“There is not just smoke here. There is a blazing 10-alarm fire, the sirens are wailing, the Russians provided the lighter fluid, and Trump is standing half-burnt and holding a match.
“The facts hurt, Trump won’t like the truth, and he will without question seek to destroy those individuals or organizations that say or do anything that he thinks harm his precious grandiosity.” [snip]
“Look, in my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself.
“He is about the juiciest intelligence target an intelligence office could imagine. He groans with vulnerabilities. He will only work with individuals or entities that agree with him and build him up, and he is a shockingly easy intelligence ‘target’ to manipulate.”Meanwhile, craven party- before- country Republicans [=cough= Priebus =cough= McConnell =cough=] scramble to provide cover for the fat intelligence target.
We keep coming back to this because, in all our decades of political observation, we believe this is the most dangerous set of factors we have ever faced as a nation: a comprehensively unfit president- elect with ties (debts? obligations?) to a hostile, autocratic government that is actively scheming to undermine 70 years of relative prosperity and peace in the West; surrounded by a Cabinet and advisors of hacks, crackpots and plutocratic plunderers. So, while it appears there may be a "bipartisan" Congressional investigation (as well as a review ordered by President Obama due before he leaves office), never underestimate the willingness and ability of the likes of party- before- country Republicans to undermine the inquiries just as they've been adept at undermining democracy in America for decades. It's in their D.N.A.
BONUS: E.J. Dionne, Jr., echoes the fear and foreboding.
BONUS II: Don't feel helpless! Mock Paper Scissors provides an action template.
BONUS III: Steve Benen gives us a short chronology of the Trump- Putin bromance.