A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece noting that whether or not Donald Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin’s covert operation to subvert the 2016 campaign, the public record was already clear that Trump, knowingly or not, had aided and abetted Russia’s war on US democracy. He did so by repeatedly ignoring evidence and denying Moscow’s role in the criminal hacking of Democratic targets and the subsequent release of stolen emails. Those denials muddied the storyline and prevented a vigorous bipartisan response to Putin’s attack. The disclosure this week of Donald Trump Jr.’s emails revealing that he, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort joined what they believed was a secret Russian government project to disseminate dirt on Hillary Clinton shows that the Trump campaign went far beyond creating a political climate favorable to Putin’s clandestine assault. The Trump camp actually protected Russian intelligence while it was waging information warfare against the United States—and Trump’s most intimate advisers knew they were doing so.
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