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GOP Missing the Real Elephant in the Room

Friday, February 17, 2017 12:57
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By  "">Brian C.

Taking a walk on the wild side, I happened upon MSNBC’s “Morning
Joe” during my morning drive. Not my first choice in news, but my
other favorite radio stations were on commercial break. Senator Bob
Corker was being interviewed over the Michael Flynn

Senator Corker asserted
, “The base issue is getting to the
bottom of what the Russian interference was and what the
relationship was with associates of the Trump effort.” The
proverbial “elephant in the room” as the senator described it.

He also wondered
 if the White House would have the ability
to, “stabilize itself.” He went further talking about “the American
people counting on us to do big things this year.” He did briefly
mention intelligence leaks, as a “subissue that needs to be dealt
with” using his words. But then reiterated that Russian involvement
was the “big issue.”

Where to start?

How about  "">President
Obama’s admonition 
to Donald Trump last October, when Mrs.
Clinton was on her way to a landslide electoral victory and Mr.
Trump was headed back to reality TV. Trump claimed that the
election was rigged against him. Obama advised Trump, “Stop whining
and go try to make his case to get votes.” Which he did. Going
further, Mr. Obama added that there was, “no serious person”
who would suggest it was possible to rig American elections. I
presume this statement included the Russians.

Yet to Senator Corker, there is still concern that Russia
“hacked” the election. Despite the  "">U.S.
intelligence community finding
 that the Russians, “were
not involved in vote tallying.” Did the Russians try to meddle,
influence, propagandize? Sure. What’s new about that?

Senator Corker, and I’m sure many of his colleagues such as
senators McCain and Graham, believe the big elephant in the room of
General Flynn’s resignation is the Russians. The reality is that
the Russians are a sideshow, a distraction from the true elephant
in the room — intelligence agencies spying on American

The  "">New
York Times’  big headline
 this week is, “Trump
Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.”
How can they know that? The article begins with, “phone records and
intercepted calls” between the Trump campaign and Russian
intelligence agencies. The campaign officials being U.S. citizens,
not to be spied on by the CIA or NSA without cause and

How could the NY Times have this information? Is
the Times tapping phones? Doubtful. Instead it appears
that U.S. intelligence agencies are listening in on phone calls and
other communications of American citizens. And then passing on the
information to friendly news agencies.

How’s that for an “elephant in the room,” Senator Corker? Are we
now a police state? Speaking of the Russians, this was the modus
operandi in the old USSR, and may still be the case in the new and
improved Russian Federation.

Is it really a “subissue” that American intelligence are spying
on and attempting to undermine a lawfully elected president and his
administration? That’s not an elephant in the room. It’s a

The other elephant is that the American people are counting
on the Congress — including Senator Corker – to “do big
things this year.” We have actually been counting on that for
several years since electing Republican majorities in both the
House and Senate, without any return on our efforts. Where is the
ObamaCare repeal and replace? Tax relief? Immigration control? The
issues that elected Donald Trump and GOP majorities in Congress.
Rather than “big things” from Congress, we seem to only get “big

Perhaps the #NeverTrumpers in the GOP are secretly delighted
with apparent White House chaos. Maybe that’s why they choose not
to see the evidence of a shadow government operating in the bowels
of the murky intelligence world, seeking to undermine the president
and his administration. The same intelligence community which
leaked a bogus dossier on Trump prepared by a former British
intelligence operative.

The Republicans don’t need to be investigating Trump, his
people, or the Russians. Trump and much of his team are from
the business world, a world that includes Russia, China, and other
not-so-U.S.-friendly regimes. Instead they should be investigating
which agencies are spying on Americans, under whose orders, and
why. And who is leaking such classified information to

When the GOP establishment willfully ignores this, all they are
doing is encouraging more elephants. And they will be among those
crushed in the stampede. Appeasement, as history has taught us,
doesn’t work. If the deep state can undermine President Trump, its
next target will be Congress. This is a real potential powder keg.
The GOP, as the majority party in Congress, had better be careful
else they will light the fuse, intentionally or not. And America
will lose.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer.
Follow him on  "">Facebook and  href="">Twitter


More great articles here:  "">


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