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Letters to the editor May 27

| May 27, 2022 7:00 AM

Mary Todd will represent us

I heard four presentations in Butte from our main Republican Western Congressional District candidates. The one that impressed me the most was Mary Todd.

Of course, Dr. Al Olszewski and Ryan Zinke, our past representative at large, were there. Both gave standard campaign speeches, and both touted their military and civilian experiences.

But I was most impressed with Mary Todd. She was fresh and dynamic. She did not dwell on her past accomplishments but simply explained that, after suffering a personal tragedy and seeking justice, she had witnessed firsthand the corruption and the indifference rampant in our capital.

Now she wants the opportunity to do what she can to make a difference. Of course, she will be one of 435 representatives, but she will stand out because of her spirit and determination. Her brief time on the stage showed me that she will be decisive, sincere, and spot-on with what needs to be done to right the good ship America. She will not quit in midstream if the water gets a little rough.

As our representative she will put Montana first, then America. She will stay the course — for us. I believe she will be an outstanding representative for Montana, and she will have my vote.

— Andy Johnson, Butte

Trump and Russia

There appears to be a linear connection from American politics and the invasion of Ukraine. Russian expert Fiona Hill said we are in a war with Putin, Russia and the Republican party for the democratic future of our country.

This is essential to understand a major reason for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Putin is advocating Trump to be president in the next election as he did in the 2016 election. The cyber attacks, troll farms, the disinformation from personalities like Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon and Laura Ingraham all contribute to the weakening of America and our trust in democracy. According to Anne Applebaum (foreign relations expert), Putin and Russian media watch Fox News to gauge and exploit American culture divisions.

While Trump was president, America’s policy toward Russia radically changed by undermining and planning to withdraw from NATO. He reduced American forces in Europe and met privately with Putin in Helsinki, then sided with Putin against all our intelligence agencies when he denied interference in his election. Trump took the translated notes from his session with Putin to avoid public scrutiny, fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he recused himself from the Russian election investigation, and installed a better yes-man in his place, William Barr. Barr then redacted the Mueller Report to report that there was no collusion with Russia when the Report did the opposite.

Trump overlooked bounties Putin put on American soldiers in Afghanistan. Both publicly and privately, he celebrated Putin. He parroted Putin’s talking points that Crimea wanted to be part of Russia. He threatened to deny military help to Ukraine for Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine in order to get dirt on Hunter Biden. Then, in December 2020, after Trump lost his reelection, Russian intelligence agencies hacked 18,000 private and government agencies in the most significant data breach in our countries’ history. Including the Treasury, State, Department of Homeland Security, Pentagon, and several utility companies in what could be the most significant data breach in American history. Trump did nothing. Consequently, Russia may have access to our power grid.

Considering the actions of the previous president and the history of the previous 6 years, it is hard NOT to conclude that the Russian invasion of Ukraine and actions during the Trump administration are part of the same story. It is the opinion of this writer that the popularity of Trump and pro-Putin republicans were enough to convince Putin that America would refrain from helping Ukraine. Between support from republicans, Fox News, a perceived weakened NATO and access to our power grid, resistance to Russian invasion of Ukraine would come without a cost. Putin was counting on it.

— David R. James, Eureka