By now, even life forms on other planets must know about the mess Donald Trump made at the end-of-summit news conference with Russian president, and KGB alumnus and thug emeritus, Vladimir Putin. A summit that never should have taken place coming a mere three days after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted for meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
Even were the president not one to keep putting (actually ramming) his foot (actually both feet) in his mouth, by spoken or by typed (add the hands) word, even had he a more professional quality, the president blew the press conference on a number of levels.
I cringed many times as I watched the proceedings. It was disheartening. Trump’s defending Vladimir Putin instead of his own intelligence agencies was terrible.
That with which we have become numb was also not pleasant to hear. The same self-centered refrain. “We ran a brilliant campaign.” “There was no collusion.” “The FBI gave Hillary a pass.” And did I mention? “There was no collusion.” We get it. Stop already!
The president did try to walk it back the next day, saying he misspoke, but c’mon, the strange “bromance” has been going on for a while now. And he muddled the clarification with an adlib about possible others. And today, he said Russia was no longer targeting the US when it still is.
In any event, as the president’s words may go awry, the administration has been DOING the right things, being tougher on Putin and/or Russia than former president Obama – much tougher, and other presidents before him.
Bombing Russian ally Syria, twice, for its use of chemical weapons. Allowing US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, to savage Russia. Expelling 60 Russian diplomats because of the poisoning of a former KGB official and his daughter in the UK. Pushing NATO (the check on Russia) countries to keep their funding commitments. Attacking Germany’s energy deals with Russia which very much needs the money from its only real export.
And very significantly and for which Vlad was quite unhappy indeed, unlike his predecessor, Trump supplied anti-tank missiles to Ukraine to help with its armed conflict along its eastern border against Russian-backed proxies, and plausibly, the Russians themselves.
At the same time, it’s predictable to watch those on the left who never gave a hoot about national security and foreign policy so worried about the Trump/Putin relationship and what happened in Helsinki. None of them raised the alarm when Obama’s inability to lead on Syria left a vacuum which Putin was only too willing to fill.
Putin’s unabashed and unimpeded adventures were already well known. But Putin’s current prominence on the world stage began with the previous administration’s feckless leadership on Syria (the “red line” and so much more), and elsewhere. And look at how many innocents have been killed because of it! Did the left raise its voice against the sainted Obama then? Only if the voices sounded like crickets.
Of course the cries from many on the left ring hollow because they do so only out of hatred for Trump and not because they really care about aggressively countering Russia. Their motives are far from genuine.
In fact, at times, I don’t even know if the left is left or right.
Example. Trump and North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, go after each other and the left clamors that the president will blow up the world. Then an announcement of the two meeting, and the newly-minted leftist national security hardliners say Trump will yield too much. Then the meeting is canceled and again Trump will blow up the world. Then the meeting takes place and the now leftist right-wingers claim Trump gave away too much. Then North Korea gets mad because the US decided to hold Kim Jong-un’s feet to the fire, and again, Trump will blow up the world.
And now, the left is hawkish on Russia and Putin. Where were these faux hawks when half a million were being butchered in Syria by Assad and ISIS?
(By the way, sometimes I don’t know whether to say left, or far left, as I used to delineate, because for a good chunk of them, not all to be fair, the two have morphed into one deranged unit.)
So why does he do it? What is it with Trump and Putin? I don’t believe any of the conspiracies about what the Russians may have on the president or his family, financial or otherwise. And let’s just say I am uh, “relieved” to not think prurient thoughts.
First, I think Trump likes strongmen, tough guys like him. Also, our president is such a narcissist and so thin-skinned, that any question about anything he has done or attained is taken very personally and so, any degradation of same has to be attacked. Vociferously, voraciously, and without pause. One way? Being he is criticized about Putin, he has to praise Putin.
Look, Trump has several sober, excellent foreign affairs/national security people around him. They cannot stop the president’s nonsensical tweeting or what he says unscripted, but they are able to formulate good policies – a few for which Trump himself deserves credit.
Policies for which I have been very grateful and with which I have wholeheartedly agreed – pulling out of the joke of the dangerous Iran nuclear deal and moving the US embassy to Jerusalem to name two. But the good unfortunately gets tainted by association to a president who lacks presidential temperament.
No, the world isn’t coming to an end and our constitution has always been, and will always be, stronger than those in government sworn to uphold it. But the midterms are rapidly approaching and the unhinged ones who put politics and party ahead of country, the obstruct-only-and-always, hypocritical “resistance,” will do anything to regain power. And they can smell the blood in the water.
Of course the president doesn’t help himself or his party when he makes dumb mistakes or says dumb things. His self-inflicted wound of firing former FBI Director James Comey gave him Bob Mueller. Trump needs to fire a couple people who have been giving him bad advice. And he still needs a major mouth-and-fingers course correction. Good luck with that.