This weekend we learned that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump a year and a half ago. This is different from collusion, or any other term that’s entered the equation up to this point. Counterintelligence is treason stuff. It’s spy stuff. This isn’t about Trump working with the Kremlin; it’s about Trump working for the Kremlin, and being a part of the Kremlin. It’s time we change our terminology.
It’s no longer accurate to merely refer to Donald Trump as a Russian asset. The word “asset” refers to anyone who has been targeted by a foreign government to do its bidding, sometimes with the kind of subterfuge involved that prevents the target from even knowing he’s doing the foreign government’s bidding. That does not at all describe the relationship between Donald Trump and the Kremlin.
This is a guy who publicly asked the Kremlin to illegally hack Hillary Clinton’s emails, who publicly trashed the United States while standing next to Putin, and who met with the Russians in the White House to celebrate the firing of James Comey. These are just the things Trump has been comfortable doing in public. That’s before getting to the Russian spy stuff he’s done that’s been so severe, he’s felt compelled to do it in private.
Just because Donald Trump has done some of his Russian spy stuff out in the open, it doesn’t mean he’s not a spy. Maria Butina’s Russian spy craft included taking selfies with the American politicians she was attempting to turn, and then posting them on social media for all to see. So yeah, some spy work is done in plain sight. We all agree that Butina is a Russian spy; in fact she pleaded guilty to it. Trump’s instructions to take over the GOP on behalf of the Kremlin are really no different.
The strangest argument out there right now is that Donald Trump is too incompetent and too stupid to be acting as a spy for the Russians. This seems to be based on the popular notion that people are only recruited to be spies if they’re smart and good at it. But we’ve seen it doesn’t work that way. This is the same Kremlin that tried to recruit an idiot like Carter Page.
So yeah, it’s time to start referring to Donald Trump as a Russian spy, because that’s what he is. You can call him an alleged Russian spy if you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, but that’s not necessary, because he’s already publicly confessed to being a Russian spy on more than one occasion. So let’s stop fighting the terminology, and call it like it is: there’s a Russian spy in the Oval Office. And soon he’ll go to prison for it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report