In her column for the Wall Street Journal, longtime Washington D.C. insider and presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan claimed the long-awaited report finally submitted by special counsel John Durham cleared up some mysteries surrounding the relationship between Donald Trump and Russia, but greater and more important questions still remain.
According to Noonan, she felt the Durham report made some valid criticisms about how the FBI conducted it's investigation into the relationship between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Russian interference in the election.
However, she stated that she still finds it worrisome that the American president has sided so often with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin against U.S. interests and that she is particularly concerned over what happened when the two met privately in Helsinki in 2018.
As she noted, Trump's decision to criticize the U.S. intelligence gathering service in a speech after meeting with Putin is "chilling."
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In particular, Noonan pointed to Trump suggesting that he believed Putin's denial about having meddled to hack the Democratic National Committee in 2016, and she suggested further investigation is warranted into their relationship.
"It was chilling: An American president, on foreign soil, was denigrating America’s own intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, undermining his own country, and in front of a dictator he would have known was guilty of interfering with a U.S. election. Russian entities had attempted to contact his campaign in 2016; his own campaign manager had offered polling information to Russian operatives," she wrote.
Noonan said she agreed with the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who at the time called the Helsinki comments "one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory," and then added, "To my mind there’s still a lot of mystery there."
"What was that strange thing between Messrs. Trump and Putin? People say Mr. Trump just likes dictators, but I don’t know. He’ll trash anyone and has—his own vice president, 'Little Rocket Man, China during the pandemic. He never trashes Mr. Putin. What was that? What is it?" she asked.
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