Mnuchin Tells Democrats to Just "Trust" Trump on Russia - EntornoInteligente

Entornointeligente.com / Why does Donald Trump treat Russia with the sort of slobbering canine deference typically reserved for the special relationship between a golden retriever and its master? This is the question that many have asked over the last two years, as the president of the United States has leaked confidential information about classified intelligence to Russian envoys; undermined his own U.N. ambassador by telling the Kremlin not to worry about any punishment she promised would be meted out for heinous acts; begged for Russia to be allowed back in the G7 after it was kicked out for invading another European country; and literally sided with Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence agencies on the matter of election meddling. This pattern of servile behavior—which comes in stark contrast to the treatment actual U.S. allies receive —has led some people to wonder if the president is somehow compromised, whether financially or in some other fashion . It’s the sort of speculation one might think the administration would want to dispel. But apparently, not so much!

During a 90-minute classified briefing with lawmakers on Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reportedly offered no credible answers when asked to defend his decision to lift sanctions on companies with links to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska , who just so happens to be Putin’s buddy and Paul Manafort’s former paymaster. While Mnuchin insisted the that sanctions agreement still punishes Deripaska personally, some Democrats said they “did not believe the Treasury Department plan would sufficiently separate Mr. Deripaska’s companies from his control, or from Russia’s government.” When pressed on critical questions, the secretary was “unresponsive,” according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who described the sit-down as “one of the worst classified briefings we’ve received from the Trump administration” and accused the former Goldman Sachs executive of “wasting the time” of Congress.

Probably the best moment of the briefing, though, came when Mnuchin—who has stonewalled Democratic inquiries into potentially suspicious financial dealings of the president, his family, and his campaign associates—told the assembled group that when it comes to the reasoning behind lifting sanctions on Deripaska’s companies, lawmakers should simply “trust” the administration. To be fair, if the president of the United States is, in fact, beholden to a hostile foreign government, there’s not much Secretary Transition Lenses (née Foreclosure King ) can do to prove otherwise. (For his part, Mnuchin was reportedly “shocked” that Pelosi disparaged their time together.) Now, though, House Democrats have subpoena power, and may force him to cough up the information he’s kept locked for the past two years, assuming he hasn’t already swallowed the key in a show of loyalty to the boss.

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LINK ORIGINAL: Vanityfair

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