8. Lack of Evidence
With insider information on the Trump administration being leaked to the press with ritual frequency, Americans can be fairly certain that if any incriminating evidence regarding Trump and the Russians existed, it would have already been leaked. Sensitive conversations shared between the highest political posts in the Oval Office are repeatedly revealed to the media, often read as word-for-word accounts of conversations between Trump and important foreign officials.
So far, White House leaks have allowed the press—and therefore, the American people—unprecedented access to office gossip between low-level aides and internal disputes involving belligerent staffers. More serious breaches of national security include phone calls between the president and foreign heads of state as well as undisclosed Oval Office meetings with Russian officials.
Though President Trump has been the subject of persistent systemic efforts to leak compromising information, his approval rating remains fundamentally unchanged in the wake of any damaging direct evidence.
7. International Policy Sharing
Among the numerous Trump advisers and staff conducting frequent negotiations with the Kremlin in the months prior to the election, from former campaign chairman Paul Manafort to then–National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, investigators have yet to release any incriminating information regarding these talks. The focus of these undisclosed conversations was primarily restricted to such topics as the war in Syria, combining forces against the Islamic State, common economic interests, and how to contain an ambitious China.
In other words, the campaign sought out top Russian officials to discuss urgent matters of national security and public interest. However, some former Obama administration officials have stated that the frequency of correspondence between Russia and the Trump team raised a “red flag” during the transition, enough to warrant electronic eavesdropping against them.
But, considering that improved relations with Moscow constitutes the “cornerstone of his foreign policy platform,” the close cooperation and preemptive talks directed by Trump fail to signify anything nefarious. Unfortunately, the president is presented with few policy alternatives in the Middle East after the previous administration ceded leadership to Putin in places like Syria and Iran.