Trump and the Russians
By Hal Lindsey
On Tuesday, CNN lit the fuse, and Buzzfeed dropped the bomb.
CNN reported, “Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.”
A two-page summary of allegations was supposedly presented to the President and incoming President in their respective daily intelligence briefings. CNN left the allegations vague, focusing instead on unnamed sources saying that several government agencies are now investigating.
Later in the day, Buzzfeed published the entire 35-page classified dossier on which the allegations are based. The salacious reading included stories of spies, hackers, and bizarre sex. It became an instant sensation.
Here’s the problem. The dossier barely rises to the level of gossip. The Wall Street Journalsays that the reports are the work of a former British intelligence operative named Christopher Steele and his firm, “Orbis Intelligence Ltd.” The dossier itself is a compilation of unsigned memos.
This is all still breaking news, and can change quickly. But I think it’s important to see a summary of what we know as of now.
Media reports say that during the Republican presidential primaries, one or more of the candidates hired a firm led by the former British intelligence officer to do opposition research on Donald Trump. Later, the Clinton campaign apparently hired the same firm. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, “No presidential campaigns or super PACs reported payments to Orbis in their required Federal Election Commission filings.”
In the second half of 2016, the dossier on Donald Trump began spreading among Washington elites. We don’t know exactly what it consisted of at that time because most of the reports released by Buzzfeed were written between August and October.
The reports, unsigned and without a business name, allege that the Russians have audio and visual evidence of Trump taking part of what the dossier calls “sexual perversions.” It gives some repulsive details, and says the Russians hope to use their evidence in a blackmail scheme to force Trump into doing their bidding.
Both Trump and the Russians have denied the whole thing. The sexual accusations in particular, would be almost impossible to prove. But the President-elect’s innocence can’t be proven either. Of course, legally, you’re innocent until proven guilty. But in the court of public opinion, unproven allegations still tend to taint the accused.
While that part of the story adds sensationalism, it’s not the main thing. The heart of the story is that Russia has been cultivating Trump for at least five years (one of the reports claims eight years) and that his team worked hand in hand with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton.
Those allegations are so serious that the FBI must investigate. But that’s something they initiated before August. Why did it come out a little more than a week before Trump’s inauguration? Is it another preemptive strike against the Trump Administration before it even enters office?
This story raises a host of disturbing questions. Might the Russians really have information that could compromise Donald Trump? Are they blackmailing other leaders around the world?
And then there’s a question that doesn’t require you to believe unsubstantiated rumors. Can Donald Trump ever come to trust the US intelligence community after what looks like their open warfare against him? Imagine a president who must get his inside information about Russia by reading Kremlin press releases! If Trump can’t trust the CIA and others, that’s about what he’s stuck with. It leaves the US Commander in Chief blind and deaf regarding the actions and intentions of other world governments.
Why would the leakers in the intelligence community be willing to destroy vital trust between their agencies and the incoming President? The answer seems to be either extreme partisanship or petty revenge because Trump dismissed some of their past conclusions.
For many years, I have pointed out that the United States is not mentioned in Bible prophecy. That means it will not be a world superpower by the time the events of the Tribulation take place. We can hope that this weakening comes because so many Americans will go up in the rapture. But so far it doesn’t look that way. It looks like a nation disintegrating before our eyes.
This bizarre story and the mainstream media’s new obsession with it, serves as further evidence of the dangerous levels of division, rancor, and partisanship now permeating Washington. The US military remains strong, and the county is still the driving force of the world’s economy. But the United States is vulnerable.
Our growing moral decay represents our true weakness as a nation. Washington’s dysfunction is a by-product of the nation’s moral collapse. We need to pray as never before that we can start a Spiritual renewal while there is still a chance of success. May the LORD give us a miracle that only He can do!