Semantics aside — interference, collusion, it doesn’t matter — Russia tried, and in some cases (as we are learning daily) succeeded, in espionage to divert our election. That country is trying to steal our democracy and our votes. This is the voter fraud we should be worried about. “Corrupt” and “crooked” were words used regularly during the election, and I am thinking each day that they are words we should be using for the current administration as it ignores rules, advice and direction for our great country. Please don’t ignore the news. Be aware of the current investigations.

Mary Dosan, Eveleth, Minn.

• • •

Russia is in the process of pulling off the biggest two-for-one in the history of the world. It did not want Hillary Clinton to be president, and it pulled that off. Now it is working to create a failed presidency. President Donald Trump is caught where he is and, I think, can do little to change that now. Congress and our intelligence community must be directed by the president to go after the Russians with all speed and force. What they have done and are doing is beyond terrible. They must be stopped here and all over the world.

Bill Jepsen, Stillwater

• • •

Donald Trump Jr. obviously expected great dirt on Hillary Clinton from his meeting with the Russian attorney. Campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also expected great things, or they wouldn’t have taken time from an extremely busy week to attend the meeting. President Trump also seems to have expected new, damning information on Clinton: He repeatedly said during the week before the meeting that he would be giving a speech the next week with new information about illegal activities by her.

But that speech never happened. Donald Jr. called the meeting a “bust” because instead the Russian used it to talk about the Magnitsky law, which placed sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s top oligarch supporters. Why didn’t the Russian attorney deliver?

The most logical explanation is that the Russians used the meeting to specify to the Trump campaign what the price would be for their help. Putin hates those sanctions, because they harm the wealthy oligarchs who are his main support. The price for Russian help would be a pledge to end the sanctions.

Candidate Trump, after the meeting, continued to make clear his love for Putin, and his complete willingness to end those sanctions as well as others created in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea. The “payment” that the Russians desired having been duly promised, the Russians proceeded to leak e-mails they hacked from the DNC, possibly costing Hillary the election.

Some of this is still conjecture (especially the exact nature of the senior Trump’s involvement), but it really is the most rational explanation of the chain of events.

Michael Schwartz, St. Louis Park


Star Tribune’s work is crooked. Where is the Trump crime?

In the July 12 lead story “Trump Jr. welcomed Russian campaign help,” the Star Tribune has proved to be a very dishonest newspaper.

In one part of the story, it puts the words “Russian government attorney.” Natalia Veselnitskaya has denied this, and the Star Tribune has no proof that she is a Russian government attorney.

Then the paper calls her a “Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer,” again with no proof.

Below the story, it states in a reference to a story inside the section: “Newly released e-mails most damaging revelation yet.”

Please be honest, now, and tell people what law was broken or crime committed. There is none.

The paper failed to note in its main story that there never was any damaging information provided from that meeting, so again, where is the crime?

It also fails to mention — and I do not recall any headline in the Star Tribune that discussed it — the actual meetings that surrogates of the Clinton campaign held with Ukraine officials in order to damage the Trump campaign, which in large part led to the firing of Paul Manafort. He is still not charged with a crime.

So the Star Tribune’s exuberance to bring down our president and to fall in line with the left and Democrats is clearly on display for all to see.

All we ever ask for is honesty and full disclosure of the facts, and the Star Tribune has failed miserably on both accounts.

Dale Probasco, Backus, Minn.


Russia may be threat, but there’s worry about refugees, too

Regarding “Fake fears: Trump’s tall tales in Europe” (Opinion Exchange, July 11): The Baltic states’ tragic history of occupation by both the Nazis and the Soviets lends credence to John Freivalds’ observation that Putin’s Russia represents the greatest existential threat to Latvia’s independence. But when Freivalds went on to comment about “Europeans who don’t have the same paranoia about Muslims that Donald Trump has,” he should have exempted Latvia and the other Baltic states. These countries have indicated that they also feel existentially threatened by the uncontrolled flood of Middle Eastern refugees pouring into Europe. This concern is reflected in the fact that they have effectively closed their borders in defiance of the migrant quotas imposed on them by the European Union.

Peter D. Abarbanel, Apple Valley


So City Council president thinks this is good PR? Backfire.

Minneapolis City Council President Barb Johnson says the X Games taking place at U.S. Bank Stadium this week will be “good PR” (“X Games: Thrills, spills and gridlock,” July 12). Let’s have a short refresher. PR is the abbreviation for public relations. As a member of the downtown-residing public, I think she has lost the tread of logic or good judgment. The event discourages people from wanting to live here. Trades a short-term hit of retail for long-term patronage. And I don’t believe that President Johnson can demonstrate a single business coming to a city because it “hosted” this disruptive carnival.

Give us back our streets so we feel justified in paying the very, very large real-estate taxes we have been assessed.

Michael Goldnerl, Minneapolis


There’s plenty to understand, and here’s a book for starters

In the July 12 article “Like a complete unknown,” University of Minnesota instructor Katelin Krieg is quoted as saying she finally “got” Bob Dylan when she bought a CD copy of “Highway 61 Revisited.” I think readers should know of the similarly named book, edited by Colleen J. Sheehy and Thomas Swiss, published in 2009 by the University of Minnesota Press and containing papers presented at a symposium, “Highway 61 Revisited: Bob Dylan’s Road from Minnesota to the World,” held at the University of Minnesota in March 2007. For the first time, scholars from a variety of disciplines and nations were brought together to discuss Dylan’s impact on music and culture. Their research and conclusions published in this book make clear why Dylan won the Nobel Prize for Literature and why Krieg finally “got” it.

Marilyn J. Chiat, Minnetonka