Archived Opinion

Trump enabled Putin,
and this is the result

Trump enabled Putin,
and this is the result

To the Editor: 

Vladimir Putin has been conducting a hacking and disinformation war against the U.S. for years (China, Iran, and North Korea have, too, but less effectively). In Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018, then-President Donald Trump stood beside Putin at a live press conference.

A reporter asked Trump about our intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election. Trump first trashed our intel agencies, then answered, “… he (Putin) says it’s not Russia. I will say I don’t see any reason why it would be.” Here is the short answer: 

Putin/Russian cyber-hacks into U.S. government agencies began in 2015 as revenge for the Obama Administration and European allies’ successful sanctions against Russia for invading and occupying Crimea. (Crimea is part of sovereign Ukraine.) Sanctions were cutting into Putin and his fellow oligarchs’ wealth. In response, Russian disinformation warfare on social media escalated. It has created or amplified every major political issue to divide Americans. 

Throughout his campaign and presidency, Trump acted to benefit Putin and Russia while harming the U.S. He continues to this day. 

Ukraine’s previous president, installed by Putin, had two American campaign managers. They are Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Manafort and Gates went from Ukraine to become Trump’s campaign managers. In 2018 Manafort was found guilty of eight counts of bank and tax fraud involving millions in Russian payments. He went to prison, but Trump pardoned him.    

Except for Trump, no U.S. president has ever held conversations alone with another leader, let alone a deadly enemy. Trump banned the White House top security stenographer from his infamous Helsinki meeting. He also held many private cell phone talks with Putin. 

Trump was impeached in part for trying to coerce Ukraine’s new President Zelensky into helping Trump win re-election. President Zelensky refused to lie even though Trump threatened to withhold military aid approved by Congress. Soon after, Trump had the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch fired for exposing his/Putin’s illegal plan. 

Early in his term Trump did away with the White House office that coordinated cybersecurity operations. He fired the State Department cybersecurity policy head. In November 2020 he fired his own appointee Chris Krebs, Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security. Trump fired or forced to resign other experienced military and intelligence experts from his cabinet, including Derek Harvey, senior director, National Security Council (NSC); and K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser. A U.S. cyber-defense commissioner told AP news service in 2020, “It’s been a frustrating time, the last four years. I mean, nothing has happened seriously at all in cybersecurity.”

Trump gave Putin other assurances of his loyalty. After the shocking news broke of Putin’s bounties on American soldiers killed by Afghans, Trump said and did nothing. In mid-August 2020, Russian warships rammed an American fishing fleet off Alaska. Response from Trump? Silence. The next month in Syria, Russian helicopters and tanks attacked and injured four American soldiers in U.S. tanks, the official Army Times reported. Response from Trump? Silence. 

Trump has done exactly what Putin wanted. Like Putin, he values only money and power. Like Putin, his only loyalty is to himself. 

Putin’s success cultivating Trump and his followers made him think he could conquer all of Ukraine without an effective U.S. and European response. What he thought would be a walkover is instead a globally-united punishment with devastating consequences for him and fellow oligarchs. In Russia, massive resistance by hundreds of thousands of people and denunciations by prominent officials and celebrities show how delusional he is. This mass murderer is the man Trump has called “savvy” and “smart.”

The attempt to conquer Ukraine is a step toward Putin’s stated goal to recreate the old USSR. His bigger goal is to weaken democracies, especially the U.S. Let us pray that Putin and Trump fail. 

Mary Curry 

Waynesville

Sources: 

• www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/dec/18/orion-hack-solarwinds-explainer-us-government

• www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/government-warns-new-hacking-tactics-russia/2020/12/17/bba43fd8-408c-11eb-a402-fba110db3b42_story.html

• www.alaskapublic.org/2020/08/28/u-s-investigates-reports-of-unprofessional-behavior-after-russian-military-ordered-bering-sea-fishermen-to-move/

• www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2020/09/18/us-sends-mechanized-troops-back-into-syria/

