President Trump's ties to Russia matter. Here’s why.

 (CNS photo/Carlos Barria, Reuters)

Last month, as the political classes continued to fixate on Donald J. Trump’s “war” with the media and as the president suggested “going nuclear” during confirmation hearings for the next Supreme Court justice, at least one global statesman worried that we were missing something more important: The world is preparing for a real war on a global scale. Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, winner of the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote in a little-noticed Time magazine essay in January that “politicians and military leaders sound increasingly belligerent and defense doctrines more dangerous. Commentators and TV personalities are joining the bellicose chorus. It all looks as if the world is preparing for war.”

And it’s not just the rhetoric that is escalating. As Mr. Gorbachev pointed out, “more troops, tanks and armored personnel carriers are being brought to Europe. NATO and Russian forces and weapons that used to be deployed at a distance are now placed closer to each other, as if to shoot point-blank.” Three years ago, the last American tanks left Europe. Now they are back, as senior U.S. military officials take up the task of returning to Europe the men and material they moved out of Europe at the end of the Cold War. The buildup is a response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, as well as increased Russian military maneuvering in the Baltics. The redeployments are “the embodiment of the United States' commitment to deterring aggression and defending our European allies and partners,” General Frederick Hodges, known as Ben, commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, told NBC News in December.

According to P. W. Singer and August Cole, two of the country’s leading experts on 21st century warfare, the risk of a global war is greater still because “military planners and political leaders on all sides assume their side would be the one to win in a ‘short’ and ‘sharp’ fight.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before. As Barbara Tuchman wrote in The Guns of August, her bestselling account of the origins of the first world war, the consensus among military planners then “had combined to fasten the short-war concept upon the European mind. Quick, decisive victory was the German orthodoxy.” Instead, as we now know, the whole of Europe was plunged into years of stalemate and slaughter.

For his part, Pope Francis believes that the seeds of the Third World War have already been sown. "The word we hear a lot is insecurity,” he said last summer, “but the real word is war," a growing global conflict over "interests, money, resources.”

Will this conflict escalate further? Is a war among the great powers really in the cards, or is this just alarmist thinking? The Council on Foreign Relations recently surveyed foreign policy experts on this very question. While few believe that such a war is certain, a growing number believe that it is possible, and a NATO-Russian confrontation topped their list of potential threats in 2017. According to the survey, there is a “moderate” likelihood of a “high impact” event involving “deliberate or unintended military confrontation between Russia and NATO members, stemming from assertive Russian behavior in Eastern Europe.”

As you likely noticed, the key and most ominous phrase in the C.F.R. formulation is “deliberate or unintended.” As Singer and Cole have written, “wars start through any number of pathways: One world war happened through deliberate action, the other was a crisis that spun out of control.” Mismanagement or madness, in other words, are as likely to cause the next great war as are neonationalism or cynical strategic calculation.

Which brings me to the current occupant of the White House. President Trump and President Putin “need to break out of this situation,” as Mr. Gorbachev has said, “to resume political dialogue aiming at joint decisions and joint action.” But there is a big elephant in the room: What does Mr. Trump know about Russia? What does he not know? Does he know what he doesn’t know? What is the extent of his personal and business interests in Russia? Is there something there that could cloud his judgment? These are not just legal or political issues. Questions about Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia are not irrelevant simply because some of the questioners may have base, partisan motives. Within the next year, the president may face the gravest international situation since the Cuban missile crisis. Americans need to know that he can prevent a catastrophe.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

Nearly every Tuesday night for the last three and a half years Stephen Cohen has been on the John Batchelor show. Cohen is one of the most knowledgeable people in the United States on Russia.

He paints a completely different picture than is in the American media. First, Crimea has been part of Russia for over a couple hundreds years and is the location of Russian military bases so it in reality belongs to Russia. It was moved to Ukraine by Khrushchev as part of internal Soviet Union politics. The Crimea belongs to Russia.

Second the United States betrayed Russia by trying to extend NATO to Russia's borders especially with attempts to include Georgia and Ukraine in NATO. This happened after Putin helped the United States after 9/11 with intelligence and logistics support in Afghanistan. For many recent years all our supplies moved through Russia and this was due to Russia cooperation. The supplies would be shipped to Rigga in Latvia and then by rail across Russia and then down through Uzbekistan into Afghanistan.

