The enemy within

7/21/2018, 8:55 a.m.
If anyone still believes President Trump isn’t a pawn of Russian government interests, they must have been asleep during Monday’s ...

If anyone still believes President Trump isn’t a pawn of Russian government interests, they must have been asleep during Monday’s televised news conference that nearly set the United States on fire.

Speaking from Helsinki, Finland, just after a private 2½-hour meeting, President Trump stood just feet from Russian President Vladimir Putin and publicly dissed U.S. intelligence agencies and their findings that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

“They said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” President Trump said at the news conference. “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that was responsible for the election hacking, he continued. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Mr. Putin stood by and smirked as Mr. Trump went on to call the investigation by special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller “a witch hunt.” And he actually offered up for consideration Mr. Putin’s plan to have Russian authorities question — with Mr. Mueller and other U.S. observers present — the 12 Russian military officers indicted in the U.S. last Friday for cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee, the Clinton presidential campaign and state elections boards.

Instead of taking Mr. Putin to the woodshed for the clear assault on American democracy, Mr. Trump blamed the Mueller investigation and what he called Democrats’ bitterness over losing an election they thought they should have won for straining U.S.-Russia relations.

“I think that the probe is a disaster for our country,” he said of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, as Mr. Putin looked on. “I think it’s kept us apart; it’s kept us separated. There is no collusion at all.”

Mr. Putin, responding to a reporter’s question, said he wanted Mr. Trump to win the election.

The chilling event highlighted what we have suspected since the November 2016 election — that President Trump is owned, orange hair and all, by the Russians and Mr. Putin, a former intelligence officer with the Russian KGB.

Since the election, Mr. Trump has refused to release his tax returns and claims to have no business ties to Russia. But that, too, is a lie. Congressional and other investigations have turned up evidence of secret meetings between his son and campaign officials with Russian representatives, and that his son-in-law and top campaign officials sought to establish back-channel communications with Russia, including through the National Rifle Association, according to the latest court documents.

Clearly, Mr. Putin and the Russians have something on Mr. Trump. He has been compromised. And during the televised Helsinki news conference, the world watched Mr. Trump’s awful descent from the nation’s commander-in-chief to traitor. His actions and remarks betraying America’s formidable national security and intelligence agencies in favor of one of America’s greatest adversaries is nothing short of treason.

We are sick of the fake patriots in the United States — including the GOP leadership — who are quick to criticize Colin Kaepernick and NFL athletes for taking a knee and not standing during the national anthem, but who continue to excuse and coddle Mr. Trump as he openly sells American democracy wholesale to the Russians. Where is their outrage and patriotism now?