings are revealed, I continue to expect that he will end up in prison.
Unless Biden pardons him. That would be rank unfairness in the service of “unity.”