David Frum writes: From the start of the Trump-Russia story, there have been many secrets, but no mysteries.
Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump. Donald Trump publicly welcomed that help, and integrated the fruits of Russian intervention into his closing campaign argument. (“I love WikiLeaks!”) Since being elected he has attempted to tilt American policy toward Russia, above all by his persistent and repeated attempts to lift the sanctions imposed by President Obama to punish Russia for its invasion of Crimea in 2014 and for its election-meddling in 2016.
Uncertainties remain: Did the Trump campaign actively coordinate its messaging with Russia? Were any U.S. laws violated along the way? What exactly are Trump’s motives? What are Russia’s? And Sunday’s latest revelations added one more: Was Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a shady Russian lawyer who offered dirt on Hillary Clinton in any way connected to the WikiLeaks drop a few days later?
But the basic story line is clear. It was clear in real time—and it’s clearer than ever after the Hamburg summit. Whatever exactly happened at the meeting between Trump and Putin, the president’s Sunday morning Twitter storm confirms: Trump has accepted Putin’s denials as the final word on the matter.
Why would not Trump accept it? He has insisted that the accounts of Russian interference in the US election are a “made-up story,” a hoax by sore-loser Democrats. Putin told Trump nothing that Trump did not already believe—or anyway, that Trump wanted everyone else to believe. If there was any question before Hamburg, that question was settled at Hamburg: There will be no consequences for Russia. They attacked American electoral processes and succeeded. The president Russia helped to install will not punish Russia for helping to install him. [Continue reading…]