It appears that Vladimir Putin has successfully coopted the U.S. government from within with the help of the American voters. I hope that you are happy, comrades.

Russia worked hard to help  elect Donald Trump, and it’s delighted with the outcome: “The Russian leadership appeared mostly heartened by Clinton’s defeat. The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, greeted the news of Trump’s victory with an ovation.”

Steve Benen reports, Russian official claims pre-election contacts with Trump camp:

Putin-Trump-Kiss[T]he FBI concluded that Russia was intervening in the American presidential election, taking unprecedented steps to boost Donald Trump’s candidacy, but Comey didn’t want to share this with the public – because he said it was too close to the election to share the findings.

Of course, now that the election is over, and Russia’s favorite candidate prevailed, there’s apparently no point in hiding Team Trump’s relationship with Moscow. Bloomberg Politics reported this morning:

Russia said it was in contact with President-elect Donald Trump’s team during the U.S. election campaign, despite repeated denials by the Republican candidate’s advisers that any links existed.

“There were contacts” before the election, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Thursday, according to the Interfax news service. “We continue this work of course,” he said, without giving details of what the contacts were.

The same report added that Russia’s Foreign Ministry requested meetings with Hillary Clinton’s campaign, which refused to have pre-election discussions, but members of Trump’s campaign accepted meetings with Russian officials.

As the Washington Post added, Ryabkov also told Russia’s state-run news agency that “quite a few” members of Trump’s team “have been staying in touch with Russian representatives” ahead of the American election.

Mr. Comey, if you’re reading this, it seems like the kind of detail U.S. voters probably should’ve known before casting their ballots.

Keep in mind, there are at least two angles to a controversy like this one. The first is that Trump, who has a nasty habit of dishonesty, denied during the campaign that his team was in contact with Russian officials. According to Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, the president-elect’s denials weren’t true.

The second is that the alleged behind-the-scenes contacts between Moscow and an American presidential campaign raise all kinds of questions about what, if anything, Trump’s team may have promised Russian officials while Russia apparently took steps to undermine Trump’s political opponent.

We may be looking at the first scandal of the Trump/Pence administration.

You and I both know that if a Democratic candidate for any office had been in contact with the Russians, the Tea-Publicans would be screaming “treason!” and demanding the prosecution of this commie simp. But these old red-baiters now say “IOKIYAR.”  Поздравляю! (Congratulations!)

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