27 November 2018

Another Boyfriend

Donald Trump has been effusive in both his praise of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and also in defending him. He always gives Putin the benefit of the doubt without question in the face of overwhelming evidence that Russia has broken international laws and the domestic laws of sovereign nations.

In short, he's always acted like Putin is his boyfriend and not an international adversary.

And now Trump appears to have a new, second boyfriend: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. As he has been with Putin, Trump refuses to say a negative word about the Saudi royal, notwithstanding overwhelming evidence that the latter ordered the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The reason for Trump's adoration of Putin has long been suspected: his company owes hundreds of millions to Russian lenders operating through shell companies. Can the same be said for Saudi lenders to Trump?

The answer may be yes. "Saudi Arabia, I like the Saudis," Trump said in recorded comments made at a public rally in 2015. "I make a lot of money with them.... They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

An inquiring mind might be asking at this point, is Trump compromised on Saudi Arabia because he's beholden to them for money? Is the same true for Russia?

Fortunately, Congressman Adam Schiff, the incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee, is asking these questions, too, and is in a position to get some answers. So he and his committee will investigate whether Trump’s personal financial situation influences his foreign policy (details here).

Good. This is exactly why we needed at least one house of Congress to slip out of GOP control, which happened in midterms earlier this month. The days of Congress repeatedly refusing to question the President and constantly looking the other way will soon be over.

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