The commotion at the Democratic convention’s curtain raiser distracted from a possible Trumpian subplot that is of major concern to U.S. intelligence officials. From all appearances the Russians hacked the DNC to expose an email cache that would make Hillary Clinton’s email troubles seem like no more than the hidden hole card in a penny ante game.
There’s now strong suspicion at the highest levels of the FBI that Russian president Vladimir Putin was behind the hacking because he wants his buddy-buddy Donald Trump to win. Even the timing of the disclosure on convention eve pointed to a Russian plot to disfigure the Democrats.
Trump has long expressed his friendship with Putin and has lately suggested that we should get rid of NATO – a line directly from Putin’s playbook. Trump also has been joined by his shady co-campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who has emerged as the phantom of his darkest opera. Manafort was close to the pro-Russian regime in Croatia and is said to have been a regular commuter to Ukraine’s capital of Kiev. Put him down as Trump’s alter ego who will stop at nothing to advance his goals.
More concern: Later this week both candidates will get a top-level security briefing. With sensitive information in their hands, will Trump and Manafort continue to connive to serve their own interests? That should worry all of us. In so many ways, Trump is recklessly gaming the system.
There’s enough pourable stuff here leading to the neck of the funnel. For now, I would plagiarize Trump’s familiar gossipy refrain to foul Obama that “There’s something going on…”
P.S.Joe Scarborough was so taken, as I was, by Michelle Obama’s speech that he predicted that in four years the Republicans will use passages from it at their own convention.