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Did Russia Try to Help Donald Trump Become President?

December 4, 2017
Plain English Version

Hillary Clinton; Vladimir Putin; Donald Duck (Credit: AP/Andrew Harnik/Richard Shiro/Reuters/Ivan Sekretarev/Salon)

It is a question on the minds of many. If Russia tried to help Trump, how did they do it? Were they successful? Was Russia for Trump or against Hillary Clinton?

Vladimir Putin is president of Russia. He does not like Clinton. He believes she was behind the mass protests that took place in Moscow in December 2011.

The U.S. had its presidential election in 2016. Many say Putin used the U.S. election to get even with Clinton.

We know that the Russians hacked the computers at the Democratic National Committee headquarters. The hackers then released emails embarrassing to the DNC. That was the beginning of the charges that Russia interfered in the election.

Other examples have come out. Anti-Clinton messages have emerged on Facebook and other social media. Few think that the Trump campaign was part of that.

The present questions are not about whether Putin is trying to get even with Clinton. They are about whether the Trump campaign thought Russia could help them.

Political campaigns are confusing. Unfamiliar people appear on the scene. They say they know people or have information that would help the campaign. They are not checked out because there is no way to do so.

General Michael Flynn is not quite like that. He is a retired three-star American general. Trump liked him and trusted him. When he won, President Trump made Flynn his national security advisor.

Now questions about Michael Flynn have come out. The president fired Flynn soon after taking office. The stated reason for the firing was that Flynn was not truthful to Vice President Mike Pence. Flynn denied having ties to Russians some in and some out of the Russian government.

Trump asked James Comey, the Director of the FBI, to go easy on Flynn “because he is a good guy.” The Bureau was looking into ties between Russia and the campaign. A few months later Trump fired Comey.

The Justice Department then appointed Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor. His job was to continue the investigation.

Flynn now has made a deal with Mueller. What Flynn did is now coming out. He now admits he lied to the F.B.I. Lying to the F.B.I. is the illegal act with which Flynn is now charged. These are the questions. Is this just the tip of the iceberg? Does Flynn have damaging information on others involved with the presidential campaign? Others could include Trump’s son and his son-in-law. Perhaps even the president himself.

At this point, there are only questions and more questions. The defenders of the president say it is “much ado about nothing.” His opponents say there may be enough that is not right to bring down the president.

Source: The New York Times December 2, 2017

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