Trump vs. the Russophobes

“Fake news!” roared Donald Trump, the work of “sick people.”

The president-elect was referring to a 35-page dossier of lurid details of his alleged sexual misconduct in Russia, worked up by a former British spy. A two-page summary of the 35 pages had been added to Trump’s briefing by the CIA and FBI — and then leaked to CNN.

This is “something that Nazi Germany would have done,” Trump said. Here, basically, is the story.

During the primaries, anti-Trump Republicans hired the ex-spy to do “oppo research” on Trump, i.e., to dig up dirt.

The spy contacted the Russians. They told him that Trump, at a Moscow hotel in 2013, had been engaged in depraved behavior, that they had the films to blackmail him, and that Trump’s aides had been colluding with them.

When Trump won the nomination, Democrats got the dossier and began shopping it around to the mainstream media. Some sought to substantiate the allegations. None could. So none of them published the charges.

In December, a British diplomat gave the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who personally turned it over to James Comey of the FBI.

On Jan. 7, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and his colleagues at the NSA, CIA and FBI decided the new president needed to know about the dossier. They provided him with a two-page synopsis.

Once CNN learned Trump had been briefed, the cable news network reported on the unpublished dossier, without going into the lurid details.

BuzzFeed released all 35 pages. The story exploded.

Besides Trump’s understandable outrage, his Jan. 11 press conference produced related news.

U.S. intelligence agencies had for months contended that it was Russia who hacked the DNC emails and those of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta. Putin’s objectives, they contend, were to damage both U.S. democracy and Hillary Clinton, whom Putin detests, and to aid Trump.

Trump had previously dismissed claims of Russian hacking as unproved conjecture, and also as being advanced to delegitimize his victory.

Wednesday, Trump conceded Russia did it: “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” adding, Vladimir Putin “should not be doing it.”

The stakes in all of this are becoming huge.

Clearly, Trump hopes to work out with Putin the kind of detente that President Nixon achieved with Leonid Brezhnev.

This should not be impossible. For, unlike the 1970s, there is no Soviet Empire stretching from Havana to Hanoi, no Warsaw Pact dominating Central Europe, no Communist ideology steering Moscow into constant Cold War conflict with the West.

Russia is a great power with great power interests. But she does not seek to restore a global empire or remake the world in her image. U.S.-Russian relations are thus ripe for change.

But any such hope is now suddenly impaired.

The howls of indignation from Democrats and the media — that Trump’s victory and Clinton’s defeat were due to Putin’s involvement in our election — have begun to limit Trump’s freedom of action in dealing with Russia. And they are beginning to strengthen the hand of the Russophobes and the Putin-is-Hitler crowd in both parties.

When Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson went before the Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Marco Rubio demanded to know why he would not publicly declare Putin a “war criminal.”

The more toxic Putin-haters can make the Russian president, the more difficult for President Trump to deal with him, even if that is in the vital national interest of the United States.

The sort of investigation for which McCain has been clamoring, and the Beltway drums have now begun to beat, could make it almost impossible for President Trump to work with President Putin.

The Washington Post describes the engine it wishes to see built:

“The investigators of Russian meddling, whether a Congressional select committee or an independent commission, should have bipartisan balance, full subpoena authority, no time limit and a commitment to make public as much as possible of what they find.”

What the Post seeks is a Watergate Committee like the one that investigated the Nixon White House, or a commission like the ones that investigated 9/11 and the JFK assassination.

Trump “should recognize,” writes the Post, “that the credibility of his denials of any Russian connections is undermined by his refusal to release tax returns and business records.”

In short, when the investigation begins, Trump must produce the evidence to establish his innocence. Else, he is Putin’s man.

This city is salivating over another Watergate, another broken president. But President-elect Trump should be aware of what is at stake. As the Wall Street Journal writes:

“Mr. Trump’s vehement denials (of collusion with Moscow and corrupt behavior) also mean that if we learn in the future that Russia does have compromising details about him, his Presidency could be over.”

Yes, indeed, very big stakes.

Patrick J. Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of the book The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority.

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31 Responses to Trump vs. the Russophobes

  1. Kurt Gayle says:

    You worry too much, Pat.

