Rachel Maddow went off on Donald Trump on Wednesday night, saying his behavior over the past 72 hours represents an “unbelievable” betrayal of the United States of America.
Maddow said the pinnacle of that betrayal is the fact that the administration might hand over an Obama ambassador to the Russians for interrogation, even though he did nothing wrong but criticize Vladimir Putin.
As The Wall Street Journal pointed out on Wednesday, Russian investigators are seeking to “question a number of Americans they say are implicated in criminal activity, including a former U.S. ambassador.”
Worse is that the Trump administration is mulling over the idea.
“This is unbelievable,” Maddow said, stunned that the White House didn’t reject the Russian request outright.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) July 19, 2018
The president is meeting with his team because they need to do some thinking, some cogitating, they need to do a little chat-chat over whether or not we’re going to hand over an American ambassador to Putin, so Putin can do whatever he wants to. Might do it. They’ve got to talk about it. Putin asked, so it’s not like we’ll just say no, right? This is unbelievable. To the extent that this seems like a marginal new development in a worrying week, this is not that. This is a qualitatively different thing. We have these abstract ideas and ideas about patriotism and not betraying your country, right? We have a sort of ominous but maybe vague worry about what it might mean for us as individual American citizens if there’s somebody in power in our government who’s subordinate to a hostile foreign government. It sounds very ominous and very bad. What’s the real concrete nuts and bolts threat to any one of us? What could that really mean in our daily lives? Well, it could mean people you know, Americans you know, are handed over to foreign dictators when those dictators ask, not because that American has done anything wrong, not because there’s any real allegations against him or her, but because that foreign dictator doesn’t like that American, wants him or her eliminated and that dictator holds sway over somebody in power in this country who he can order to do what he wants, and so an American gets handed over.
Trump has completely sold out to Russia
Trump’s actions have long shown that he is beholden to Russia. Not only did Moscow assist with his campaign in 2016, but he has repeatedly refused to criticize and be tough with them since taking office.
Still, as Maddow said on Wednesday, the idea that Trump is working on behalf of Russia has been a somewhat abstract idea. It may seem obvious to informed Americans, but what are the real-world consequences?
Over the past 72 hours, the president has shown what those consequences are, and now they could very well lead to real Americans being handed over to Russia for no reason other than Trump being unable or unwilling to stand up the Kremlin.
This is what it looks like when an American president is beholden to a hostile foreign power.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.