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‘Doesn’t seem to be any there there’

One thing that I wish would emerge from the Mueller investigation of President Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russians during last year’s presidential election is an explanation of what are they talking about.

As the writer Gertrude Stein once said about Oakland, “There doesn’t seem to be any there there.” “The Trump haters are convinced that the president is a Putin puppet,” writes Andrew C. McCarthy in the Oct. 7 National Review. “Trump boosters are just as certain that ‘collusion’ is a fictional narrative dreamt up to delegitimize their man and explain away Hillary Clinton’s defeat. For a long time, I’ve thought the latter camp had the better argument. President Trump and the FBI director he fired, James Comey, may not agree on much, but they both say Comey provided repeated assurances that Trump was not a suspect in the FBI’s probe of Russia’s 2016 campaign meddling. It makes no sense that Comey would do that if there had been solid evidence of collusion between Trump and Putin.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, another former FBI director, hasn’t been able to turn up much, either.

But here’s something to consider: If Trump or his people were talking with Russians, so what? It isn’t illegal for presidential candidates to travel abroad to familiarize themselves with foreign affairs, which includes meeting people of all sorts.

In fact one presidential candidate loudly bragged during the campaign of having done just that. Her name: Hillary Clinton, who spent four years as Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

Clinton worked hard as secretary of state, traveled widely and got to know a lot of European officials, including Russians. Nobody said she was breaking the law by talking to Russians.

Let’s say there was collusion with the Russians. As a voter, I don’t recall getting a telephone call from a Russian suggesting I vote for either Trump or Clinton. I don’t recall getting any mail postmarked from Moscow, either. I don’t recall any television news channels that spouted the commie line, trying to get me to vote one way or the other.

McCarthy seems to have been correct when he wrote in October that these so-called investigations are leading nowhere.

About all they are doing is creating fodder for the Washington, D.C., news community.


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