    With Inauguration Day only a week away, the new Trump administration is coming together just fine.

    We Trump supporters see through the latest round of lies. We’ve seen the crooked media and the crooked politicians in operation before. Those of us in Trump nation are rock-solid.

    In their pathetic desperation the anti-Trump forces are only further discrediting themselves.

  2. Eric Blair says:

    There is something fetid and dangerous going on a kind of a dark triad. The congressional Zionist russophobes are pushing the red scare in the USA, while Israel attacks Syria,annex the Golan’s,and enforces a state of siege in Gaza. Meanwhile NATO and USA forces massively move closer to Russia. The Israeli and world Zionists are engineering the start of WW III, pushing a ted scare inside the USA, attacking Syria and pushing USA, NATO into War with Russia. Of course the conflict will pull Iran,China,into a world war. Zionist Israel will set the world on fire.

  3. JEinCA says:

    Mr. Buchanan we need a nationalist party backed by armed paramilitary wing because those who seek to destroy Mr. Trump are the same Globalist shills who have undermined our sovereignty, shredded our bill of rights and destroyed our manufacturing base shipping jobs overseas. These traitors need to know this ends now and they must out nation, our sovereignty, our Constitution and our economic sovereignty. We demand it. This is our nation not theirs. They have to know it’s the ballot or the bullet as Malcolm X once said.

  4. Michael Kaiser says:

    Perhaps the weakest article I have ever seen Patrick Buchanan write. Could you not at least have thrown in the rote and childish “war party?” This type of story certainly had room for that.
    The article rehashes what by now every third grader knows about the events that have transpired. A better use of space would have been to to go in depth as to what really is motivating McCain and Graham. Have some courage. Or at least write SOMETHING of substance.

  5. John S says:

    Just a week ago, it was only Russophobes and Putin-haters who took our intelligence agencies seriously when they claimed that Russia was behind the hacks. It seems Putin’s fanbois will only accept the testimony of Trump, Putin, or Assange. Can one reasonably be certain “there’s nothing to see here,” Mr. Buchanan? Is it unreasonable to expect Trump to release his tax returns? Is it wise for PEOTUS to go to war with his own intelligence agencies? I don’t believe that approach has worked out so well for others who’ve tried it.

  6. Chris in Appalachia says:

    Of course Washington Post and Wall Street Journal want to smear Trump. They’re at the center of the Military-Industrial-Finance-Media-Zionist Complex that hates nationalistic patriots like Trump and Putin. They want shameless puppets for their global empire like Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair.

  7. Fran Macadam says:

    We have among us sociopathic warmonger officials like John McCain, who may be suffering PTSD aftereffects that drive him to make up for his own wartime humiliating defeat and helpless incarceration by being belligerent. Who knows what personal weaknesses that Lindsay Graham is making up for by his displays of aggressive posturing and threats, from safely within his Senate sinecure?

    Why should the American public, or Russia’s own people, be held hostages by their MAD fantasies? They appear to believe that if the hysteria is whipped up enough, there will be the tanks and troops now massed on the Russian border to make a cakewalk to Moscow against “the war criminal” Putin, cynically trusting that Russia’s leader won’t have the heart to respond by ending all life on earth, in a game of nuclear chicken. In any case, they are those who believe that a pre-emptive nuclear strike from Russia’s borders can make nuclear war now winnable. In the words of Foggy Bottom’s neocon Victoria Nuland-Kagan, “F— the E.U.” The radiation won’t kill many in America, or will hopefully drift over flyover country.

  8. bj says:

    Trump should absolutely release his financial information, including his taxes. We deserve to know if he is to lead the nation.

    Further, if he wants to be POTUS, he needs to sell his business. There is simply no way around this necessity unless he wants to be dogged by conflict of interest allegations forever.

    In other words, do what every other President in the modern era has done. You ran, you wanted the job, you got it, now act like a President.

  9. H. Annen says:

    It seems to me that the fundamental question is whether we want ‘the press’ to nullify the vote of almost half of the US population. The reality here is that anyone who paid attention to Donald Trump’s speeches or interviews knew that he intended to improve relations with Russia…and voted for him anyway (or even because of this). What appears to be happening is that some politicians who have allied themselves with certain industries — including the First Amendment industries — are seeing their anti-Russia ‘brand’ being challenged. Every single one of the high-profile politicians have tried to run for the office of the President and been *rejected* and now are taking their revenge on the voting public for electing a person who does not ascribe to their limited (and now seemingly only self-serving) view on US/Russia relations. Perhaps it’s time for Cold War Manichaeism to take its leave of the public stage.

