No matter how gullible Donald Trump supporters choose to continue to be about how awful he is, reality doesn’t change simply because they don’t want to believe in it. Sure, large parts of the GOP can pander to their ignorance, and the right-wing media can keep feeding them the same pro-Trump propaganda they love hearing, but the rest of the world doesn’t give a damn about what they want to be true — just what is true.
Especially when it comes to other nations and our own intelligence officials. Countries like Australia, Germany, England, and France couldn’t care less what Trump supporters want to think is “FAKE NEWS!” when they’re intelligent enough to know what is or isn’t credible, even if Trumpsters don’t.
I feel that’s especially true for members of the intelligence community, both here and abroad. These folks don’t care that the people backing Trump are naive enough to believe that all these allegations are “FAKE NEWS!” or that most of the conservative media is trying to act like this is nothing but liberal propaganda to undermine his administration. They live in a world where their lives are constantly at risk. They couldn’t care less what is or isn’t “good for Trump or the Republican Party” and they also know what is or isn’t credible intelligence.
That’s why a few weeks ago when I read reports that international intelligence agencies were possibly growing skeptical of sharing information with the United States over concerns that Trump couldn’t be trusted, the massive scope of the danger this situation poses really came into focus.
To make matters worse, Trump’s bent over backwards to avoid saying anything negative about Russia or its president, Vladimir Putin, while he’s routinely and publicly attacked, criticized, and demeaned the work of the U.S. intelligence community.
For one of the best summations of how dire this situation is, look no further than comments made by counter-terrorism expert Clint Watts, who testified Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Community.
During an interview on CNN after his testimony, Watts discussed some of what he told the committee, including how all of this chaos plays right into Russia’s hands and that the actions of Trump’s campaign seemingly often being in sync with the behavior of Russian hackers “tends to lead to the belief that.. there was coordination.”
However, what I found most damning about his testimony was when he repeated a rather powerful statement he told the committee in regards to his concerns about where he feels Trump’s loyalties lie.
“I know that I’ve been targeted and I know I’m on that list,” Watts said. “If I speak today, my bank account could be compromised, I could be discredited through compromising materials, some true some false, but I think the biggest concern is I’m not confident right now that the U.S. government would actually come to bat for me. I’ve seen President Trump call for Russia to leak emails against a political opponent, I’ve seen him discredit the U.S. intelligence community to cite conspiracies that he’s seen on his Twitter feed.
“So, if I say things that the Trump administration doesn’t like or that counter to Putin, I’m not sure it’s not Trump first, Russia second and the rest of America third,” he added.
Really let those words sink in, because they are extremely important.
Right now we have spies all over the world, in very dangerous situations, who are working for a “president” who’s praised a Russian tyrant many of them know is nothing more than a dictator, while lashing out at their life-risking intelligence gathering, because they concluded what most rational people already knew: That Russia attacked the United States.
Donald Trump is not a president. Sure, some call him that, but he’s not. He is nothing more than the same, unhinged egomaniac he’s been for years. He’s that person on the Internet who rejects any news or information that doesn’t confirm what they want to hear. A conspiracy-driven lunatic who believes in a reality that doesn’t exist.
And that is incredibly dangerous — especially for our intelligence community.
What if Trump is, in fact, compromised? I’m not saying he definitely is, but there’s an on-going investigation based upon enough evidence suggesting it’s possible. If Putin is blackmailing Trump, who reading this doesn’t think our “president” would sell out faceless people none of us even know exist buried deep somewhere in Russia collecting intelligence, if he thinks doing so might be beneficial for himself? If you don’t think he would then, please, cite a single instance in his life where he’s put anything before himself. Keep in mind, this hypothetical decision for Trump to “give up” certain people could very well be the difference between prison and no one ever finding out about something that could send him there.
This was one of the many reasons why I didn’t want to see Trump in the White House. Even if he’s not compromised by Russia and all of these allegations are just a really horrible string of coincidences, Trump is someone who’s proven time and time again that he will always put himself before everyone else. Someone who doesn’t do anything that doesn’t benefit his own interests and he never… ever will.
When I heard what Watts said, a somber wave of emotions passed over me. While I’m sure not everyone feels how Watts does, you’d have to be naive to not think that there are a good chunk of the men and women putting their lives on the line to gather intelligence to protect us who do feel this way — and that’s incredibly depressing. These folks to love their country enough to risk their lives to keep it safe, yet some of them don’t feel as if they can trust our current “president” to not sell them out if he feels it’s in his – or Russia’s – best interests to do so.
How all of this ultimately turns out is anyone’s guess right now, but it’s undeniable that this is an incredibly dark time for this country.
Watch Watts’ comments below via CNN: