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It's Not Just Ukraine--Trump Is Asking Australia For A Lifeline Too

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Trump and Morrison
Trump and Morrison
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Donald Trump is drowning.

And what does one do when he's drowning?

He flails around for anything to prevent him from going under.

Last week's news of Trump's treasonous conversation with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky rocked the political milieu--despite the fact we shouldn't be surprised Trump is once again soliciting foreign actors for his own political gain, as he did in 2016.

So should we really be surprised to learn that within the past few weeks Donald Trump reached out to yet another foreign leader for assistance in "investigating" a political rival?

This time the help is Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The political rival is Robert Mueller.

As first reported in the New York Times, according to two American officials with knowledge of a telephone call between Trump and Morrison, Trump urged the Australian prime minister to assist Attorney General William Barr with information for a Justice Department inquiry intended to discredit the Mueller investigation.

At Barr's request, Trump restricted access to the call's transcript to only a handful of aides, similar to actions he took during the July call with Zelensky.

Both the Australian government and the White House confirmed the call that occurred shortly before Morrison traveled to the White House last week.

Before leaving on a trip to Japan in May, Trump lambasted Australia about its role in initiating the FBI inquiry into links between Russia and his election campaign, stating he hoped AG Barr would "look at the UK and I hope he looks at Australia and I hope he looks at Ukraine. I hope he looks at everything, because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country."

This triggered Australia's foreign-affairs minister, Marise Payne, to admit Australia was prepared to contribute to the Barr investigation. Payne stated at the time Australia had not yet been approached about assistance but "would, of course, consider such a request were it to be made."

Australia's ambassador to the U.S., Joe Hockey, forwarded a letter to William Barr, stating:

"The Australian government will use its best endeavors to support your efforts in this matter... While Australia's former high commissioner to the United Kingdom, the Hon Alexander Downer, is no longer employed by the government, we stand ready to provide you with all the relevant information to support your inquiries."

The Mueller investigation began after Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos told Australia's former foreign-affairs minister, Alexander Downer, about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election during "a night of heavy drinking" in May 2016. Downer reported Papadopoulos informed him "Russia had obtained damaging information about Hillary Clinton from her emails."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)
 

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