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The meeting held in June 2016 by Donald Trump’s eldest son with a Russian lawyer, who promised him toxic information about Hillary Clinton, came marked directly from the Kremlin. The eldest son of the then, Republican candidate, was informed by email that the material which she was going to provide was part of a Russian government effort to support Trump. The disclosure, advanced by the New York Times and supported by three other sources, further narrows the suspicion of collusion between the Republican election team, and Moscow.
This alleged collusion is the investigation’ cornerstone led by the FBI and Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller. Its base is the report prepared by the three major US intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI and NSA), which states that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to his secret service to interfere in the US elections, to damage Clinton’s image and facilitate Trump’s triumph. The attack was the plundering of the Democrats’ computers and the mails of Clinton’s campaign chief. The material was later leaked to WikiLeaks. And we know the rest of the story.
The meeting with the Russian lawyer was held five months before the election, right in the heyday of Russian attack. Trump Jr. maintains that his father was never informed of the meeting, despite of the fact that his eldest son, son-in-law, and campaign manager attended it during the middle of the election battle. It also raises suspicions the ease with which they decided to receive toxic information from the Kremlin against a rival. Trump Jr. has tried to salvage this stumbling block by pointing out that he acted like any politician would act during a political campaign.
Meanwhile, during the G-20 summit last week, the particular summit held between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G-20, made the same economic sense that if the US president had met during two hours and 16 minutes with the president of Bolivia. None. A military superpower with a Third World economy. That is Russia. And its economic prospects are very bad because its economic structure is that of a Third World country. Russia exports oil, natural gas and other raw materials, and imports everything else. The only thing which might break down is the foreign sales of military equipment, largely inherited from the former Soviet Union industry, which means that it has fewer and less dependable buyers who are interested in these antiques. Now they sell a lot in Nicaragua, for example.
That a country with the life expectancy of Bolivia and the Per Capita wealth of Greece, play the role of Russia in the world, should be the subject of several PhD theses. The international community surprisingly continues accepting Russia as a great power, as the heir to the Soviet Union. The influence of Moscow is due precisely to that heritage of the USSR. An inheritance which includes a formidable defence, espionage and security apparatus, in which Vladimir Putin made his whole career and is an expert. Other than that, is practically nothing. Without this militarization of the economy, Russia is ethereal, like the natural gas it exports. Russia is today a country in development, armed ‘to the teeth’, and with a government of ultranationalist ideology. A country with 7,000 atomic bombs which combines political hyper-nationalism and a third-ranking from the economic point of view, is clearly a danger. And it is because the three factors feedback each other. Without nationalism, the economic status quo and militarism make no sense. But nevertheless, Trump gives a lot of importance to Putin, to Russia, which does not have it.
The meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, which was going to take half an hour, lasted two hours and 16 minutes. There were no American complaints about Russian intervention in the November election. As it was expected. It is important the ceasefire agreement in Syria, which the other G20 members do not know what it is about, since they were not informed. Also, they have decided to create a sort of protective cloud in cyberspace which will give to Putin a huge political triumph, in front of the European G20 leaders’ puzzlement. In the final declaration about the environmental agreement, the vote was 19 to one: they all differed from the US regarding global warming. In trade matters, Trump was the most protectionist of all the other participants. And, as the G20 plenary met, Trump rose up from the table again and again, and his place was not filled by the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, but by his daughter Ivanka, who has any function of government representativeness: it was rude and a lack of diplomatic, political and respect for the other participants.
For the time being, there are not any sophisticated analysis of what the Trump administration is, his particular way to make policy and politics. We do not understand it, nor we don’t understand the interests behind it. We could sense that Trump’s provocations and tweets are serving his internal agenda, to adjust personal matters and to hide their true policies. To be guided by the tweets and verbiage seems to me a mistake and is, paradoxically, what best suits the interests that took him to the White House.
I still do not understand what happens between Trump and Putin, and what we so far know, does not smell good. The meeting among Trump’s eldest son, the rest of the election team and the Russian lawyer, the long meeting with Putin last week, further narrows the suspicion of collusion between the Trump’s electoral team and Moscow. The crack widens, as it does the scandal.