Displayed with permission from International Business Times
The Russian government is worried President Donald Trump will be killed or forced out of the White House before his term is up. The concerns come as Trump’s administration has been criticized for its close ties to the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“What the Kremlin fears most today is that Trump may be ousted or even killed. His ouster, Kremlin insiders argue, is bound to unleash a virulent and bipartisan anti-Russian campaign in Washington,” Foreign Policy magazine wrote this week. “The Kremlin is perfectly aware that Democrats want to use Russia to discredit and possibly impeach Trump while Republican elites want to use Russia to deflate and discipline Trump. The Russian government fears not only Trump’s downfall, of course, but also the possibility that he could opportunistically switch to a tough anti-Moscow line in order to make peace with hawkish Republican leaders in Congress.”
Senate Republicans have already called for an investigation into Trump’s relationship with Putin after the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned Monday because of his discussions with Moscow about U.S. sanctions. Flynn was accused of lying to senior Trump White House officials about the details of those conversations.
Lawmakers do have the tools to kick Trump out. The 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution details how lawmakers can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” That would leave Vice President Mike Pence in charge, and while Pence is popular among many traditional Republicans in Congress, it’s unlikely the House and Senate will remove Trump, analysts predict.
“Nothing short of unambiguous, raving madness or unmistakable scandal (of a much higher order than the raving madness and scandal we’ve already seen) would move the party to admit they erred in bringing a dangerous, corrupt lunatic into the White House and trigger the political catastrophe that ditching Trump would ultimately result in,” a Slate op-ed read earlier this month. “The 25thAmendment provision relies on a governing party willing to shoot itself in the foot for the good of the country. Having faith in the Republican Party’s capacity to do this is itself unambiguous, raving madness.”
Perhaps, then, assassination is the bigger concern. In January, a homeless man in Florida was arrested for creating a video in which he threatened to kill Trump at his Inauguration Day ceremony in Washington, D.C. Dominic Puopolo, 51, said he would use a Wesley Scopes Booth high-powered rifle to kill Trump. Meanwhile, the FBI has been monitoring other potential threats after Twitter users have repeatedly called for the presidents’ assassination.