President (I know, I know) Donald Trump has been embroiled in a scandal that threatens to be bigger than Watergate, and which started out posing one simple question (which has grown into several questions due to the administration’s bumbling): Did Donald Trump’s campaign actively collude with Russia to impact the Presidential election? This has been a very long, drawn out process, with intelligence committee investigations, an FBI investigation, and multiple mishandlings by the Executive branch, including firing FBI Director James Comey and adding possible obstruction of justice to the pile of incriminating questions. But to me, this has a very simple answer, which, while it may not be enough on its own, at the very least needs to be talked about. And that is statements from then Presidential Candidate Donald Trump on July 27, 2016.
After the DNC was hacked by what was reportedly Russian intelligence, on July 27th, Candidate trump made a statement which did not even come close to mincing words. Per the New York Times (27 July 2016), he said, “Russia, if you are listening, I hope you are able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” I could end this article now and that quote, in light of what was to follow, should be damning enough on its own. But that would be boring. Donald Trump, on July 27, 2016 actively called for Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and leak them to the press. That’s not reading in between the lines. That’s not fake news. That is the actual statement of President Trump while he was campaigning. If that doesn’t smack of overt collusion, what exactly does collusion mean?
As I said earlier, this statement alone may not be enough to bring Trump down, but I’m not saying it necessarily is. What I’m saying is WHY AREN’T WE TALKING ABOUT THIS? Since the investigation started, I’ve seen no references to this incident, I’ve seen no news commentator bring it up as evidence, I’ve seen nothing about it. You can say he was joking, or making the most of the press, but any way you split it, this is just as damning as his ridiculous support of Michael Flynn, his request of Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, or any of the other pieces that have come out since this scandal has started eating up the 24-hour news cycle. This is stuff you just can’t make up. We have a president who is under investigation for possible collusion with Russia, who during the campaign actually asked Russia to hack and leak his opponent’s email. At the very least this has to put on the pile of mounting evidence that Trump brazenly colluded with Russia during his campaign. It honestly leaves me dumbfounded why this particular moment in history, given what is going on today, has not been brought out as evidence.