This is all disturbing. From the leaks, to the Buzzfeed document dump, to the substance of the allegations themselves. Are there “officials” who hate Trump so much that they’re willing to leak information that they know will lead to widespread public fear that the president-elect is compromised by a hostile foreign power? If so, that’s extraordinary. Or, just as extraordinary, are there officials who are so concerned by Trump’s potential ties to Russia that they’re willing to risk a public firestorm to jump-start an investigation? And yes, there are members of the media who hate Trump so much that they’re willing to print the wildest possible rumors, repeat them across the web, and then mock him relentlessly based on claims that can likely never be properly investigated, much less proven.
This takes place against the backdrop of conduct and rhetoric that was already deeply problematic. Russia’s disruption efforts were intolerable. Trump’s oddly consistent defenses of Putin and Russia were troubling. His remarks about NATO have been alarming. The list could go on. In other words, the situation was already volatile — because of Russia’s actions and Trump’s words. I have the same question as Jonah: “Why is admiration for Putin and his government the only issue Trump has never wavered, equivocated, or flip-flopped on?
The situation is crying out for an investigation — into the substance of the claims and the leaks to the press. The American people need to know what Russia is doing, what our president-elect or his team have done (if anything), and whether members of our own government are breaking the law to try to delegitimize Trump.