We return the favor of Russian help with the war on terror by threatening Russia with NATO and overthrowing the elected government of Ukraine. We also betrayed Russian by overthrowing khadaffi in Libya when we promised them we wouldn't as part of a UN Security Council resolution.

I would not worry about Trumps real estate holdings but the perfidy of many in Washington. Trump has good reason to try better relations with Russia and we should encourage these efforts and not beat war drums.

This a bizarre article. Fr. Malone is worried that Trumps real estate holdings will somehow lead us into war. I would try to understand the duplicity that has taken place with the Obama/Clinton disastrous foreign policy decisions in the last eight years. This article sounds like let's see how we can get Trump in any way possible. I would listen to Stephen Cohen instead of writing absurd articles like this.

John Walton
1 month 2 weeks ago

There was a "gentlemen's agreement" (ouch) between the US, Britain and France to NOT expand NATO beyond certain proscribed limits agreed to by the parties -- but the Poles and Czech's would have nothing of it (and why should they.) In the hindsight of history, somebody poked the bear really good and you got the response which was entirely predictable. Who in their right mind would have thought that Russia would leave itself and its naval bases hostage ?

Tom Maher
1 month 2 weeks ago

I very strongly agree with your assessments about this article and your accurate portrayal of the importance of the critical need to advance friendly United States relations with Russia. The article uses innuendo to suggest that Trump is somehow personally indebted, compromised, extorted, blackmailed or otherwise personally obligated to Russia to advocate better relations between the U.S. and Russia is complete political nonsense without factual basis.

A more realistic and honest assessment requires Trump be given credit for his strong and frequent advocacy from the beginning of his campaign for President for much better relations with Russia and even alliances with Russia to join forces in the Middle East against a common enemy -- ISIS -- to finally defeat ISIS especially in ISIS strongholds in Syria. ISIS still remains very much in control of much of Syria for the last four years.

Trump's advocacy for better U.S. - Russian relations makes the greatest sense. Russia is a formidable nuclear, technical and military power and is a global diplomatic force and powerful influence in world affairs with one of the five votes on the United Nations Security Council. Russia is adjacent or close by to all major nations critical to United States interests including China, North Korea, Iran, Isis in the Middle East, and all of Europe. It is insane to have Russia as an enemy or have hostile adversarial relations with Russia given Russia power and global importance. The worse thing for U.S. interests and completely unnecessary is to have Russia as a hostile adversary or start a new Cold War with Russia. Sanctions on Russia are completely insane and misguided shooting ourselves in the foot. Russian assertions of power are trivial compared to all the numerous critical threats to United States and world peace by other nations.

The United States has always been very successful in dealing with Russia. In the 1980s dealing with Russia from a position of strength with a trust but verify approach and show of mutual respect greatly improved relations between Russia and the United States. Attempting to punish Russia is crazy and a futile power play. There is no reason to continue to needlessly provoke Russia over the Crimea and other areas adjacent to Russia which historically have been Russian. It is in no one's interest to have NATO become a threat to Russia by extending the NATO alliance to nations adjacent to Russia which practically NATO can not ever hope to defend. These nations should remain an unaligned buffer between NATO nations and Russia.

Russia and the United States mutually need and benefit by friendly relationships that carefully avoid hostilities toward each other. Trump completely understands the practical power relations and practical limits on U.S. power required by Russian, United States and NATO. Trump's positive regard for Russia and Russia's positive regard for Trump are real and should be used to restore, advance and maintain positive U.S. and Russian relations, free of coercion, threats and sanctions. Demonstrated mutual trust and respect with Russia will be a reality with President Trump.

Your comments J. Cosgrove are the best ever. Thank you for your very wise comments and assessments on this very crtical subject.

Charles Erlinger
1 month 2 weeks ago

J, you might want to put a little variety into your Tuesday nights. Read some good geopolitical and military history.
First, it is not very meaningful to talk about which territories in Eurasia, such as the Crimea, "belong" to any particular currently existing nation state on the basis of the last couple of centuries, any more than it is to suggest on the basis of older history or antiquity that it "belongs" to the Ottoman Empire or to the Greeks or Romans on the basis of length of rule. Second, of course Russia is sensitive to the breakup of the Soviet Union and especially about loss of dominance of territories in the north European plain which has been a superhighway for invading armies, some going east, some west, since the Mongol invasion. The Ukrainians might well have put up with their situation, even though unhappy about it, if Putin had not chosen to exercise Russian hegemony by means of corrupting the Ukrainian government. It is the crushing burden of supporting the corrupt puppet regime that tipped them over. Putin had a number of other ways to exercise hegemony but chose the way he was most familiar with. As for U.S.-Russian relations, there is nothing to suggest that realism has lost its utility in determining our approach, in my opinion.

