By Quin Hillyer at The Washington Examiner;

A serious question: Does anyone in Trump-world truly recognize that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a murderous thug and truly resent the absolute fact that Putin’s regime made a massive effort to influence the U.S. presidential election?

If we needed any reminder of how horrid Putin’s thugocracy is, we received it in Sunday’s news that his regime made Russia’s own March presidential election even more of a sham by arresting Putin’s most vocal foe. The Kremlin already had used “corruption” allegations to disqualify opponent Alexei Navalny from the presidential ballot, but even that wasn’t enough for this dictatorship: When the reformist Navalny organized protests in favor of an election boycott, the police state threw him to the ground and hauled him away for demonstrating without a permit.

By Putin’s standards, this rough treatment was comparatively mild. As has been well documented, numerous other Putin opponents have been poisoned or (apparently) murdered. And, of course, Putin has been a relentless opponent of U.S. interests and Western values, especially via his unwavering support for the terrorist-supporting theocracy of Iran, throughout his 19 years of ruling Russia.

When a vicious authoritarian of this magnitude, with effective control of the world’s largest stock of nuclear warheads, makes such a concerted effort to sway U.S. elections, Americans of every political stripe ought to clamor for answers. Both sides should stop playing political football with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into matters related to those Russian efforts. Seen rightly, the investigation should be seen as a matter not of domestic politics, but of national security.

The ultimate point of the Mueller probe and those of congressional investigators is to better enable the U.S. to take prophylactic action against Putin’s increasingly sophisticated efforts to undermine our republican system. As former world chess champion and human rights advocate Garry Kasparov said last year, “It’s a cyberwar, and we have to come up with the comprehensive response; we have to work out a policy of deterrents.”

Yet aside from CIA Director Mike Pompeo, nobody else in the Trump inner orbit seems to care….

[The full column is at this link.]


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