The 'Russia' wars in Washington! - ABDULLAH MURADOĞLU

The 'Russia' wars in Washington!

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Asia visit, which has started on Nov. 3 and will end on Nov. 14, includes Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. But his mind is stuck in Washington as he set out during a troubled process. He is preoccupied with the tax reform, on which Congress is working, and with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s role in the presidential election. Mueller is investigating whether those who played a role in the 2016 presidential campaign had direct communication with Russia. The accusations against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, who were part of the campaign, worry Trump. Trump may face new surprises when he returns to Washington.

Mueller's investigation really troubles Trump. That is why he wants the active support of the Republicans in Congress. On the other hand, Trump's relations with Republican leaders in Congress are not very good. The war that White House Former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon waged against the Republican Party leadership led this relationship into a dangerous process. Bannon, who heads the Breitbart News broadcast group, is determined to present more right-wing figures who are loyal to Trump against the mainstream Republican candidates who are backed by the party leadership for the 2018 partial Senate election. The ongoing conflict in the party negatively affects Mueller's investigation. That is why Trump, Bannon and Breitbart News launched a new campaign targeting the Democrats to lure their attention away from the investigation.

In addition to allegations of sexual harassment against producer Harvey Weinststein, a donor of the Democratic Party, the release of a significant portion of the secret documents related to the Kennedy assassination was not enough to overshadow Mueller’s investigation. The new campaign's target is Hillary and Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton is accused of approving the sale of Canadian company Uranium One to an affiliate of the Russian state-owned company Rosatom while serving as the secretary of state. Uranium One controls 20 percent of uranium reserves in the U.S. The U.S. imports most of the uranium that it uses as fuel. In 2016, 24 percent of imports came from Kazakhstan and 14 percent from Russia.

Trump and his supporters are labelling the transfer of uranium reserves to Russia’s control, which are of strategic importance for the U.S., as a felony. According to Trump’s supporters, millions of dollars were donated to the Clinton Foundation as a result of this sale. On the other hand, they attribute Bill Clinton being given $500,000 for a conference he delivered in Russia in the same period to this sale.

Trump posted a tweet, saying, “It is now commonly agreed, after many months of COSTLY looking, that there was NO collusion between Russia and Trump. Was collusion with HC!” Having been in a tight corner because of Mueller’s investigation, Trump called on the Republicans in Congress to take action to bring the allegations against Uranium One to jurisdiction. Mueller was the FBI director when Uranium One was sold. Some Republicans argue that Mueller must soon resign from special counsellorship as he lost his impartiality.

Trump’s supporters argue that allowing Uranium One to be sold to the Russians is equivalent to “treason.” Bannon's ally Sebastian Gorka, one of the former deputy assistants to Trump in the White House, even compared the Clintons to Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 on the grounds that they leaked the U.S.’s nuclear secrets to Russia. Both the internal conflict among the Republicans and the deepening of the tension between Trump and the Democrats will keep Washington's political agenda busy for a while longer. 

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