J Cosgrove
1 month 2 weeks ago

I suggest you listen to the John Batchelor show. It is the most eclectic show in the universe. He constantly has on people with different opinions about Russia than Stephen Cohen. None have been as convincing as Cohen in my opinion. And I am critical of Cohen and his wife on about everything else.

Under your reasoning we should give back Texas to Mexico. It has been part of the US for less time than Crimea has been part of Russia.

Realism would recognize that the Crimea which is heavily ethnic Russian belongs to Russia especially with the military installations there.

To understand that part of the world I suggest you read Robert Kaplan. Though he doesn't have a book on Ukraine. You will learn that people there hold grudges that go back to the 1300's. just as osama bin laden talked about Andalusia still belonging to the Caliphate.

Charles Erlinger
1 month 2 weeks ago

We can agree on the interesting and informative take that Kaplan has, and, as well, the value of the output of others in the STRATFOR group in Austin.

Carlos Orozco
1 month 2 weeks ago

We can thank God that US-Russia relations survived the catastrophic Obama/Clinton duo. The height of the conflict reached when the State Department organized a coup against the legal government of Ukraine, replacing it with another with anti-Russian fascists. The message was clear: one of the initial measures of the new government in Kiev was to ban the Russian language. For such an act of aggression, the Obama administration took advantage that Putin had his hands tied by the Sochi Winter Olympics those very days. That was low. Meanwhile, the obedient press (one could not recognize it today) remained silent on a potential war that would have dwarfed anything the world has ever seen.

No, on matters referring to Russia, Ukraine, Libya, Syria and Yemen, pyromaniacs Obama and Hillary are not missed. Give Trump a chance to mend such a disaster he inherited.

Tom Maher
1 month 2 weeks ago

Carlos,
Once again excellent and insightful comments on U.S. - Russian relations. Thank you for your comments.

Lisa Weber
1 month 2 weeks ago

Another question is, "How much money does Trump owe Russia?" For all we know, Donald Trump may have a negative net worth and his willingness to cooperate with Russia may be his way of paying off his debt. How many billion is the Ukraine worth? Or recognizing the annexation of Crimea? Or failing to investigate the Russian influence on the 2016 election?

Steve Bannon apparently has a goal of destroying the government. I am sure that destruction or disarray of the USA government would be satisfying to Putin because he does not intend to see the Russian government destroyed. Bannon and Trump are both scary because neither has any regard for the common good. I suspect that both would see a war as an opportunity to make money.

An elephant in the Catholic living room is the connection between Bannon and Cardinal Raymond Burke. I would like to know more about that story. How much of the Catholic vote going to Trump was due to Burke's influence?

Burke, Bannon and Trump scare me a lot more than immigrants and refugees. It gives me hope to see the resistance to Trump and his agenda, especially the willingness of the judiciary to rein him in. The USA has been a force for stability in the world, and we need stability in our own country in order to be there for others.

Carlos Orozco
1 month 2 weeks ago

Lisa,
I don't think Cardinal Burke had much to do with Catholics narrowly voting in favor of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Her corrupt political and business dealings just caught up with her.

With respect to the judiciary, I agree that it is essential that Trump not be free to act as if he is directing one of his companies. It's obvious that the fate of the republic cannot be entrusted blindly to the new little emperor. Too bad in the last years the judicial system did not rein the contra-constitutional, unlimited Executive snooping through the NSA, just to mention an example. It's not like suddenly America is living outside the rule of law.

Douglas Fang
1 month 2 weeks ago

It is pathetic and naïve to paint a rosy picture about Russia and Putin. Putin is doing everything in his power to harm and weaken the position of America in the world. The reason he wants do that is that Russia is such a weak nation now and as an ex-KGB chief, his dream is to restore the glorious past of the Russian Empire. In contrary to China, which greatly depends on America trade to keep their economy from implosion, China does not want a weak America. In the other hand, a weakened America would benefit Russia as it gives Russia a chance to expand its power. Russia is a greatest enemy of America and the Western world today. Remember that Putin is a cold blood killer that even Mr. O’Reilly on Fox had to keep remind Trump in his interview recently.

