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Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Here's a question: why do all Trump's Russia meetings—but *no other meetings*—have to be private?

Mayflower Hotel: PRIVATE
Oval Office: PRIVATE
G20: PRIVATE
Helsinki: PRIVATE

I'd argue that under normal circumstances this fact *alone* would arose suspicion of untoward conduct.
2/ The Mayflower meeting breached all diplomatic protocols to get Trump in a VIP gathering with Russia's ambassador; the other meetings were private in a post-campaign way: no note-takers or aides were allowed to overhear—depending on the event—Trump, Lavrov, Kislyak, and Putin.
3/ So Trump has abnormal meetings with Russians, accepts their intel over ours, refuses to criticize them, refuses to apply sanctions on them, lies about their actions, lies about his relationships with them, has secret business deals with them in-campaign...what more do we need?
4/ And this is in the context of Trump being a man who—with everyone but Russia—brags openly about everything, never accepts anyone's view but his own, criticizes people savagely over nothing, wants everyone to face punishment for even the smallest slight...it's all so *obvious*.
5/ I used to think that Trump's actions could be explained by him wanting to do business in Russia in the future, or that Putin had some sort of embarrassing video of him. But I'm sorry—those theories of the case aren't *good enough* anymore. What Putin has must be *much* larger.
6/ His odd behavior is so public, so traitorous, so obscene, so contrary to character, so damaging to his own reputation and political prospects, only two possibilities remain for me: (1) he's been a Russian asset for many years; (2) Putin has proof he committed *major* felonies.
7/ Increasingly, we hear Theory #1 from intelligence experts and former government officials. But I say Theory #2 is just as likely given Trump's ties to the mob, unwillingness to release his tax returns, and, to speak plainly, his *lifetime of being an infamous corporate crook*.
8/ We're reaching a consensus among serious people in public and Republicans in private: either Trump is a traitor, and needed to be impeached *yesterday*, or he committed impeachable crimes *and* is being blackmailed over them—in which case he needed to be impeached *yesterday*.
9/ But there's no longer any coherent explanation for these actions, which are historically extraordinary—and no Republicans, you'll note, are publicly offering a unified theory explaining this behavior, or really any theory at all except, "Do you want to go to war with Russia??"
10/ But Russia's little more than—as McCain said—a "gas station masquerading as a country," with a relatively tiny economy, so this idea that we should treat them like they're our geopolitical equal simply because *they'll destroy the world with nukes if we don't* is 100% insane.
CONCLUSION/ Simple solution: Trump explains to us EXACTLY WHAT THE F*CK HE'S DOING—handing over tax returns, depositions explaining his private meetings, an agreement to execute all sanctions, et cetera—or Congress does a quick impeachment and removal and puts in {shudder} Pence.
PS/ You may think I'm just being flip here, but in fact Congress holds all the cards now. They *can* (with just a few Republicans switching sides) demand tax returns, a Mueller interview, a read-out of all private Russia meetings, an agreement to execute all sanctions, and so on.
PS2/ A reader points out that Door (or Theory) #3 is that Trump *knows* the election was rigged and believes that Putin will release evidence *confirming* that Trump knew what Russia was doing the *moment* Trump isn't compliant (though this is really just a variant of Theory #2).
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