#Donald Trump is coming up to a month as President of the United States (POTUS) and ever since the inauguration, controversy hasn’t been far behind. After several destructive and divisive executive orders, he has become the fastest president to have a negative approval rating. However, the latest controversial leak is the information that #Michael Flynn, Trump’s former National Security Advisor, gave false assurances over contact with a Russian diplomat.
Michael Flynn resigned from his position over growing pressure that he had spoken with Russian diplomats, citing the ‘fast pace of events’ over ‘accidentally’ giving the President and Vice-President ‘incomplete information’
Frequent contact with Russian officials
Donald Trump’s campaign team has been denying that there was frequent contact between them and the Kremlin. Since Michael Flynn’s resignation there have been fresh allegations from American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, that there were repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence operatives by Trump’s campaign staff and associates. However, there was no evidence from the communications of the Trump team colluding with #Russia to influence the election result.
The communications were intercepted at the same time evidence of Russian involvement of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hack. A former US marine, Seth Moulton, has said that the unconfirmed reports could amount to treason. Senior Republicans and Democrats have called for an independent investigation into Michael Flynn’s conduct with Russia, with John McCain stating it is a ‘troubling indication of the dysfunction of the current national security apparatus’.
Further questions raised over Trump’s administration
This raises serious questions over Trump’s stance as it is claimed that he has been aware for weeks that Flynn withheld the truth about the extent of Russian links. Law enforcement agencies haven’t stated the extent of the alleged contact by Trump’s team and Russian officials.
Sean Spicer has repeatedly been denying the allegations, stating that Flynn’s contact with Russian officials was an ‘isolated incident’. If they do turn out to be true, the extent of the problem will raise serious question for global security, not just American, with Finland concerned that Russia is gearing to invade them.
Trump’s failing administration
Trump’s presidency has been dysfunctional at best and this could be the worse scandal since Watergate, and be significantly worse. With White House officials burying their head in the ground and continuously issuing denials, the concerns are what his campaign team discussed with Russian intelligence operatives if it weren’t about influencing the election.
A weaker NATO and EU will benefit Russian military ambition, and global organisations need to act fast because if they are awaiting a finding of clear and present danger, then it could be too late because the danger has never been so clear and its presence hasn’t been as imminent since the Cold War.
“For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence--on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.
Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.” – John F. Kennedy, The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961.