After a concerted effort to prove President Trump colluded with Russia despite a lack of evidence, the New York Times has finally raised the white flag.
In his column on Tuesday, writer David Brooks admitted that given the evidence, Trump likely did not collude with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
“There may be a giant revelation still to come. But as the Trump-Russia story has evolved, it is striking how little evidence there is that any underlying crime occurred — that there was any actual collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russians,” Brooks wrote.
The assertion is refreshing, after a month that saw the smoke of two congressional intelligence hearings, a revamping of Mueller’s Russia probe, and a social media storm, but no fire of corroborating evidence.
Brooks still holds out hope, however, but he is at least granting Trump innocence until proven guilty.
“I’m not saying there shouldn’t be an investigation into potential Russia-Trump links. Russia’s attack on American democracy was truly heinous, and if the Trump people were involved, that would be treason,” he said. “I’m saying first, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and assume that this link exists.”
In the end, Brooks believes Trump’s biggest crime is simply ignoring the actions of the Russians during the 2106 election, as opposed to being actively engaged in it.
The Times Editorial Board summed up the events of the summer as such: “A rival foreign power launched an aggressive cyberattack on the United States, interfering with the 2016 presidential election and leaving every indication that it’s coming back for more — but President Trump doesn’t seem to care.”
And that is where the buck stops for Brooks, for now.
“Unless there is some new revelation, that may turn out to be pretty accurate commentary,” Brooks wrote.
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