The recent behavior of National Security Advisor Flynn related to Russia is disturbing and a cause for concern.

https://tinyurl.com/jpacpyr

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has a very accurate description about Putin
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/01/23/gates_i_had_looked_in…

Lisa Weber
1 month 2 weeks ago

Thank you for your thoughtful commentary. I find it strange and unnerving that Putin, Trump and other "conservatives" so often want to restore some glorious past that is mostly a figment of their imaginations. The injustices of the 1950's sparked the protests of the 1960's. The 1950's were wonderful on TV, but that is also fantasy-land.

Carlos Orozco
1 month 2 weeks ago

Douglas,
"Russia is a greatest enemy of America and the Western world today"? Really? That is a statement even warmongers like John McCain, Lindsey Graham or Hillary Clinton would probably not make, even though its their main target. Let's be clear, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is certainly no saint. However, I don't recall Putin having a hand with 9/11, inciting the disastrous invasion of Iraq in 2003, the financial collapse of 2007/2008, nor the purposeful destabilization of Libya and Syria through "moderate" Islamic head-choppers.

"The reason he wants do that is that Russia is such a weak nation... ", certainly the suicidal neocons have had opportunities to attest to its strength in Georgia, east Ukraine and especially in Syria. Of course, not all have been victories for Putin: those same bellicists, aiming for decades to encircle Russia, took over most of Ukraine in a very dangerous gamble, overthrowing a democratically elected government. An intercepted conversation between the nefarious Victoria Nuland, then assistant Secretary of State, and the American ambassador in that nation is a course on organizing a coup.
https://youtu.be/2QxZ8t3V_bk

The authenticity of the conversation was never challenged by the spokesperson at the State Department.
https://youtu.be/OWfBW1ExZmc

Going forward, Trump must push towards an understanding with Putin. In geopolitical terms, such a compromise would be the basis and most important factor in constructing viable world peace. (Of course, as Christians, we understand that REAL peace is not a matter of politics -John 14:27) There is no point in continuing making Putin the 21st century bogeyman the Obama administration and its acolytes worked hard to. It seems to me that the mainstream media narrative (mega-corporate fake news) to explain the unexpected result of the 2016 presidential election, has many people wanting conflict with Russia as a way to process their frustration and as atonement for the defeated candidate. Political corpses should be laid to rest, our children deserve an opportunity of living in a far less dangerous world.

Tom Maher
1 month 2 weeks ago

Carlos,
Your comment is fabulous. Thank you again.

Beth Cioffoletti
1 month 2 weeks ago

I rarely hear people (journalists, pundits, commenters, friends) dig deeper than partisan spin when trying to come up with what and who is "wrong" in the world. As far as I can tell, Francis is the prophet of our age. He cuts through the tangled knots of lies with the simple clarification that we talk about insecurity but we are really chomping at the bit to go to war. And why? Because we want to own the wealth of the world. This is supposed to make us "secure". This is our insanity. Thank you for highlighting this. Please keep it up.

Douglas Fang
1 month 2 weeks ago

It is strange to see many of the smart Trump supporters still don’t see it. Russia under Putin is an enemy of the U.S. I have nothing against Russia as a country or Russian as a people. In fact, some of best literature that I’ve read were written by Russian writers such as Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Solzhenitsyn, etc. Russian people have suffered tremendously under the Tsars and then under the communist regime. They deserve a much better lot than the current situation. They are ruled over by the iron fist of the modern dictator – Vladimir Putin.

Under his presidency, Russia is not getting better, it is getting worse, a lot worse.
http://www.mauldineconomics.com/this-week-in-geopolitics/something-rott…

If we can have a good relationship with Russia, then I am all for it. However, the relationship has to be built on trust and mutual benefits. I don’t see it how we can get it from Putin, a ruthless dictator that brutally suppress democratic principles in Russia. The following article provide a good insight into the relationship between US and Russia in the near future.
https://geopoliticalfutures.com/russia-us-relations-in-2017/

While you read this, you can pick up the report “Putin and Russia’s Illusion of Power” if you want.

By the way, the breaking news is “National security adviser Mike Flynn resigns” – just a few weeks into his position. It is so pathetic!
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/white-house-was-warned-flynn-was-vulne…

I hope that Trump will not be manipulated like a puppet of Putin.

