Iconic Conservative Columnist has Change of Heart on Trump-Russia: ‘The Evidence is Damning’
Charles Krauthammer Can No Longer Defend Trump in Russia Saga
It’s no secret that the so-called “conservative establishment” has had a rocky relationship with Donald Trump, both during his campaign as well as his presidency. Bill Kristol’s twitter feed is arguably as anti-Trump as that of Keith Olbermann. The entire Bush family refused to cast a vote for the former Apprentice host. More recently, former “Contract for America” stalwart Joe Scarborough announced plans to leave the GOP over their refusal to confront the president. But one leading conservative thinker and journalist has continually shown a willingness to give the president the benefit of the doubt, particularly when it came to the Russia scandal that has enveloped his nascent administration: Charles Krauthammer.
That is, up until the recent revelations that Donald Trump Jr colluded with representatives of the Russian government last June.
Krautheimer, with his long and impressive resume, has been a staple in the realm of conservative foreign policy for decades. Having been a cold-warrior, staunch Israeli supporter and advocate for war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist became a vocal champion of the neoconservative principles that dominated American foreign policy in the early years of the 21st century. His expertise in global affairs led him to skepticism regarding possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. As recently as March, he said “there was no evidence” of collusion at all, and that America was “heading down a rabbit hole“.
That’s no longer his belief.
This is ‘Not Fake News’
In a scathing opinion column in the New York Daily News, Krauthammer reversed course and is now trumpeting the reality that there is plenty of fire feeding this smoke:
The evidence is now shown. This is not hearsay, not fake news, not unsourced leaks. This is an email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. himself. A British go-between writes that there’s a Russian government effort to help Trump Sr. win the election, and as part of that effort he proposes a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” possessing damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Moreover, the Kremlin is willing to share troves of incriminating documents from the Crown Prosecutor. (Error: Britain has a Crown Prosecutor. Russia has a State Prosecutor.)
Donald Jr. emails back. “I love it.” Fatal words. Once you’ve said “I’m in,” it makes no difference that the meeting was a bust, that the intermediary brought no such goods.
He then points his finger at those Trump-backers who insist on fiddling while America burns:
It’s rather pathetic to hear Trump apologists protesting that it’s no big deal because we Americans are always intervening in other people’s elections, and they in ours.
Krauthammer represents the segment of the population that carried Donald Trump to the presidency. It’s been clear through polls that the president’s “True Believers” tend to top out at roughly 1/3 of American voters. The conservative establishment was willing to accept enough of Trump’s transgressions to get that long coveted presidential signature on legislation. It now appears that their willingness has expired.
When the founder of postwar conservatism, Barry Goldwater, told President Richard Nixon that his presidency was over in 1974, it was considered to be the final nail in the Nixonian coffin. We can only hope that 43 years later there will be enough principled Republicans to allow history to repeat itself.
Photo Credit: Getty Images News
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