In August of 2016 candidate Trump was told by President Obama and the FBI that Russians were trying to infiltrate the campaign. Infiltrate was Attorney General Barr’s word when he had to amend his morning testimony to Congress! So Trump was warned, and at that moment the highly intelligent casino mogul had to think the FBI knew about the Moscow hotel deal and “Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump” (did the Rob Goldstone e-mail leak?). Trump knew this warning was no hoax. This was day one of his “great pressure“ and cover-up. Within days Paul Manafort (already making headlines as pro-Russian), resigned. Carter Page who just gave pro-Putin speeches in Moscow, was removed in September. George Papadopouos was dismissed in October because of his interview with Interfax, a Russian News Agency. All of these departures were needed because of the FBI warning and the Trump campaign awareness, “too many articles’ had already portrayed the campaign, then-chairman Manafort, and Trump as ‘ being pro-Russian” (Campaign e-mail July 31 2016, pages 152-153 Mueller Report).

Over the years Trump has said: “Almost all the Oligarch’s were in the room”. Does he know all of them? “I’ve done a lot of business with Russians” (David Letterman Show). “Russia has never tried to use leverage over me.” Is there a big difference between leverage and quid pro quo ? Let’s ask Moscow Mitch.

In December 2016 President-elect Trump said “It’s time for our country to move on…” and two weeks later he compared our intelligence community to Nazi Germany. We knew nothing then about the 100 plus contacts by Russians with the Trump campaign, NRA, Russia hotel deal or the Trump Tower meeting and Trump wanted it to stay that way.

Today, he continues to cover-up his financial dealings while courting Putin (rumored to be one of the richest men). Does he still want Putin to be his “new best friend?”

GARY LEE

ROANOKE

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