  10. Russia is not the Soviet Union. What are the worriers worried about? Here are some relevant facts:

  11. ScottA says:

    Trump is a threat to the “powers that be” in this country, that have been enriched by open borders and the mass importation of cheap foreign labor, and the offshoring of jobs.

    The corporate owned and controlled media and the corporate puppets in Washington like pro open borders Senator McCain want Trump destroyed. Does this mean that Russia didn’t do any hacking or that Trump doesn’t have a lot of flaws? No.

    But so many of the “powers that be” in this country can’t accept the fact that a lot of Americans don’t like open borders, having supposedly “American” companies move jobs oversees, and don’t like all of the corrupt lobbying in Washington that Trump says he wants to reform at least to some degree such as lifetime bans on members of our government lobbying for foreign governments.

    The more that people like McCain and corporate media outlets like The Washington Post try to destroy Trump the more I will support him.

  12. chipshot says:

    Putin has no interest in detente. Instead, his goal was for a weak president, and a divided enemy, against which he can then pursue his global ambitions. In this, he has succeeded.

  13. Mel Profit says:

    I don’t know how Trump can survive these four years. His enemies are everywhere–not least among DC Republicans, 90% of whom despise him. And worst of all are McCain and Co, who represent far more of a threat than do the Democrats.

    Has any President ever entered office with so narrow and fragile a support base? Every day will be an existential dance on the head of a pin. It is possible, but not likely, he will pull it off

  14. Ken Zaretzke says:

    The author of “Failed Crusade: The Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia” has a great take on the most recent bout of Russophobia:

  15. EngineerScotty says:

    Objecting to potential Russian interference in our domestic politics, or other policies pursued (or allegedly pursued) by Russia doesn’t make one a “Russophobe”; that’s like claiming that objecting to Israel’s policies makes one an anti-Semite.

    Objecting to the behavior of a foreign state does not suffice to make one a bigot against its people.

  16. cameyer says:

    Nice rebuttal to Max Boots to yesterday’s NYT oped. But Trump has raked the spy agencies over the coals. Couldn’t this whole dossier thing, revealing the 32 pages, etc. be a CIA or FBI operation? Do they really want to deal with a president as unpredictable and outlandish as Trump?

  17. Fred Bowman says:

    Sounds like they’re trying to neuter Trump in regards to his relationship with Russis and Putin before he gets started. And with many of his political appointments it may succeed.

  18. Dave Spart says:

    It appears to be the case that rather than the Russians, it’s the British that have been interfering in the US election…

  19. Dave Spart says:

    I mean the Dodgy Dossier 2.0 is the work of an ‘ex’ MI6 soy, and was handed to McCain by a British diplomático, according to this article.

  20. bacon says:

    One short paragraph in Mr. Buchanan’s post says something all the people who get their news and opinions from the internet and decry the “lamestream media” should consider. “When Trump won the nomination, Democrats got the dossier and began shopping it around to the mainstream media. Some sought to substantiate the allegations. None could. So none of them published the charges.”

  21. Mark Thomason says:

    Will over the top personal attacks on Trump stop him?

    No, likely it will antagonize him to do more.

  22. Dr. Diprospan says:

    How can you compete with someone else attractive idea or initiative if you do not have your own? The idea should be smeared in tar, rolled in feathers, to make of it laughingstock. Attacks of Democrats on Donald Trump reminded me of a female wrestling in the mud. Everyone understands that women’s wrestling- a sham, but nevertheless spectators cheering participants with vigorous shouts and whistles. Blows, falls and spanking – theatrical, and no empty seats in the stands. In what state of mind people leave the stadium after viewing these spectacle?
    Russia understands that the fight Trump vs. the Russophobes actually only part of the great battle of the national capital, tradicional values against transnational capital and liberal values. But why apologists of globalization believe that in the distant corner of the globe every resident may be wondering how many spots left, President of the Great Powers on the dress of his women?
    Mr. Buchanan, I want so much political battles looked worthy of a MMA fight, not a women’s mud wrestling…

