President Trump has indicated that he doesn’t want to defend American democracy concerning Russia’s hacking of the 2016 US election, argues Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times. While it can’t yet be fully proven that he is conspiring with Moscow, much of his behavior indicates that it is so. The way he dismissed US intelligence agencies while siding with Vladimir Putin was a slap to America and a huge victory for the Russian leader. Suggestive is also the fact that Russian agents starting hacking Hillary Clinton’s emails the day that Trump suggested they do so. Either way, his actions are benefiting Russia, not the US.
The notion circling in some media outlets that President Trump is openly colluding with Russia is wrong, infers Michael Brendan Dougherty of National Review. His denial of alleged election hacking by Russia was surprising coming from a US leader, but it is likely rooted in his fear of this undermining the greatness of his 2016 victory. Making that admission could also put the legitimacy of his presidency in question, opening the door to him leaving office. If he truly were a Russian agent, his actions would be different. Sanctions against Russia are still in place. The US is still part of NATO. Trump is not conspiring with Russia.