Thursday’s #press conference by President #Donald Trump did little to settle the controversy surrounding the White House since his Inauguration on January 20th. If anything, the direct result will be increased pressure to provide the answers he avoided giving journalists, but this time not to the Press but to Congressmen and Senators.
Trump team and Russia
Even during the presidential campaign won by #Donald Trump there were reports of Russian interference in the election. The release of hacked emails from the DNC by Wikileaks were blamed on the Russians. At one stage the Republican candidate even made a comment during a campaign rally asking the Russians to provide Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 delete emails.
These chickens have now come home to roost.
The rumours of Russian influence continued during the transition period and became even heavier when #President Trump nominated controversial former four star general Michael Flynn as his Senior Security Advisor. Despite these controversies he was confirmed in the position.
In the 24 days since his confirmation Flynn became the subject of a number of leaks regarding his contacts with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian Ambassador to the United States. These leaks contradicted his own reports on the conversations when it was revealed that despire previous denials surveillance showed he had discussed the Obama Administration’s sanctions on Russia with the Ambassador following the allegations of Russian interference in the election. The final result was of the leaks was his resignation last Tuesday.
Investigations, ongoing and new
As a result of the allegations Democrats in both the Senate and Congress began pressuring the respective Judiciary and Intelligence Committees to begin investigations. These would be separate from the ongoing investigations by the American intelligence community which, according to recent reports from CNN have found confirmation of some of the allegations in the original report by a former British intelligence operative that began the scandal.
Yesterday Donald Trump gave any hesitant Republican reason to begin the investigation. With his statement that “The leaks are absolutely real” the President then opened up the matter for deeper explanations by the Legislative branch of government.
This was surely not the reaction that the 45th President expected when he started the press conference. The result will be questions that he will not be able to avoid answering on issues that have dominated American news and worried politicians and citizens for months.
The only doubt will be the role of new Attorney General Jess Sessions in the investigations as he was a member of the Trump team during the presidential campaign. This will undoubtedly become part of the news cycle for the next few weeks as the Congressmen and Senators begin their activities in discovering the truth behind the many allegations.
Donald Trump may well come to rue his comments yesterday. Despite his denials he has not supplied proof to dispel the rumours surrounding his team’s alleged contacts with the Russians. In fact, the Hose and Senate investigations into the Russian interference may well begin with, or involve the documentation that President Trump has so far refused to produced; his tax returns.
One way or another the door has now been opened to resolve the issues that have dogged Donald Trump since he began his run for the Presidency. All the public can do now is wait and wonder what revelations will now come from the investigations by the two Houses, the intelligence communities and any surprises that the Press will also find.
No matter what is discovered, the results will have a profound effect on the government of the United States. Only time will tell if they will be good or bad.