What If Trump’s Presidency Was Illegitimate?

Remember that photo? Hard to forget, really. That’s the current leader of the Republican Party looking like Vladimir Putin’s bitch! But, really, it’s a photo of so much more. That’s a picture of corruption in the extreme. It’s the smoking gun that everyone saw and no one (except maybe a few keen-eyed observers) appreciated. It’s a photo of treason, too. But for Russia, Donald Trump would never have been president. That fact alone – that Putin had ANYTHING whatsoever to do with Donald Trump becoming POTUS – should stop all discussions dead in their tracks. How can any American politician claim legitimacy if a hostile foreign power helped put them into office? If we want to remain a sovereign republic, they can’t. It’s just a stone cold fact: Trump’s presidency was illegitimate.

An Illegitimate Presidential Campaign

Take Putin out of the Trump equation and Paul Manafort never becomes campaign manager. He never hands Russian intelligence officer Oleg Deripaska proprietary polling data on voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan which Russia’s military intelligence turned into personalized Facebook ads aimed at individual Black Democratic voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. The ads painted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as a racist on the downlow. And they worked! They measurably suppressed the Black vote – exactly as intended.

Funny thing? THAT’S ILLEGAL! Not a little bit illegal – a lot illegal – and in multiple ways.

Even back in 2017 – in the 2016 election’s aftermath – the question arose: was Trump’s win legitimate? The majority of Americans – 76% said “yes” because – aside from the 24% who suspected Trump had cheated his way to victory – the rest of us had no reason at that point to suspect Trump’s win was actually illegal.

The instant Trump reached out to Russia – or Russia reached out to Trump and Trump accepted that outreach – his presidential campaign stopped being legit. There can be no grey area here. Hostile foreign powers cannot legally engage in any way, shape or form with our political processes and for good reason. Alas, money has blurred the lines in many ways. Political PACS can accept some foreign donations which can then trickle down to impact elections.

Citizens United

We’d do ourselves a massive favor by blowing up the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United ruling. That gave money free reign to corrupt our politics. Clarence Thomas alone could give a master class in how that works out for America.

Two Questions

Our news media kept/keeps asking two questions it could have/should have answered a long time ago. First: what’s the strange hold Putin has over Trump? Second: what’s the strange hold Trump has over the GOP? Hmmmmm… I wonder if the first question and the second are related somehow. You know – what if Trump’s hold over the Republican Party is directly connected to Putin’s hold over Trump? Trump went to truly extraordinary means to hold onto power. And the whole GOP is doing the exact same thing – enacting laws and changing rules at will either to obstruct Trump’s prosecution or to facilitate re-electing him. That seems related somehow, too!

So, what is the strange hold Putin has over Trump? It’s money! The GOP has known that all along! In fact, they discussed it openly even before they nominated Trump in 2016!

This was all reported, first, in the Washington Post on May 17, 2017. Reporter Adam Entous – then working for the WaPo – wrote about a recording he’d heard of a meeting that took place a year earlier on June 25, 2016. Current Speaker Of The House Kevin McCarthy exited a meeting where our intelligence community briefed Congress on Russia’s attempts to undermine Ukraine’s fragile, young democracy. He then entered another meeting – this one of GOP leaders.

“Two People Putin pays…”

The first thing McCarthy said upon joining his fellow Republican leaders was, “There’s two people I think Putin pays – Rohrbacher and Trump – swear to God!”

No one there contradicted or questioned McCarthy. Everyone knew for a fact that, yes, California Republican Representative Dana Rohrbacher sat in Putin’s pocket. But, Trump? The party’s about-to-be presidential nominee? McCarthy was asserting that Putin owned Trump, too! Such a person being president would hand a hostile foreign leader incredible sway over (if not outright control of) that president.

No one brought that up! And no one suggested they call the FBI. Instead, then Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan stepped forward and asserted the Republican version of “leadership”. Per the WaPo: Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

“How we know we’re a real family…”. Of traitors.

What hold does Putin have over Trump? The same hold Trump has over the Republican Party.


The GOP base – Trumpanistas all – will follow Trump all the way to hell. That’s not the real reason the GOP’s elected leadership has gone along. Oh, sure – that’s weighed on them. But the base is just a pain the ass. Knowing they’ve all committed treason – that’s what’s motivated the GOP to bow down before Trump no matter what.

We’re well into unnavigated territory here. Yeah – there be monsters here, all right. For the first time ever, we’ve indicted a former POTUS. Members of his party now stand indicted, too. That club is about to grow exponentially. The more we learn, the clearer it gets – Trump and the bulk of the Republican Party have been operating outside legal boundaries for a good, long time now.

They’ve been operating outside moral boundaries practically forever.

Trump’s illegitimate presidency produced a shit-ton of illegitimate ripple effects. The current SCOTUS is the picture definition of “illegitimate”. We’ve normalized SCOTUS candidates lying to us in order to get the gig. The result – a SCOTUS that doesn’t think like or represent us. Big mistake! But, fixable.

Illegitimate power grabs beget illegitimate everything because holding onto power becomes the point of the exercise. Welcome to the Republican Party and its illegitimate POTUS, Donald Trump.

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