Pundits

‘We are a weakened nation’: Dan Rather responds to Trump’s wiretapping conspiracy theory

As social media and news outlets scramble to dissect President Trump’s latest Twitter rant accusing former President Obama of being complicit in a wiretapping scheme that targeted Trump Tower…

As social media and news outlets scramble to dissect President Trump’s latest Twitter rant accusing former President Obama of being complicit in a wiretapping scheme that targeted Trump Tower, veteran journalist and news anchor Dan Rather took a more somber note in response, saying that the “deepening divisions” in America on raw display cause him a “deep and abiding sadness.”

“This is my country that I love with all my heart,” Rather wrote in a viral post to his Facebook page this Saturday. “We are a weakened nation, in our own estimation, and that of the world. If this was happening in some distant land, we would shake our heads and thank our lucky stars that we are Americans. But this nightmare is happening here, and we have no choice but to confront that disorientating truth.”

Rather shared how his instincts as a reporter make him wonder about Trump’s motivations for the claims, which like many in the past, lack any shred of evidence. “What is he hiding?” Rather asked. “Is this a kind of trap? Does he have something he is about to drop? Or does he know something else is about to drop on him and his administration, which is facing a withering crescendo of scandal?”

But Rather’s instincts as a journalist also prompted him to apply caution to Trump’s mania. “We must carefully separate what we know to be true, from what we think to be true, from what we do not yet know,” he warned.

And in the early days of a story like this, what we do not know will far outpace the other two. We do know that there were numerous contacts between close aids to Donald Trump and senior Russian officials at a time when all indications point that the Kremlin was actively trying to undermine the integrity of our election. …

What we don’t know is what these discussions were about. We do not know what is in Mr. Trump’s tax returns, which he seems so hell bent on hiding. We do now know all the other suggestions of links between Mr. Trump and people close to him and Russia. And then, of course, we do not know what else there is to know.

Noting that FBI Director James Comey is “under a cloud of political manipulation,” Rather declared that the time for a complete, independent, and bipartisan investigation is long overdue. “We need statesmen of steady head and temperament, willing to put country ahead of politics,” Rather wrote, adding that we “cannot afford for our democratic institutions to be consumed by a bonfire of lies, innuendos, and conspiracy theories.”

“We can all work ourselves into fervors of indignation. But the only antidote to these deep and understandable anxieties is the truth. We are the people of the United States.”

You can read his post in full below:

Featured image: Gage Skidmore. To follow Sky Palma on Facebook, click here.

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