The ongoing issue about Russia's alleged meddling in last year's presidential keep taking bizarre turns. This week we learn that Donald Trump Jr met with a Russian lawyer last year as he thought that he would gain some dirt on Hilary Clinton. Trump claimed that he gained nothing at all. The shifting responses has made him look like a political novice.
Can this story get any murkier? Will we ever know the truth? If Russia did meddle in the election, it would not be unique.
In 1968, Richard Nixon's Presidential campaign was assisted by the South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War. The negotiations to end the war, if successful, could have helped the Democrat Hubert Humphrey, who was looking to succeed Lyndon Johnson. An end to the war, would have boosted Humphrey's chances.
Nixon's campaign team were in touch with the South Vietnamese government in Saigon and urged them to stall on any agreement. President Nguyen Van Thieu agreed to this, in the belief that a Richard Nixon Presidency would be more beneficial to his regime. Effectively, politics was placed before peace, and the war continued. It could be argued that Nixon's team had skirted quite close to treason. Johnson knew what Nixon was up to due to electronic surveillance. Future historians will one day have access to the tapes that will reveal all.
Another instance where this foreign intervention may have taken place was in 1980. During the Iranian Hostage Crisis, it is alleged by multiple sources that the Ronald Reagan campaign urged the Iranians not to release the hostages until after the election. Any release would have helped President Jimmy Carter's chances of being re-elected. Former Iranian President Abolhassan Banisadr and former Reagan aide Barbara Honneger both assert that there was collusion with the Iranians government.Again, this is knocking on the door of treason.
What would be in it for Iran? Allegedly weapons would be the incentive. The allegation is that they were shipped from a third country, let's call her Israel, who be willing to help a right wing Republican candidate.Don't forget that by October 1980, Iran was at war with America's then buddy Saddam Hussein. It does not get any more twisted than that!
Is it possible that during a tight election, one campaign is willing to accept help from a foreign government to gain advantage? Vladimir Putin may have calculated that Donald Trump in the White House is better for Russia. Foreign governments during other elections quite possibly have made the same call about about previous Republican candidates.