trump putin
Credit: Commons

It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and I think that is the case here. The combination of these three headlines tells a story about how Vladimir Putin is taking over our government that is more compelling than any argument I could make within the scope of a blog post:

Of course, you can read these articles for yourself here, here, and here. The short version is that the acting director of National Intelligence (DNI), Joseph Maguire, was denied a permanent position and fired after he allowed Shelby Pierson, the “czar” in charge of combatting foreign election interference, to give a briefing to the House Intelligence Committee in which she testified that Russia had developed a preference for Donald Trump and was taking acting measures to assist his reelection.

Trump then put a “Russian hoax” supporter (Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany), temporarily in charge of the Office of National Intelligence and gave him another Russian hoaxer (Kash Patel) as a senior adviser. To cap things off, he announced his intention to nominate a third Russian hoaxer (Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia) for the permanent position as DNI.

This is all taking place in plain sight, but its brazenness should not detract from the transparency of the intent here. Trump is making sure the intelligence community cannot stop Russia from helping him in his reelection bid, and he’s making sure that the intelligence community will not keep Congress apprised of their efforts to do so. He wants the intelligence community to abandon its consensus that Russia interfered in his first election, and he wants absolute loyalty.

This obviously will benefit Trump, but it also lets Russia off the hook for what they’ve already done while rendering our country helpless to stop what they do in the future. This is active encouragement and even complicity in foreign interference in our current election cycle.

This isn’t a conspiracy theory but a conspiracy fact.

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at