The situation between Donald Trump and Russia became even more unusual Monday. His campaign director, or whatever the hell his title is, was listed for receiving “off the books” cash payments from Ukraine.
Paul Manafort kept an office in Kiev, Ukraine for years while he did consulting work for that nation’s ruling party, which was very pro-Russia at the time. An anti-corruption probe from the current government is attempting to discover how their country’s elections were manipulated in the past, and the nation’s assets looted by former president Viktor Yanukovych. Handwritten ledgers show that Manafort received $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments from Yanukovych’s ruling Russian-loving party from 2002 to 2012. Yanukovych, was elected president amidst allegations of election fraud and voter intimidation, was ousted in 2014 and today lives in exile in Russia.
A credible campaign would have fired or asked for Manafort’s resignation before the day was over. At this time Manafort is still on the job, not just defending Trump but defending himself. He claims he never received the payments, and I guess he can prove it by showing us his books (Mr. Trump, that’s how you use sarcasm).
There’s questions regarding Trump’s fortune and how much of it is connected to Russia. It doesn’t help that he won’t release his tax returns. It’s kinda bizarre for him and the GOP to accuse Clinton of being a criminal, question the ties between her charity and the state department, yet he won’t be transparent himself.
In addition to all of the above, Trump has lavished praise on Russian president Vladimir Putin. Trump has stated Putin won’t go into Ukraine, although he’s already there. He seems comfortable with Russia annexing Crimea. Russia is suspected of hacking into the Democratic party’s email system and Trump has asked them to hack into Hillary Clinton’s server (though he said he was joking). He’s stated the U.S. shouldn’t uphold its obligations to some NATO nations, which might give Putin a few ideas regarding Eastern European nations that were formerly party of the Soviet Union.
On top of all this, Trump’s daughter is vacationing in Croatia with Putin’s girlfriend, who is also Rupert Murdoch’s ex wife. Is there an online dating service for billionaire, right wing tyrants?
The New York Times investigated and published the story about Manafort and Ukraine. Trump is already complaining about the media and the “failing” New York Times. He’s says the media is printing lies about him but he’s probably really upset that the media prints his actual statements. Trump states he is running against the media, and not Hillary Clinton. Trump conveniently forgets all the free TV time and exposure he’s gained. Attacking the press is red meat for Republicans, even if it’s coming from a guy who invalidates The New York Times while believing the National Enquirer is Pulitzer worthy.
In addition to all of Trump’s previous crazy and stupid comments, he says if he loses the election it will be because it’s rigged. He specifically points at Pennsylvania and says the only way he’ll lose that state is if “cheating goes on” and is asking his supporters to police and bully at polling stations.
Trump might have a point if he loses the state after leading in the polls. Unfortunately for him he’s currently lagging behind Clinton by nine points. In fact, he doesn’t have the lead in a single swing state. He’s also allowing her to make red states Utah, Georgia, Arizona, and Kansas competitive. Kansas where they don’t believe in evolution, climate change, or books. Clinton’s lead has reached the point that she’s holding off advertising in swing states Virginia, Colorado, and, you guessed it, Pennsylvania.
Trump complains about not leading in states while he hasn’t actually put any ads on the air or campaign boots on the ground. Is he running for president or does he think he’s in a reality show?
The only way Trump can win the election is if it’s rigged in his favor. No wonder he’s asking Putin for help.
Did you like this cartoon? Want to help a cartoonist make a living? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through Paypal. I need to buy pens, paper, sandwiches, and dog food. The starving cartoonist and his Beagle appreciates it. If you’ve donated in the past, THANK YOU!!!