“In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State” - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Tom Maher
1 month 2 weeks ago

Russia has been a democracy since the collapse of the Soviet Union from within. Comparing Russia today to the Soviet Union of 40 years ago such as in your very dated Solzhenitsyn quote makes no sense. Russia of course like any country during any era has basic sovereignty and security needs which it will go to great length to protect and defend. For example having NATO alliance on the Russia borders -- say as in the Ukraine -- as even a faintly contemplated concept will cause a massive reaction by any Russian leader to the real extreme threat of Russia being encircled by NATO. The NATO on Russia borders which was willy-nilly being considered by parts of NATO is a needlessly provoking and alarming threat to Russia. Even the remote possibility of a NATO expansion to Russia's borders would provoke a pre-emptive move by the Russian to prevent the clear threat to Russia's sovereignty and security. And of course Russia like the United States remembers the bad old days of the Cold War and it power politics moves and threats and as should be expected does not want to be boxed into the role or reality of being a perpetual adversary of NATO.

The gross miscalculation here of a proposed NATO expansion to Russia's doors by western nations is that Russia after more than 25 year recovery from the collapse of the Soviet Union is now fully functioning democratic state fully able and intent on protecting its national sovereignty and security. Making the Ukraine a part of NATO might seem like a good idea to Ukraine and other nations on Russia's borders but it is an obvious extreme threat to Russia.

The overwhelming majority of Russian citizens support and even demand that Putin protect them from the threatening security implications of NATO encirclement. Putin's actions to annex the Crimea from the Ukraine before the Ukraine became a part of NATO, was a pre-empted security move to preserve historic Russian naval facilities and access to the Black Sea in Crimea. The Crimea has been Russian territory going back centuries which Russia or the Soviet Union always had access to. Several wars were fought over the centuries to obtain and preserve Russia's control over the Crimea and it very strategic naval harbor and access to the Black Sea. Every Russian knows the importance of Crimea to Russia the way Americans know Long Island is a part of the United States that forms New York Harbor. Russian enthusiastically and unanimously supported Putin's leadership in taking over the Crimea from Ukraine and preventing NATO from taking away Russian Crimea naval facilities and access to the Black Sea. These are not actions of a dictator; these actions are the demands of the Russian people themselves for sovereignty and security of Russia. If Putin failed to preserve the Crimea historic control by Russia, Russian people would find some other leader who would. The Obama administration and other western powers failed to see the enormous mistake of threating Russia security interests in the Crimea by NATO expanding into the Ukraine. Russia as a sovereign nation acted decisively to defend its security interest of having exclusive control over the Crimea as it had for centuries. Western conflict over Russian control over the Crimea is needlessly provoking without purpose. Why threaten a nation's basic security that the United States should be at peace with? Russia is not ever going to give up the Crimea. Sanctions and military threats against Russia over the Crimea annexation are futile and can only cause very bad results against United States interests. We do not need to make Russia our enemy over land that is and has always been Russian.

We also do not need to make Russia a hostile adversary like in the bad old days at the height of the Cold War 40 years ago by needlessly casting Russia as an inherently hostile adversary which Russia is not. Russia is being used as a scapegoat to cover up and blame for an inept and failing US foreign policy toward Russia that urgently needs to be changed.

Chuck Kotlarz
1 week ago

Tom, what is the basis for categorizing Russia as a democracy? The Democracy Index classifies Russia an authoritarian government, the same as North Korea.

James MacGregor
1 month 2 weeks ago

Yes. The President's acceptance of Flynn's resignation belies the strength he has shown so far. I would have thought the President would treat so-called "public opinion" reflected in the media a just so much noise. Given the Senate's confirmation, ""Who cares" by the President would have been an appropriate response to "public opinion" faked by the media .

Charles Erlinger
1 month 1 week ago

Whose Senate confirmation?

