James Miller writes: Between the summer of 2015 and the GOP convention a year later, a great many pundits were surprised by the rise of Donald Trump. Although polls consistently placed him ahead of his Republican peers, his style was so vulgar, his policy pronouncements so bizarre, that many pundits dismissed Trump’s chances. And still he kept winning.
Then came the drafting of the Republican Party platform by the Republican National Committee — a solemn 66-page document stating in a succinct 35,000 words the positions of the Grand Old Party. By all indications, Trump, who doesn’t care much for reading, was willing to let virtually all of it pass.
But there was one point in that mass of verbiage where the Trump team fought for a change. It wanted to remove a call for arming Ukraine against Russian-backed militants (and covert Russian troops) and softening language on Russia’s aggressive actions in Eastern Europe.
Despite the fact that multiple news agencies confirmed the original Washington Post story, Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort repeatedly denied any such thing happened, and witnesses to the change even accused the Republican leadership of trying to cover up the incident.
That was the tipping point on The Russia Connection where most of the press and public were concerned. [Continue reading…]