The Trump administration is endlessly accused of having had contacts with Russian officials during the election campaign, as if that was a Very Bad Thing.
In reality is it not only standard diplomatic practice, but it is something that the US has always done itself – and usually from the other wise of the fence.
Perhaps the most richly illustrative case is from January 2012 at the height of the anti-Putin protests, when the US Embassy invited leading members of Russia’s pro-Western opposition to its Moscow Embassy – though given the marginal electoral ratings of Nemtsov, Chirikova, Ponomarev, Mitrokhin, etc., this is not even so much like the Kremlin talking to Republican candidate Trump as to various assorted marginals like Evan McMullin, Michael Moore, Bill Kristol, the guy who played knockout on Richard Spencer, and whoever the current chairman of the CPUSA is).
NTV journalists had gotten the scoop on this visit, and showed up to ask what their goals of their visit to the US Embassy was. Since those people are politicians who claim to be the consciousness of the Russian nation, warriors of light against the Dark Lord Puter, these were entirely reasonable questions. But none of them had an intelligible response – on going in, at any rate. But evidently the folks at the US Embassy have a bit more creativity, and on going out, they all started chanting “You are Surkov propaganda” to the journalists, dismissing them as pawns of the guy who was then widely rumored to be the gray cardinal of the Kremlin.
In what way is Trump worse than the Russian pro-Western opposition?
Take a cue from them. Refuse to answer their questions. Proclaim “You are Soros propaganda” to their faces. Maybe even physically assault them just like WSJ op-ed writer Kasparov and Bozhena Rynska did at their Vilnius Conference, where they were discussing what territories Russia has to give away to make up with the West.
But seriously, contacts between opposition forces and foreign governments is neither illegal nor even unusual. This is standard practice in democracies. But Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers evidently disagree on whether the US should remain a democracy now that the wrong people have been voted in.
Some of them, like Bill Kristol, are even quite open about it (“Obviously strongly prefer normal democratic and constitutional politics. But if it comes to it, prefer the deep state to the Trump state“).