And they are charging the president with treason.
Donald Trump has faced unrelenting criticism from a number of Republicans ever since he first announced plans to run for the office of President of the United States. The attacks from conservatives today however, are causing the president more headaches than Nancy Pelosi and the Joe Biden campaign combined, as never before have their voices grown so in number and volume.
In recent weeks several new grassroots organizations have joined the anti-Trump movement in opposing his reelection.
The president’s latest troubles began with the reports first published in the New York Times, revealing that a Russian intelligence agency has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters for killing Americans. In spite of delayed White House denials, changing their stories and then calling it a “hoax”, this story is simply not going away anytime soon.
During their investigation, the Times learned this intelligence had been reported to Trump and known since at least last March. The original story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Associated Press, along with GOP members of congress who had also seen the intelligence.
Follow-up reporting days later revealed evidence that such intelligence was provided to the White House as early as March of last year with the AP reporting that intel of the bounties had been given to the White House in early 2019 with former national security adviser John Bolton having told colleagues he briefed Trump on the intelligence assessment in March 2019.
The 2020 Trump campaign has found itself stumbling this year, battling a number of issues surrounding the president in their attempts to find and focus on a message that would gain traction in this campaign, with some of those wounds being self inflicted.
Making Brad Parscale’s task exponentially more difficult, the president has been badly hurt by a series of brutal video ads in recent months produced by conservative organizations such as The Lincoln Group and Republican Voters Against Trump and buoyed by online conservative news and commentary groups like The Bulwark.
Most of these groups up until now have been formed by well known current/former Republicans, many of whom served in office, as political staffers, advisors, strategists and political columnists. Steve Schmidt, a former Republican strategist and founder of The Lincoln Group, recently hammered the President in brutal fashion over the recent reports of his inaction on the news of Russian bounties on US troops.
One more group: Rank and file conservatives
The recent emergence of a number of rank and file conservative groups joining in the effort to defeat the president this November must be extremely troubling for the president today. Such groups include grassroot organizations comprised of farmers, military veterans, seniors and just ordinary, professional, working class and retired Republicans who simply have had enough of this president, his antics and his chaos.
Some of these groups formed in response to what they see as Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, others were angered over what they see as this president’s unabated corruption while others formed in response to issues dealing with immigration, foreign policy, trade and police brutality.
TrumpVirus is one of those organizations and we are a loose coalition of conservative minded friends all sharing the feeling of being ostracized by the current Republican party leadership and direction.
I personally was a lifelong Republican who was slowly feeling his party leave him behind in its march to the extreme right fringe. I changed my voter registration in 2016 to Independent and until I see a 180 degree pivot in the GOP, I doubt I will ever even consider going back.
But what seems to have united all of these different groups today are the allegations of treasonous dereliction of duty against the president with regards to his inaction on reports of Russia offering a bounty on the lives of US service members.
Here’s one recent hard hitting video by an organization called VoteVets.org
Dr. Dan Barkhuff – a conservative, former US Navy Seal and physician labels himself a “pro-life, gun owning combat veteran” and has been critical of Trump for a few years now, founding a group called Veterans for Responsible Leadership in 2018.
Working as an emergency room doctor, the military veteran and Naval Academy graduate focuses his off-work hours on opening the eyes of other military veterans as well as the general public and turning them away from Trump.
Recently, The Lincoln Group produced a video with Dan, that has since gone viral:
The writing is on the wall and all in giant blue letters.
While there are several reports out saying that some advisors to the president have been trying to alert Trump to these growing trends among conservative voters, the president seems to ignore their advice. The president believes he should continue following his instincts and stay the course, reminding them he did so in 2016 and was ultimately successful and in spite of the polls predicting his loss.
But national polling data today shows the president losing support with two crucial, conservative demographics that turned out in high percentages for him in 2016 – seniors and white women living in the suburbs. And both of these demographics are part of this growing conservative army working against Trump and his reelection campaign today.
Donald Trump may never even truly gauge the size or strength of this new enemy camp until the votes are tallied in November.
Trump himself planted the seeds of his own destruction
Enemies are nothing new to Trump and over the course of his administration, he has managed to make a long list of enemies in a host of federal agencies including White House staff and officials, now departed from his administration.
For the New York Times to gain access to such tightly controlled, confidential information would require a number of sources at several of those federal agencies along with at least one source close to the president and in the White House today, revealing Trump’s secret phone calls with Putin recently.
Many Political veterans in Washington say it is smelling more and more like a coup in progress against Trump with former presidents from both parties, retired generals, retired secretaries of defense, retired national security advisers and a long line of retired State Department and intelligence officials all coming together in unison to publicly criticize Trump and speak out opposing him so often as they have these last several months.
When you add the pressure of increasingly popular conservative groups like The Lincoln Project and others now building their army with rank and file Republicans who consistently show up to vote in November, this could be bloody – not only for the president but for any GOP candidate down the ballot.
Additionally, the question of whether or not Trump indeed committed treason is not only being raised by popular videos on social media but also by some GOP members of congress facing reelection in November, who have been quoted saying they want answers from this administration. This summer may yet provide another Ukraine style investigation by the House of Representatives and we expect that the Biden campaign will not only welcome the investigation but will relish the fact that they won’t even have to concern themselves with getting their hands dirty flinging any political mud around those investigations.
This growing coalition of conservative, seasoned political insiders and strategists armed with a growing army of rank and file conservative voters turned off on Trump will likely do all the dirty work for them. And probably with even nastier ads than any Democratic campaign could possibly get away with.
Have no doubt – whether you love or hate the president – Donald Trump is extremely vulnerable today.
Weakened politically by his own mismanagement of a pandemic driven health crisis causing enormous economic harm to the nation while simultaneously choosing the wrong side of a popular social movement for racial equality, he has effectively torpedoed his own ship. The Trump reelection campaign is taking on water and with each new poll, is falling further behind Joe Biden who has barely had to do much campaigning at all to forge such a lead.
Now add to that boiling pot of Soup D’état the possible charges of treason – or at least an investigation into making a case for treason – by the House of Representatives whose GOP members include many facing increasingly difficult reelection odds in November and may no longer feel so inclined to show their blind support for the president.
Perhaps this is what those sources at the federal level have been planning on all along with the timing of their leaks on the Russian bounty offer. If this was all indeed planned, it gives me some comfort knowing there are still some hidden cards up the sleeves of senior officials in our government, knowing they can only be played in extreme scenarios when a president with no heart or soul runs rogue over a spineless congress, our constitution and ultimately our nation using the Attorney General as his personal attorney along the way.
Trump has been wounded by the coronavirus, he’s wounded by the economy, he’s wounded by Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the streets and his lack of leadership opened the door, allowing him to get pounded while down on the mat by conservative groups who he would normally be counting on for support in his reelection.
These latest Russian allegations could end up being what defines the remaining weeks in the Trump campaign and you know the president senses that. He is desperate and whether he likes it or not, will not be able to count on such blind support from a spineless congress he benefited from just six months ago.
This could be a very interesting summer and possibly an extremely painful one for Donald Trump. Pull up a chair and stay tuned…