Steve Daines to Spend July 4 in… Russia

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Throughout 2017 and 2018, we have collectively become accustomed to a certain amount of news and events that stun us. People have commented if some of the plot twists we have seen the over past couple years were pitched to a Hollywood producer they would have said, “No way, that’s too much, tone it down.” But it ratchets up week after week.

Throughout the day on Thursday, reporters noted some U.S. senators planned to travel to Russia. Then a freelance investigative report brought the inside scoop of who those four senators were and among them–the top 4% of our senate when it comes to bowing to the Kremlin–is none other than Montana’s Steve Daines.

But wait! There is more! This junket, which could include a meeting with Donald Trump’s favorite dictator-pretending-to-be-President Vladimir Putin, takes place on a very auspicious occasion: July 4. That’s right, dear readers, Montana’s Republican senator plans to travel to Russia on American Independence Day as just a total middle finger to all of us.

At a time when the FBI has an open investigation into whether the President of the United States colluded with Russia to help him win the 2016 election and also whether he obstructed justice to cover that up, Daines, however, decided the optics of going to assist Putin and beg Russian for oligarchs funding is the right move. He plans to visit the nation that spends its time undermining Western democracies on the same day that we celebrate overthrowing our royal oppressors. He knows all of this. He is still going. I am both elated that we finally get a chance to see who he truly favors and deeply depressed that he is okay with that. He will say it is about expanding Montana businesses or making sure trade deals get solidified. Okay fine, but look at the details of who he will make deals with because every Russian oligarch, EVERY SINGLE CORRUPT ONE OF THEM, who gets to make deals with America have strong support for a Russian government that kills journalists and dissidents, spreads racism across the world to gain power, and uses oil as a weapon to break democracies. Daines wants to support that. By going to meet with these evil men, he has signaled it is okay for America and Montana to see the same fate.

Daines just finished a whirlwind tour through Montana with little fanfare and absolutely no public or press attention. When he is Montana, we have little idea what he is doing. When he is in DC, we have little idea what he is doing. Now he is going to Moscow, we do not know why he is going but one sure can read the tea leaves and context to see that he favors Russian money over American freedom.

Montana, meet your newest senator, the man who wanted you to know nothing about him for a reason.

 

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About the author

Josh Manning

Josh Manning is a combat veteran who lives in Helena. His writing has appeared in Newsweek and Foreign Policy and he has appeared on MSNBC and CNN. He was a primary researcher to the recently published New York Times bestseller "The Plot to Destroy Democracy" by MSNBC analyst Malcolm Nance. He is part of a growing movement of progressive military veterans working to affect political change You can follow him on Twitter @joshuamanning23

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