Published:  01:40 AM, 14 July 2017

Morality and Donald Trump

Never before in its political history has America been in such dire straits. For the very first time since 1776, an entire family in possession of the White House is getting embroiled in a scandal that is not only grave but appears to be dirty in a way that no earlier scandal ever was. Watergate was a bad story involving a president and some of his staff. With Donald Trump, it is his son, son-in-law and members of staff who are increasingly getting sucked into what is truly a Russian affair.

That dirty tricks were employed by the Trump team and the Russians during the US presidential election campaign last year has never been in doubt. It now appears that a concerted effort was at work by Moscow and the Trump men to demonise Hillary Clinton through unearthing dirt about her, the goal being to discredit her and help Trump win the election.

Donald Trump Jr knew about and loved it. His brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then campaign manager Paul Manafort knew about it too. The junior Trump and Kushner were both present at meetings with the Russian lawyer who promised to supply information on Clinton to them. That was prior to the election.

The pieces are falling into a pattern. One recalls the reluctance on Donald Trump's part, when he was asked before the election if he would be willing to accept the results, to give a clear response. He also spoke of his fears that the voting would be rigged. Ironically, it now appears that the rigging may have been from his side in collusion with the Russians. As fresh reports emerge of his team's contacts with Moscow before and after the election, Trump tries to convince people that he was not aware of what was going on.

That does not sound convincing, given the many falsehoods he has resorted to on almost everything. It is a sad circumstance for America that the dignity associated with the White House is under threat from a bunch of individuals for whom moral integrity is to be worn lightly or not at all.

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