Dispatch June 13, 2019

OP-ED: Trump Invites Foreigners to Distort 2020 Elections. Why Won’t He Protect His Own Country?

At the end of a nearly two year investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller made clear that Russia engaged in “multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election.” President Donald Trump, however, doesn’t see it that way. He argued Wednesday night that this type of attack was “not an interference,” and when asked about what he would do if he was offered information about an opponent from a foreign country again, Trump said, “I think I’d take it.”

This should come as little surprise. The Trump campaign eagerly welcomed such assistance in the last election; all told, the campaign staff, transition staff and their associates had more than 270 contacts with Russia-linked operatives during the campaign and transition — which they then desperately sought to hide from the press, the public and even law enforcement.

The Mueller report paints a devastating picture of the Trump team’s frequent contacts with Russia-linked operatives. It shows that Trump’s campaign had advance warning that Russia had hacked his opponent and stolen emails. It discusses how the highest levels of the Trump campaign secretly met with representatives of the Russian government to see how they could work together to influence the election. And it details how, throughout the campaign, Trump and his personal lawyer were involved in secret discussions with the Kremlin about a lucrative business deal in Moscow, which they repeatedly lied about.