Rachel Maddow issued a dire proclamation after President Donald Trump's press conference with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin: America is officially in its "worst case scenario."
The MSNBC host opened her segment on Monday night by outlining the various signs that the president had been compromised by Russia, including his refusal as a presidential candidate to say anything "remotely negative or critical about Russia or its president," his hiring of Paul Manafort as his campaign manager despite the fact that Manafort had been working doing Putin's bidding in the former Soviet Union, his hiring of Carter Page as a foreign policy adviser, his numerous business ties to Russia (including some that were furthered during his campaign), his campaign's intervention in the Republican Party's platform to make it more pro-Russia and then cover up their tracks, the number of Russians who attended Trump's inauguration and his disclosing top state secrets to Russian officials last year.
"There was no explicable reason for any of those things unless you were willing to believe the worst," Maddow concluded. "And honestly who wants to believe the worst? You don’t want to reckon with it. You don't want to think too hard about the worst-case scenario. Because for one thing, it raises very uncomfortable questions about what we should do as a country, what we should do as citizens if the worst case is true?"
She added, "For everything that we’ve been through as a country, for every kind of trial and challenge and intrigue and embarrassment and scandal that we have been through as a nation, we haven’t ever had to reckon with the possibility that somebody has ascended to the presidency of the United States to serve the interests of another country rather than our own. What's the corrective to that? How do you remedy that? These are no longer hypothetical questions. This is where we are."
Maddow later described Trump's relationship with Russia as a "serious national security crisis" for our country — and she's right.
In the heat of partisan political debate, Americans of all ideological persuasions will throw around words like "treason" and "traitor" and "betrayal" and "un-American." Yet in the literal definition of the word "treason," only one president before Trump was undeniably guilty of that act — John Tyler, who sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War and even led the committee that bargained for Virginia to secede from the Union and ultimately declare war on its own country.
Yet Tyler, at the very least, committed his acts of treason more than a decade after he had left the presidency. Trump, by contrast, has actively sided with a hostile foreign power as it has undermined America's democratic system of government. While his reasons for doing so are still open to speculation, Maddow is correct when she notes that his behavior during the joint press conference with Putin leaves little doubt as to his actions.
The only question that remains is whether Trump will ever be held accountable for what he has done.