Republican Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District appears to be aping Donald Trump when it comes to the Russians:
Twelve days after Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th American president, a small group of Russian and American figures huddled at the ritzy Bistro Bis restaurant on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
On one side of the table, according to a TIME piece from March 2017, sat a gaggle of prominent Americans. There was Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) — “Putin’s favorite congressman,” as he’s known — and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY). There was Paul Erickson, the GOP lobbyist now accused of helping Russian nationals infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA). There was an editor from The National Interest, and even, as Bloomberg reported, a Hollywood director.
And who were those Russians that Congressman Massie was meeting with?
Two of the Russian nationals present that night, however, have become familiar names in the past few months, and are now tied to the clearest attempt yet seen at Russian infiltration of American social conservatives: Alexander Torshin, who has since been sanctioned by the U.S., and Maria Butina, the subject of a recent DOJ indictment for infiltrating the NRA to further Russia’s interests.
As a reminder, the Spanish police believe that Torshin is a member of the Russian Mafia and is involved with money laundering.
Spanish prosecutors decided in the summer of 2013 to arrest Torshin, who was then a senator, officials say. Police set up an operation to capture him during a visit to Mallorca, but he mysteriously canceled the trip at the last minute, apparently as the result of a tip, authorities said. Torshin was never charged, while the other suspects were convicted of money laundering. Last year, he publicly denied any wrongdoing in the Spanish money-laundering case.
Keep that in mind when you read and see the rest about Congressman Massie and U.S. policy towards Russia.
Northern Kentucky's Rep. Thomas Massie was one of only four members Tuesday to vote against a resolution reaffirming the U.S. commitment to NATO's mutual defense pact.
“The move to expand NATO in Eastern Europe is unwise and unaffordable,” Massie explained in a statement emailed to The Enquirer on Wednesday morning. “Yesterday's resolution was in direct conflict with President Trump's campaign assertion that NATO is obsolete.”
And it is not just votes that Massie is doing Trump’s and Russia’s bidding:
On May 19, after news reports that a confidential FBI informant had made contact with three Trump advisers in July 2016, Massie tweeted that unless the articles were wrong, “an informant (spy) for the Obama administration (paid tax payer dollars?!) kept tabs (spied) on the Trump campaign. Of all the disturbing revelations about the deep state in the last 2 years, I find this one most disturbing.”
And Massie defended Trump meeting with Putin. During his appearance on MSNBC, he questioned the intelligence on the Russian attack against our democracy. He dismissed the indictments against the Russian GRU. And he created false equivalencies all over the place. Oh, and Democrats were just “stupid” about their emails, so he implied they deserved the Russian hack.
Taken all together, Massie appears to be a Trump Mini-Me. And while I have no proof, I think that Torshin gave Massie some money. Given how closely Massie’s behavior mimics Trumps, I think it is a legitimate suspicion about Massie’s links with the Russians.
Now, what is maddening is that no one wants to look at this because Massie is considered quirky or just plain nuts. Take this observation from the Cincinnati USA Today paper:
The libertarian-leaning Republican from Garrison frequently bucks his party's leadership on issues – most recently on the House's bill to replace Obamacare.
This is the equivalent of, “You know those libertarians! You can’t take them seriously!” Well, who says that a libertarian cannot be a traitor?