Two columns by Quin. (Links to full columns embedded in the headlines.)

Conservative experts say Trump endangers national security (Aug. 20).

An extremely powerful critique of President Trump’s policies and conduct in office by an impressive group of former Republican officials merits serious attention and approval, even if the reader disagrees with the group’s ultimate conclusion.

Seventy-four former national security officials (and a few congressmen) from all Republican presidential administrations dating back to Ronald Reagan signed the detailed critique. Their indictment of Trump is so strong that they conclude that “Vice President Joe Biden should be elected the next President of the United States.”

Set aside that conclusion, which I do not share, for another day. Concentrate on the substance of the underlying analysis. It is analysis that comes from respected, conservative heavy hitters…. The anti-Trump argument is divided into 10 compelling sections. Each of them has merit. …

Putin and his pet?

Senate Intelligence Committee blows up Trump’s narrative on Russia (Aug. 18). A new, bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee confirms, unambiguously, that the Justice Department had good reason to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. It also indicates that investigators were right to examine potential conspiracy with the Kremlin by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Again, this is a bipartisan report, not a partisan Democratic attack document. It is endorsed by Republican committee chairman (on leave), Richard Burr of North Carolina, by acting Chairman Marco Rubio of Florida, and by all other Republicans on the committee in addition to the committee Democrats.

The very first substantive words of the report say this: “The Committee found that the Russian government engaged in an aggressive, multi-faceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.”

The report “focuses on the counterintelligence threat, outlining a wide range of Russian efforts to influence the Trump Campaign and the 2016 election. In this volume the Committee lays out its findings in detail by looking at many aspects of the counterintelligence threat posed by the Russian influence operation,” with special attention on the multitudinous Russian connections of Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, who for more than a decade had conducted “influence operations” on behalf of a major Russian oligarch named Oleg Deripaska….



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