Some unexpected suspects are covering for Donald Trump's involvement with Russia before and after his 2016 election -- but the record clearly states those ties were no hoax.
Trump's right-wing allies have been running interference on the issue for years, but The Atlantic's David Frum is bothered by the anti-anti-Trumpers who are latching onto side issues and "whatabouts" to score points off politicians and media figures.
"This newest round of excuse-making is being sounded from more respectable quarters, in many cases by people distinguished as Trump critics," Frum writes. "With Trump out of office — at least for the time being — they now feel free to subordinate their past concerns about him to other private quarrels with the FBI or mainstream media institutions. On high-subscription Substacks, on popular podcasts, even from within prestige media institutions, people with scant illusions about Trump the man and president are nonetheless volunteering to help him execute one of his Big Lies."
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which was then chaired by GOP Sen. Richard Burr, issued a report detailing Trump's longstanding efforts to do business in Russia, and his campaign's frequent contacts with Russians during the 2016 campaign, that may fall short of the statutory standard of conspiracy -- but Frum lays out some of the most glaring examples of suspicious behavior uncovered by congressional investigators.
Anti-anti-Trump contrarians are allowing themselves to get side-tracked into helping the twice-impeached one-term president get away with the possible foreign subversion of a U.S. election, and his own attempts to subvert the last election, Frum writes.
"It remains fact that Russian hackers and spies helped his campaign," Frum writes. "It remains fact that the Trump campaign welcomed the help. It remains fact that Trump's campaign chairman sought to share proprietary campaign information with a person who the Senate report identified as a 'Russian intelligence officer.' It remains fact that Trump hoped to score a huge payday in Russia even as he ran for president. It remains fact that Trump and those around him lied, and lied, and lied again about their connections to Russia."