THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES… Stranger Danger By Sherry Cannon

Stranger danger is the term used to describe the danger to a child or adult by a stranger.  As parents, it’s our job to equip our children with knowledge and strategies needed to protect them from dangerous situations.  Most important is to instill awareness rather than fear in them.

The Cold War was a geopolitical, ideological and economic struggle between two world super-powers, USA & USSR that started in 1947 and continued until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 26, 1991.

Growing up in the fifties I remember the drills in school where we practiced to duck and cover in the event of a nuclear war. Fast forward to 2016 where we discover the interference of Russia in our Presidential election.  The events that transpired look like a sequel to a James Bond Movie.

First, we have Christopher Steele, a former British spy and now a partner in a London private intelligence firm. Steele has been identified as the author of the 2016 report that claims Russians collected a file of compromising information on Donald Trump.

Next there is Oleg Erovinki, a former KGB spy chief suspected in providing the information to Steele in the Trump dossier’. Erovinki was later found dead in Moscow, in the back seat of his car under suspicious circumstances.

Then we have the wealthy Republican, who opposed Donald Trump’s candidacy and hired the D.C firm, Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Trump. After Trump won the nomination, the donor cancelled his Fusion GPS contract.

After the DNC emails were hacked, supporters of Hillary Clinton began footing the bill, in hopes of derailing Trump’s election hopes. Fusion owner, Glenn Simpson hired Christopher Steele to look for a Trump and Russian connection. The Clinton supporters stopped paying Fusion, after Trump won the election, but Simpson and Steele continued the investigation without pay, convinced they were on to something.

Another player in this scenario is Russian Ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. Recent revelations have five members of the Trump’s campaign holding secret meetings with Kislyak. These meetings took place in the after-math of sanctions put on Russia by the Obama Administration, for Russia’s interference in the election.

Trump surrogates who met with the Russian Ambassador Kislyak are Carter Page, an oil industry consultant, who served on Trump’s Foreign Policy Advisory Committee; JD Gordon, retired US Naval Officer and Trump’s Director of National Security; Michael Flynn, Trump’s Ex-National Security Advisor; Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and White House Senior Advisor; and finally Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Session, who lied under oath to Congress about any interaction with Russia.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager was forced to resign last August because of his ties to the former Ukrainian President, who is now living in Russia.

While the communication by Trump surrogates is troubling, the fact that others serving in his cabinet have connections to Russia makes things look really suspicious.

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, is the lead investor in the Bank of Cyprus.  This bank is the preferred bank of rich Russian businessmen with political ties to Russian’s President Putin.  Ross was Vice-Chairman of the bank at the time Trump picked him to serve in his cabinet.  Ross was instrumental in getting the retired CEO of Deutsche Bank as Chairman of Cyprus Bank.  This is important because Deutsche Bank has made over 3 billion dollars in loans to Donald Trump.  Deutsche Bank was fined $630 million in January to end an investigation by regulators in possible money laundering, with complex Russian trades in New York and London.

Then we have the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, who resigned as CEO of ExxonMobil.  In 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, The US placed sanctions on Russia. These sanctions halted a huge oil deal between Exxon & Russia. Tillerson actively lobbied against these sanctions to advance his company’s financial interest.

One wonders why Donald Trump appointed Michael Flynn to National Security Advisor. Flynn lied to the FBI and the American people about his telephone conversation with the Russian Ambassador and the White House failed to disclose a meeting the Ambassador and Flynn, along with Jared Kushner held at Trump Towers. This information was kept secret until someone leaked it to the media.  We also learned that acting Attorney General, Sally Yates had warned the White House that Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians because of lying about the content of his conversations with the Russian Ambassador. Not only did the White House take no action, Flynn continued to have unfettered access to the president.

As we look at the Trump & Company Russian’s connection, are we to believe it is all coincidence and inconsequential?  Or should we be seeing Stranger Danger?

I’m reminded of what Carl Cannon tells the young people and adults who go through the ELITE Programs; Carl tells them 90% of the time it is not strangers that we need to be wary of, but the people closest to us.  The people who influenced most of the bad choices we make in life are those we call friends, family or acquaintances.

It is beyond disturbing the number of people in this administration with Russian influences. It is equally troubling how uninterested this Republican led Congress is in investigating the Russian connection to this administration.

I say we need to be aware of Stranger Danger, but our imminent danger is the people at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.