Sen. Bernie Sanders
(I-Vt.) on Thursday piled onto ongoing questions about President Trump and his associates' ties to Russia.
Days after the FBI confirmed
it is probing any possible cooperation between Trump's team and Moscow, Sanders implied Russian President Vladimir Putin might "have" something on the president.
Questions about Trump and his current and former aides' potential ties to Russia have roiled his administration in its first two months. The president's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned after it was revealed that he discussed sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump took office.
And Attorney General Jeff Sessions
has also come under scrutiny for failing to disclose the fact that he twice met with Kislyak while he was acting as a surrogate for Trump's election campaign last year. He recused himself from any federal investigations into Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign last month.
Sanders's questions followed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes's (R-Calif.) announcement Wednesday that he had seen evidence that the intelligence community incidentally gathered information on Trump transition team members during routine surveillance of foreign targets.
Nunes said, however, that the intelligence collections had "nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with the Russian investigation."
The intelligence community has concluded that Putin was behind Russian efforts to interfere in the U.S. election in order to help Trump's campaign.
The FBI is currently investigating the Kremlin's election meddling, as well as potential links to Trump's team, Director James Comey confirmed at a House hearing on Monday.
Trump has repeatedly denied any relationship between himself or his campaign and the Russians, and has called media reports on the matter "fake news."
Trump has spoken fondly of Putin on multiple occasions, saying at one point that he is a stronger leader than former President Barack Obama and expressing a willingness to cooperate with Russia on certain issues, such as fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.Source: TheHillETA: Additional Sources on the Trump-Russia MessThe GuardianVanity Fair 1 Vanity Fair 1I seem to recall some conversations here a few months ago wherein some posters stated that they did not believe the rumors about Russian involvement in our election,and/or even if the rumors were true, they [presumably] didn't change the outcome of the election and therefore didn't matter anyway. I don't remember who expressed those views, but I know I could find the posts if I really wanted to. I'm really curious as to whether anyone here still holds those views. I hope not, because I think it's gone well beyond the point where it can be waved away as a mere rumor (or an "excuse" for the Dems losing the election).
I personally believe that, whether or not the Russian hijinks actually swayed the election results (which we may never know for sure), this matters a whole hell of a lot, for reasons that should be self-evident (not the least of which is that this could be the thing - or at least one of the things - that ends up bringing down the mangled apricot hellbeast).
[MODS: LJ is still not letting me preview before posting. If there are any html or other errors in this post, I'll fix them as soon as I can.]