A Plan to Stop Trump’s Presidency That Might Actually Work

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Trump ran an unprecedentedly secretive campaign. It's time to demand answers.

Now that Donald Trump has won the election, you may be wondering if there’s anything you can still do to prevent him from becoming president come next January. Fortunately there is.

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Today we ask our readers to join us in pursuing the truth behind the staggeringly under-reported revelation that Trump’s staff was regularly in touch with Russia throughout their campaign. We at the CFR are convinced a full federal investigation needs to be conducted into his team’s communications to determine exactly what this relationship entailed and what they knew about Russia’s cyberattacks on our election process. Here is our official statement to the press on the issue, which we are currently submitting to news organizations and individual journalists across the country:

Dear [Recipient]: We are writing to you because, in light of the federal election, our team of journalists remains alarmed by the relationship between President-Elect Trump and the Russian state.

Following email leaks from the campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, a joint statement from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the Department of Homeland Security expressed confidence that the Russian government “directed the recent compromises of e-mails” and that such “thefts and disclosures” aimed to affect the nation’s electoral process. Last summer, Trump openly asked the Russian government to hack into Clinton’s email, even as his campaign claimed no relationship with the Russian state.

Post-election, however, Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, admitted that “there were contacts” with Trump’s campaign: “…obviously we know most of the people from his entourage…quite a few have been staying in touch with Russian representatives.” If true, then the Trump campaign was clearly engaged in some level of dialogue with the very country that was disrupting our elections in his favor. In sabotaging Clinton, Russia’s activities may well have been a decisive factor in Trump’s victory, the disparity in the popular vote notwithstanding.

We are baffled as to why this story remains exceptionally under-reported. Large news organization, such as Newsweek and The Hill, also question why this issue remains neglected by the Fourth Estate.

So, we are now asking members of the press to join us in an industry-wide effort to conduct thorough reporting on this situation and to demand an immediate federal investigation into Trump’s correspondence with Russia. This process must include a full examination of Trump and key staff members’ email history to determine the exact nature of the Trump-Russia relationship. If any indication of collusion between his campaign and Russia does exist, it must be brought to light before Trump can take the oath of office.

We know Trump and his staff will likely resist such efforts, but they can no longer be allowed to simply deny they had any Russian contact when all evidence suggests otherwise. So we hope that you will join us in demanding a full investigation of his campaign and bringing this story to the front of the national conversation. Trump has just run the least transparent campaign in modern U.S. history; we simply must know the truth of what really went on behind the scenes, to protect both the legitimacy of our election process and the security of our country.

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To participate in this campaign, we invite you to use our letter as a template with which to contact others yourself. With slight modifications you can use this letter for members of the press, local lawmakers and anyone else you think will be influential in getting to the truth behind Trump’s campaign.

Suspicions about Trump and Russia may sound like conspiracy theory, but consider how other reporters here, here, here and here have already raised similar concerns. Campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks previously denied communication with Russian officials, something we now know to be false. So what was really going on that they didn’t want the public to find out about?

How to Help

  1. Here is a brief list of journalists/news outlets and their contact information.  Please send some or all of them our form letter, or write your own, calling for a full investigation on Trump’s correspondence with Russia. It will only take a few minutes and make a huge difference.
    John Bresnahan jbresnahan@politico.com
    Nahal Toosi ntoosi@politico.com
    Jessica Durando jdurando@usatoday.com
    Donovan Slack dslack@usatoday.com
    Slate general slatepolitics@gmail.com
    Dan Engber danengber@yahoo.com (Slate)
    Fred Kaplan war_stories@hotmail.com (Slate)
    CBS Evening News evening@cbsnews.com
    NBC News http://www.nbcnews.com/id/10285339/t/contact-nbc-news/
    This Week with George Stephanopoulos
    http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/mailform?id=12660077
    Matthew Yglesias matt@vox.com
    Rachel Maddow Rachel@msnbc.com
    CNN general http://www.cnn.com/feedback/?1
    Cathleen Decker Cathleen.Decker@latimes.com
    Frank Phillips phillips@globe.com
    Jim O’Sullivan jim.osullivan@globe.com
    Mike Bender mike.bender@wsj.com
    Rebecca Ballhaus rebecca.ballhaus@wsj.com
    Eric Lipton elipton@nytimes.com
  2. This link will let you easily find the contact information for the president and your elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials. With some slight modifications our letter to the press will work for them, too, so please also take the time to send them your thoughts on this investigation.
  3. Sign this petition and help us circulate it
  4. Share this post. Pursuing the truth behind Trump’s ties to Russia could expose information that would disqualify him as president-elect. This could be our last chance to keep him out of office. It’s going to take widespread public demand for this investigation to occur. Sharing this post on Facebook or linking to it on Twitter takes only a few seconds, but its impact could be…huuuge.

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