  23. Beslan says:

    You are totally wrong describing Russia. “Russia is a great power with great power interests. But she does not seek to restore a global empire or remake the world in her image”.
    Oh really? After Russia have extorted Crimea and invasiad East Ukraina with its irregular troops? Russia occupied to Georgian Regions and you say that Russia “does not seek to restore a global empire”!
    Russia demolished antinuclear agreement about Ukraina’s suveregnity. Russia is trying to change The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ text. According to the Russian amendment human rights would not be more important then national traditions. And you say that Russia she does not seek to remake the world in her image!
    Sir, I fear you do not know Russia at all!

  24. ChrisM says:

    I don’t think the situation is that grave for Trump. Trump has poked, mocked and slain so many politically correct dragons and been attacked by everything but tossing yesterdays meatloaf and the kitchen sink at him. People love the political incorrectness and 50% of the population will dismiss most of it. The other 50% will be democratic / liberals and they will ride the donkey into the next election to see if it buys them any mileage.

    I don’t think it changes the direction of détente with Russia in the least. Why? Russia is desperately needed to balance China. Russia has vast territory that it cannot defend, it is depopulating, its military is 40% muslim. In short Russia has problems and if it can prove trustworthy then Russia has much more to gain from alliance with US and Europe than alliance with China. To be smart I don’t expect Russia to ignore its relations with China but take a more balanced approach. Up until now, Russia’s alliance with China has been one sided because the west forced that relationship not because Russia chose that relationship

  25. Major Rage says:

    Here we go once more – being forced to witness another rancid crock of excrement making the news and tabloids as if it were serious stuff. Do any of these in-bred clowns responsible for publishing this stuff even know that stories of this kind are the reason that many of us lined up to support Trump to begin with?

  26. Disappointed says:

    There is something very dangerous about our dismissal of allegations of Putin as a war criminal. When the Russian military specifically targets hospitals and schools in Eastern Aleppo, when thousands of civilians are dead as a result, designating this a “war crime” is not part of a liberal agenda or the “crooked media”- it’s fact. Disappointed in my fellow conservatives for turning the violation of human rights into a bipartisan political debate. We need to wake up. The right side of history is not one in which Putin or dictatorships like his endorses.

  27. ElizaJane says:

    “Russia is a great power with great power interests. But she does not seek to restore a global empire or remake the world in her image.”

    This is ignores the past several years at the very least. Russia is certainly less powerful than 40 years ago, but to say that Putin has no ambitions to expand the reach of Russia’s power, both in the immediate neighborhood and more globally, flies in the face of every possible bit of evidence.

    I am baffled by the sudden Republican embrace of Russia and, although it grieves me to say this, I fear that it really might be because Russia firmly stands up for whites over non-whites, and legitimates a pretty frank racism, in a way that most Western countries no longer do.

  28. Intelliwriter says:

    What if it’s all true? For someone denying the Russians have anything on him, he continues to act to the contrary. Trump will continue to sow mistrust as long as he puts his own interests over those of the country. And while he calls anyone who didn’t support him an enemy, including American citizens.

    Trust and respect are earned. I thought we all learned that in the third grade.

  29. VikingLS says:

    “This is ignores the past several years at the very least. Russia is certainly less powerful than 40 years ago, but to say that Putin has no ambitions to expand the reach of Russia’s power, both in the immediate neighborhood and more globally, flies in the face of every possible bit of evidence.”

    If you come in in the last act of an action movie the protagonist looks like a psychopath. Some of us simply did more homework than you, and Buchanan is one of them.

  30. VikingLS says:


    Same thing, did you care what the FSA did over the past four years to innocent civilians? Were you even paying attention?

  31. The ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ is like an antibody with no external threat to attack anymore, so it becomes an auto-immune disorder attacking its host – the American body politic. The progressive weakening of the host to internal and external threats until it succumbs to a terminal illness. If there is a cure for it that preserves our society in its present form, I do not see it developing, though I do wish Mr. Trump Godspeed in his stated mission to ‘drain the swamp.’

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