President Donald Trump, long believed by many to be a unwitting puppet to the Russian government, took that to the next level, erasing all doubt that not only is he working with the Russian government, he’s an actual agent of the Russian government, according to at least one legal expert.
If that seems like an overreaction, read this Twitter thread from Seth Abramson, who explains the entire saga and did do back in July, 2018, but went highly unnoticed.
1/ Trump’s hand-picked Republican Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, has the *same* intel on Russia’s attack on America Trump has—by definition. It’s undisputed. Or *would* be, if we didn’t know that there is *one* difference between the two men’s intelligence sources.
2/ The *one* difference between the intel Coats has and the intel Trump has is that *Trump has met privately with Russians on multiple occasions*. He did so—without the necessary meeting attendees, including advisers and witnesses—in the Oval Office, at a prior summit, and today.
3/ So the only explanation for Trump saying that he “disagrees” with intel his own DNI is 100% on is if he’s relying on the sources *he* has that DNI Coats doesn’t—namely, Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Lavrov (the Oval Office), Putin (first summit), and again Putin (Helsinki summit).
4/ So what did Trump do with the additional intelligence he received from the Russians in his three (at a minimum) protocol-busting meetings with hostile foreign actors? He used that intelligence—and the disagreement with Coats it bred in him—to *attack the United States* on TV.
5/ In doing so, Trump *literally* was acting as an agent of Russia, relying on Russian intelligence as his marching orders in spreading dangerous propaganda on international television. *That’s* why Brennan called his actions treasonous—because they *literally* (by law) are. /end
PS/ Lest you say, “What if he thinks the U.S. intelligence he’s receiving is false?”, realize that *if he in fact believed that*, he’d have a duty under his Oath of Office to root out and publicly identify who was spreading false (made-up) intelligence. But he can’t and won’t.
PS2/ To be clear, “rooting out and publicly identifying who’s spreading false intel” wouldn’t involve Trump alleging FBI agents were biased against him—*all* investigators have personal biases. He would need to have unimpeachable evidence of a “deep state” conspiracy against him.
PS3/ In 18 months, Trump hasn’t produced *one* piece of evidence, publicly or privately, of a “deep-state” conspiracy against him—and indeed all his claims (e.g. wiretapping) have been proven false. So we’re as far from the “unimpeachable” evidence Trump would need as we can get.
PS4/ So unless GOP pols know Trump is in possession of *unimpeachable*—DNI-defying—evidence of a “deep-state” conspiracy he hasn’t shared or acted upon *whatsoever*, the *only* permissible conclusion they can draw is that he’s acting against U.S. interests based on Russian intel.
PS5/ The *bare minimum* Trump outing himself as a Russian agent—in legal terms—should result in is an immediate, Watergate-style bipartisan commission to investigate whether the president’s use of Russian intel to harm U.S. interests was caused by him being compromised by Russia.
PS6/ Instead, the GOP has *failed* to demand Trump explain his intelligence sources—either by admitting he’s using Russian intel to attack America *or* by demanding that he provide *proof* that he received false intelligence *about Russia’s actions* from his own intel community.
PS7/ The reason Trump has never offered *any* proof that he’s received false intel about Russia’s actions as part of some deep-state conspiracy is because no such proof exists—he has literally *zero* defensible basis for saying any of the intelligence Coats provided him is false.
PS8/ Lest you say, “What if he’s in denial about what U.S. intel says because he doesn’t want to believe Russia attacked America to help him get elected—as that truth would hurt his pride?”, realize this is grounds for impeachment—an unwillingness to put American interests first.
PS9/ So there are only three options after today, one far more likely than the others: Trump’s a Russian agent; Trump has evidence—that he won’t share—that he’s been provided with false intel; Trump must be impeached immediately because he cannot execute his sworn Oath of Office.
PS10/ How have Putin and Mueller responded? Putin said he supported Trump because Trump said he’d normalize US-Russia relations; Mueller charged the *woman Trump made that statement to in 2015* with being a Russian agent. The question—did Trump know she *too* was a Russian agent?
NOTE/ Every media outlet—based on the facts above—should be asking the White House just one question, and it’s this one: “Which intelligence from U.S. sources that DNI Coats accepts as accurate does President Trump insist—just like the Russians do—is actually false and made up?”
Follow Seth Abramson on Twitter for more.