To The Editor,

After watching Donald Trump‘s press conference I am worried about our national security.

The president-elect continues to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin, denigrate U.S. intelligence services and belittles the press. In response to an early question, Trump finally said he believes the intelligence reports that Russia interfered in the presidential election. However later in the conference he seemed to dismiss concerns about the matter saying: “If Vladimir Putin likes Donald Trump maybe that’s an asset.”

He ridiculed Lindsey Graham, who has promised additional sanctions on Russia. Trump still refuses to release his taxes. What is he hiding?  What are his business connections in Russia? How much money does he owe to Russian financiers?  There are new allegations that Trump colluded with Russia and that Russia is in possession of compromising material which could be used to blackmail him. He refused to deny that anyone from his organization has been in contact with Russia.

He ridiculed the idea that Russia has any damaging video of him, explaining how he is too smart to be caught on camera. I guess he thinks we’ve forgotten about the video wherein he brags about some of his predatory sexual practices. Video that was recorded while Trump was wearing a microphone and the camera was in plain view. Who knows what KGB spies with hidden cameras could have documented.

These latest allegations should be investigated and be either verified or disproved. Our national interests depend upon it. Trump has nominated Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, a man with long-standing ties to Russia who has been decorated by Putin. During his long career as CEO of ExxonMobil he routinely put business interests above national interests. While he was directing the company, ExxonMobil spent millions lobbying Congress in support of Russia.  He may have used his connections in Russia to circumvent the ban on business dealings with Iran.

I called Senator Ron Johnson‘s office and asked that the senator put national security above partisan politics and commit to calling for a full inquiry of the latest information concerning Trump’s ties to Russia.  I also asked that the senator oppose Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.  The staffer I spoke to said he doubted Senator Johnson would commit to either of these.  When I politely requested a callback with a response from Senator Johnson the staffer hung up on me. I did not appreciate that. I’m starting to think it’s very appropriate that the color associated with the Republican party is red.

Nikki Aiello

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.