• www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2020/06/29/white-house-aware-in-2019-of-russian-bounties-on-american-troops-in-afghanistan-officials-say/

https://jsis.washington.edu/news/cyberattack-critical-infrastructure-russia-ukrainian-power-grid-attacks/

• www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/29/oleg-deripaska-paul-manafort-trump-russia-investigation

• www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/here-are-18-reasons-why-trump-could-be-a-russian-asset/2019/01/13/45b1b250-174f-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html

Leave a comment

9 comments

  • People seem to have such short memories in the digital age. Plenty of good sources here, ie Military Times, Army Times, among others. The people with Trump Derangement Syndrome are his true believers that can't take any news other than that filtered by the Russian Cyber-Terrorism Czars or an entertainment channel parading as a news channel. If it holds any criticism at all they automatically call it fake. Basically the same thing that Putin has done to his own nation, but they are too myopic to see it. Most of this information is available in the National Archives, in legal briefs, and other obviously unbiased sources. So sad that a power hungry conman was able to manipulate so many in the same way Putin has, and that it has rotted this nations patriots to the core. It will take a generation for the infiltration of the American political heart for this travesty to leave the collective mind of our great nation-and that will require the ratings and advertising money hungry media to get together and stand up for honesty. Both sides.

    posted by Howard F

    Thursday, 03/17/2022

  • Yes Mr. Zimmerman, good solid news sources....The Washington Post, the Guardian... I would not believe those sources if they said the Sun was coming up tomorrow. Give me a break Mr. Liberal Man.

    posted by Harold

    Monday, 03/14/2022

  • Yes Mr. Zimmerman, good solid news sources....The Washington Post, Army and Military Times, the Guardian. I would not believe those sources if they said the Sun was coming up tomorrow. Give me a break Mr. Liberal Man.

    posted by Lucille Josephs

    Monday, 03/14/2022

  • Yep

    posted by Deni Gottlieb

    Saturday, 03/12/2022

  • Good job, Ms. Curry.
    Chuck Zimmerman is right, though, about the “true believers” in Trump world - just look at the next three responses to your letter.

    Multiple references to respected sources of information are “Trumped” in some people’s minds by misinformation that may amount to nothing more than a single Substack article written for pay by some unknown someone looking to attract as many views as possible by being outrageous rather than honest or accurate.

    Thanks for your effort, Ms. Curry, but I’m afraid we have entered a time when someone who wants to believe the moon is made of Limburger cheese could find an article written by some greedy clown offering “proof” that the moon is cheesy, delicious, and quite nutritious. Actual facts and honest research are too often derided these days, and that is a very sad fact.

    posted by John Sanderson

    Saturday, 03/12/2022

  • Thank you Ms. Curry. This is a well written and well documented assessment of the truth. But of course the t. 'rump crowd refuse to accept the documented truth of the matter. They've been living in 'la-la land and spoon fed the "alternative facts" otherwise known as lies, by Herr t. rump so long they wouldn't recognize the truth if it crawled up their behind. I bet these perniciously ignorant ill-liberals will buy him a new plane. But! Who will pay off the half a billion t. 'rump owes 'putie-put? tucker calrson maybe? Not hardly. And what is 'putie's new motto? "Make Russia great again". C.Z.

    posted by Chuck Zimmerman

    Saturday, 03/12/2022

  • I agree with the author, Trump IS responsible for the Ukrainian conflict, the inflation, covid and high gas prices. Also when I got a cold andflat tire in the same wek it' all Trump's fault. Ha Ha. I hope the people that voted for this fool of a president BIDEN are happy.

    posted by Robert Sutton

    Friday, 03/11/2022

  • It's always a pattern with the Left to accuse the opposition of what they are doing. And in this case, it's true again.

    posted by Keith Kelley

    Friday, 03/11/2022

  • Mary Curry, your Trump Derangement Syndrome is out of control. You really need help.
    Here's a good source for you to read if you care to about the evolution of this whole Russia / Ukraine business. You might learn something:

    https://kanekoa.substack.com/p/how-obama-and-biden-installed-neo?s=r

    posted by Lucille Josephs

    Friday, 03/11/2022

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