Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that it’s been less than four weeks since President Donald Trump took office. In that time, the White House has been mired in scandal after scandal and controversy after controversy, from Trump’s botched immigration order to the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to new questions about the administration’s ties to Russia.
The latest scandal surrounding Flynn and the Russia connections led longtime journalist Dan Rather to conclude in a Facebook post, “Watergate is the biggest political scandal of my lifetime, until maybe now.” He went on:
Rather’s latest comments were apparently triggered by a new blockbuster report by the New York Times that suggested people around Trump were in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. Trump’s team had as of Tuesday denied that it was in contact with Russian officials prior to Election Day.
But after it was revealed that Flynn in December — before Trump even took office — had told a Russian envoy in phone calls that Trump may lift sanctions against Russia, questions about whether Trump’s team had long been in contact with Russia were renewed.
The Times looked into this, concluding, “Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.”
Although the investigation is still ongoing and officials have yet to find evidence of the Trump team cooperating with Russian efforts to influence the election, the findings raised a lot of alarms in Washington, DC.
In his Facebook post, Rather warned, “On a 10 scale of armageddon for our form of government, I would put Watergate at a 9. This Russia scandal is currently somewhere around a 5 or 6, in my opinion, but it is cascading in intensity seemingly by the hour. And we may look back and see, in the end, that it is at least as big as Watergate. It may become the measure by which all future scandals are judged. It has all the necessary ingredients, and that is chilling.”