My View: U.S. legacy of wars won't end soon

A key finding of the Mueller report is that “The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” The report contains more than 100 pages detailing 140 Russian contacts with the Trump campaign.

The Moscow Project lists 251 contacts and 37 meetings with Russians; nobody called the FBI.

Mueller also made fourteen other criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

Russian sabotage involved the theft of “hundreds of thousands of documents” as well as manipulation of social media platforms from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram to Reddit, Tumblr, and 9GAG.

Facebook estimated that Russia (the Internet Research Agency) reached approximately 126 million persons; it identified 470 IRA-controlled Facebook accounts that collectively made 80,000 posts. Twitter identified 3,814 IRA-controlled accounts which reached approximately 1.4 million people.

DHS and the FBI said that the IRA targeted election systems in all 50 states in 2016.

Trump still has done nothing to prevent a recurrence; instead, he sucks up to Putin.

DOJ subsequently appointed a special counsel to investigate the attacks. When Trump heard that Robert Mueller would lead the investigation, he reportedly said “I’m fu**ed; this is the end of my presidency.”

Trump then led a concerted effort to derail that investigation, directing Don McGahn and Corey Lewandowski to fire Mueller, asking staff to lie for him, dangling pardons, constructing a false paper trail, destroying evidence, encrypting crucial communications, and now, defying subpoenas.

More than 800 prosecutors have signed a public letter asserting that Trump would have been indicted on multiple felony charges but for the Justice (OLC) memo that says presidents can’t be indicted. Mueller’s report lists 10 examples of possible obstruction of justice.

Trump has spent his entire life one step ahead of the law. According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, 64 percent of Americans believe that Trump committed crimes before he was elected, and 65 percent told pollsters that they believe Trump is dishonest. Meanwhile, Michael Cohen went to prison this month for felonies that he committed at the direction of unindicted co-conspirator Donald Trump, including paying hush money.

Somewhat surprisingly, Mueller seemed to exonerate Trump Jr. on the grounds that he was too dumb to know he was breaking the law.

It runs in the family. William T. Kelley, who taught Trump at the Wharton School, said repeatedly that “Donald Trump was the dumbest goddam student I ever had.”

The people who know Trump best agree: General McMaster called him “a dope with the intelligence of a kindergartner; Reince Priebus, Steve Mnuchin and General Kelly all termed him “an idiot;” Rupert Murdoch said “fu**king idiot; Gary Cohn called him “dumb as sh*t,” and Rex Tillerson would not deny that he called Trump “a fu**ing moron.” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Trump had the understanding of “a fifth- or sixth-grader;” Steve Bannon said that Trump was “like an 11-year-old child,” and Tom Barrack reportedly told a friend that Trump was “not only crazy—he’s stupid.”

There is a reason Trump had Michael Cohen threaten former schools not to release his transcripts.

This after all, is a guy who, among other idiocies, thinks wind turbines cause cancer and has called for the death penalty for suicide bombers.

Gary Cohn said “Trump won’t read anything — not one-page memos, not the brief policy papers; nothing.”

The only book Trump has ever been accused of reading is a collection of Hitler’s speeches, which his first wife said he kept on his nightstand. And sure enough, he promotes white supremacy, spreads racism and bigotry to his cult, and openly approves of potentially violent biker gangs. Anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant violence have grown since he took office.

Ex-Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal famously branded the GOP as the “stupid party.”

Trump apparently agrees. Elizabeth Spiers, who worked for Jared Kushner, once asked why Trump told so many lies, particularly the “birther” lie. Kushner allegedly responded that Trump didn’t really believe it.

He just knows that Republicans are stupid and they’ll buy it. She added that Trump lies for practice, which would explain the 10,000 Trump lies the Washington Post fact checker has compiled.

One of Trump’s regular lies is that 2016 elections were rigged. If he loses the 2020 election, he is almost certain to claim fraud.

Michael Cohen and Nancy Pelosi both publicly questioned whether Trump would ever leave office. Trump even retweets claims that he lost two years of his term because of the Mueller probe, and so should have his term extended.

Trump may have to be dragged out of the White House in cuffs.

Tom Maertens was a naval officer, a Peace Corps Volunteer and a Foreign Service Officer who served around the world, in the White House and in the U.S. Senate.

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