Robert Reich: 6 Reasons Why Trump's Presidency Is Illegitimate

"A dark cloud of illegitimacy hangs over the pending presidency of Donald Trump," wrote former Labor Secretary Robert Reich on Facebook Sunday night, following CIA reports of Russian interference in the presidential elections, and specifically interference that benefited Trump. The existence of the evidence was enough to prompt calls for an investigation by a bipartisan group of senators, including Republicans Bob Corker, Lindsey Graham and John McCain.

What's particularly important about Reich's post is how succinctly he explains the web of relationships, both personal and financial, that made these interferences so easy for the Kremlin—ranging from the money Trump probably owes to Russian oligarchs to former campaign manager Paul Manafort's ties to Russia, which include a $12.7 million payment from a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine, to secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson's close friendship with Vladimir Putin. 

Of Tillerson, perhaps the most troubling case, Reich wrote:

"Putin awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens. Tillerson came up through the ranks at Exxon by managing the company’s Russia account. After becoming CEO, Exxon bet billions on Russia’s vast oil resources through a partnership with Russian oil giant Rosneft, owned partly by the Kremlin. Putin himself attended the 2011 signing ceremony for the deal. Russia has already indicated it would welcome Tillerson being named America’s top diplomat."

Trump himself has made no secret of his love for the fellow strongman demagogue. Reich noted that Trump has "questioned whether the U.S. should continue to support NATO, and argued that Putin was justified in moving into Ukraine." 

Finally, said Reich, "Trump was defeated in the actual voting by a startling—and still growing—2,676,670 votes. Clinton’s popular vote victory margin is now 2 percent, thus handing Trump the largest defeat suffered by a candidate elevated to the presidency by the Electoral College in modern history."

Read Reich's entire post


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