'Enough to implicate Trump': Author of 'Dirty Rubles' details the president's 'fishy' ties to Putin
US President Donald Trump (right) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017 (AFP Photo/JORGE SILVA)

Ever since Attorney General William Barr wrote his March 24 letter to Congress summarizing some of the key points of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report for the Russia investigation, President Donald Trump has been rallying his base with the following mantra: “no collusion, no obstruction, complete and total exoneration.” But Greg Olear, author of the 2018 book “Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Putin,” pointed out in an April 6 Twitter thread that Mueller’s report was not that the total vindication that Trump and his supporters have been claiming it is.

Mueller, according to Barr, never said there were no questionable interactions between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russians—only that they didn’t reach the level of a full-fledged criminal conspiracy. And Olear tweeted, “Here’s the thing: even if there really was ‘no collusion’ pre-election between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin—spoiler alert: there was, in fact, plenty—the fishy Russia ties SINCE Election Day are enough to implicate Trump.”

In his thread, Olear poses several questions on the Trump/Russian government connection—for example: “Why did Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and shadow chief of staff, seek to set up a backchannel” between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin “VIA THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY during the transition?” And Olear asks why Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky went to Moscow to “hand-deliver a note from Trump to Putin?”

Like the late Republican Sen. John McCain, Olear accuses Trump of being pathetically obsequious during his July 2018 summit with Putin in Helsinki, Finland. The author tweets, “If Trump is not Putin’s lapdog, why does he act like it EVERY TIME THEY GET TOGETHER? Trump’s first instinct when he sees the guy is to kiss the ring.”

Olear goes on to ask, “Why does Trump always seek to meet with Putin alone? Why does he bend over backwards to conceal what they talk about?”—and, “Why has Trump done LITERALLY NOTHING to a) punish Russia for fucking with our election, and b) prevent subsequent cyberattacks?”

Olear answers his own series of questions, concluding, “The answer to these questions is as plain as the nose on my face. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes, a Russian asset is just a Russian asset. Donald Trump is a traitor.”