To the editor:

If its true that patriotism is often one last refuge of scoundrels (as 18th century British author Samuel Johnson once observed), then picture Donald Trump grandstanding on TV, hugging the American flag as if it were his wife.

Flash back even further to when FBI Director James Comey tried to warn one president that the Russians had secretly photographed him urinating on prostitutes in Moscow. The president denied that he ever committed such an atrocity. He then asked Comey to be loyal to him. He suggested that Comey overlook the fact that Mike Flynn (the president's national security adviser!) was being paid by the Russians to influence the president's decisions. He wanted Comey to make the charges against Flynn go away. Comey refused and was fired.

Hugging the flag just isn't enough to hide the scope and the depth of the president's involvement with the Russians. Ever since taking office, Donald Trump has been a party to Vladimir Putin's agenda throughout the world. Here are some examples of how the president has been dancing to the Kremlin's tune:

In Europe, its painfully obvious that the president has done his best to undermine confidence in America's commitment to NATO.

In one Middle East, Trump needed Putin's permission before staging a "show of force" against Syrian air bases used by the Russians to commit war crimes against the Syrian people.

Trump's phone call to Putin gave the Russians plenty of time to withdraw from these bases without incurring any damage whatever to air units that bombed hospitals and schools, killing and maiming untold numbers of civilians with incendiaries and nerve gas.

Afterwards, the president took credit for teaching Syrian dictator, Bashir-Al-Assad, a lesson in how far the United States will go "to punish war crimes."

In Asia, Trump got a dose of North Korean hospitality at the negotiating table with rocket man Kim-Jun-Un. The president needed help from the Chinese to push him around. When they refused to get involved, he started a trade war with China. This will hurt both economies, delighting the Russians whose two foremost adversaries are China and the USA.

In South America, the president has encouraged the Russians to do whatever they please with Venezuelan oil reserves. After all, why risk stepping on Russian toes in our own hemisphere? They might not like it.

And finally, we should probably ask: What steps has our president taken to protect our elections from future Russian cyber-attacks? The answer to this question should be enough, in and of itself. Put Donald Trump behind bars for life.

Bill Ellison

Berlin

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