James Schwarzwalder
1 month 1 week ago

Not being schooled in foreign policy, I am not aware that the comments of Pope Francis regarding the threat of another world war are directed primarily toward Russia versus the US. Rather it seems to me the next world war, if it occurs, will be between the "have not's" and the "haves". Poor countries all over the globe with burgeoning young populations and a lack of employment for these folks and families are a tension or "pressure cooker" that will explode around the globe. Not being schooled in military history or military science, it seems to me that the Korea and Vietnam and Afghanistan and Iraq Wars gave the US plenty opportunity to strain our human, financial and military resources. In reality the US did not really prevail in any of these conflicts, the best we got was a draw in Korea. Russia did not make out well in Afghanistan either. So the next world war, if it comes, may pit millions upon millions of foot soldiers from poor countries against technologically sophisticated military powers like the US. Short of using nuclear weapons to stop the hordes of poorly armed infantry, the prognosis is not good for the US. Like we learned from 9/11, as one of the passenger jets hit the Pentagon, an officer inside the building came to the instantaneous conclusion, "We've been spending all these years and dollars trying to protect ourselves, and we had the wrong enemy in our sights." My gut feel is Trump is a builder, not a destroyer. And we have more in common with Russia than some other places.

C.S.S.M.L. N.D.S.M.D.
1 month 1 week ago

Dear Jesuits, thank you for educating the public about the 'errors of Russia' that have been only hidden in recent decades. Russia is the only country in Europe where communists have never lost power. Their secret agencies continued to plot revenge against the West in a more cunning way. They were however forced to rear their ugly head only because they lost control in Ukraine, triggering a new cold war. As a child of East Europe I am troubled that many Catholics in USA have been poisoned by a clandestine offensive of Russian propaganda in recent years, and now leaders are infected as well. It is difficult to see what is going on because one has to be educated in communist methods of special warfare, propaganda, and disinformation, as we were in East Europe. Russia has now won this global propaganda war and the recent election of their 'unwitting agent' is the proof. They have convinced many conservatives the West is so rotten that Russia is to be admired. Such conservatives are rewarded by being invited to write and appear in Russian-funded media, events, etc. Meanwhile, legions of Russian trolls work the online message boards. This new image of Russia is a carefully engineered illusion. These ideas also penetrate Vatican. Lured by ecumenism, human ambition, our clergy may fail to see that Russian church is an instrument the state, infiltrated by secret agents. Vatican is the ultimate target of the Russian agenda - now joined at the hip with western ultra-conservatives. Communsts have learned from their failure that they cannot have true power until they subdue religion globally. Discern politicians by their fruits: refugees, immigrants. Have we forgotten who was behind the attempt on the Pope St. John Paul II and what was the Russian motivation there? Putin and KGB are one. The attempt took place on May 13th - so let it not be forgotten that that this year we mark 100 years both of Fatima and of the Russian revolution. Do you think it is a random occurrence that this is the year when the 'error of Russia' has became a global epidemic? Thank you again Jesuits for researching this topic. Praised be Jesus and Mary!

http://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-01-31/russian-pr…

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-crisis-russia-media-idUSKBN15…

Douglas Fang
1 month 1 week ago

Thank you for this excellent comment. As someone who lived many years under a communist regime, I totally agree with you that a lot of Trump supporters seem to be so either naïve or ignorant about all the cunning methods that the Russian government have used in the propaganda against the West. It seems that they are getting an upper hand now.

C.S.S.M.L. N.D.S.M.D.
1 month 1 week ago

I would recommend thinking about a statement by Venerable Fulton Sheen related to Antichrist: "Our Lord tells us that he will be so much like Himself that he would deceive even the elect." Ruling propaganda machines are winning by using idolatry of nation (nationalism), political Messianism, using 'pro life' and 'pro family' as idols, as absolute values that trump all other Christian virtues. Nota bene, Mussolini was 'pro life' and 'pro family'. I am sure that our good Jesuits here are well equipped to figure these cunning propaganda exploits out and educate the faithful.

J Cosgrove
1 month 1 week ago

From what I just heard, Trump has almost no business interests in Russia. He has a failed hotel venture in Moscow but that is it. Does Fr. Malone or anyone else have different information?

He has apparently sold a lot of condos in Florida to Russian citizens wishing to possibly live in the United States part time or permanently. He also made a lot of money on a housing sale in 2008.

http://cnnmon.ie/2lMuSat

Tom Maher
1 month 1 week ago

This article's title says "President Trump's ties to Russia matters ..." but never tells the reader what ties, where when and why. This article is intellectually flawed in its assertion of ties and skips over what the ties are and then goes on about the ties matter. The reader has to take it on the author's say-so that President Trump has ties to Russia. The media asserts ties or contacts with Russia but no one identifies and describes the who, what, where when and why and what significance and relevance of any ties.

The burden of proof is on the author to tell the reader what ties he is talking about. The reader should not have to guess what ties the author might be talking about. Trump is not known to have any ties with Russia.

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