Press: Trump — to Russia with love

Press: Trump — to Russia with love
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You have to wonder: Is there no limit to what Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump to hold rally in West Virginia Fleischer on Scaramucci: No WH aide should be able to call for prosecution of anybody Trump says he wants a ‘general’ to replace Priebus: report MORE can say and get away with? So often during the campaign, we were certain: That’s it. He’s finally said something so outrageous his supporters will turn against him.

But it never happened. Not when he demeaned war hero John McCainJohn McCainTrump to hold rally in West Virginia McCain returning to Arizona to start cancer treatment Monday: report Closing old military bases will help our defense — and our communities MORE: “I like people that weren’t captured.” Nor when he belittled a Gold Star mother: “She was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” Not when he declared a federal judge incapable of issuing an unbiased opinion because his parents came from Mexico. Not when he invited Russia to hack Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump job approval swings lower Peggy Noonan: ‘Weak and sniveling’ Trump is not as strong as his wife Sessions says he doesn't regret recusing himself from Russia probe MORE’s emails, nor when he insisted he actually won the popular vote, nor when he accused Pope Francis of being sympathetic to the Islamic State in Iraq in Syria.

Had any other candidate said anything close to that, he or she would have been run out of politics by members of their own party. But not Trump. Not the ultimate Teflon candidate who seems able to say anything he wants — no matter how personal, mean, ugly or untrue — and never pay the price.

That is, until now. He dropped a nuclear bomb by suggesting that the United States is the moral equivalent of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

As part of Super Bowl LI coverage, the president sat down for an interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. After gently questioning Trump on his “admiration” for Putin, O’Reilly pressed: “He’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer.” Trump only shrugged: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”

Whoa! If that doesn’t disqualify Trump for the White House, what does? No, the United States is not perfect, but in terms of freedoms guaranteed, rights protected, opportunities offered, moral values and the way we treat our own citizens and other nations, Russia’s not even in the same ballpark. 

And for anybody, let alone a president of the United States, to suggest otherwise is outrageous. No president has ever betrayed his own country so totally and so openly. Imagine the cries for impeachment hearings if that old “socialist” Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFDA gives cigar, e-cig makers more time to get products approved GOP lawmaker: Time for us to listen to Democrats on healthcare Treasury winding down Obama-era retirement savings program MORE had said the same thing.

But, this time, Trump went too far, even for members of his own party. “No, I don’t think there’s any equivalency between the way the Russians conduct themselves and the way the United States does,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcCain returning to Arizona to start cancer treatment Monday: report Pelosi thanks GOP senators who voted against ObamaCare repeal Conservative House leader urges GOP to not give up on ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Ky.) told CNN’s Jake Tapper. And Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioEx-Cruz aide: Trump presidency 'is effectively over' Mexican politicians have a new piñata: Donald Trump Bush ethics lawyer: Congress must tell Trump not to fire Mueller MORE (R-Fla.) pointed out the obvious: “When has a Democratic political activist been poisoned by the GOP, or vice versa? We are not the same as Putin.”

For now, Republicans will stick with Trump. But even they must be asking themselves: What does Russia have on him? Video of sexual shenanigans, as that notorious dossier suggested? Big bank loans? The only way to find out is an FBI investigation, as called for by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

What business ties does Donald Trump have with Russia? The American people have a right to know. And Congress has a duty to find out.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Show” on Free Speech TV and author of “Buyer’s Remorse: How Obama Let Progressives Down."

The views expressed by this author are their own and are not the views of The Hill.