If you thought the Cold War ended in 1991 then you aren’t paying enough attention or you’re just being obtuse. For Russia, it never ended. Nowhere was it more transparent than during the 2016 General Election. Russia used the Internet – an invention against its creator – as the primary vehicle to divide the United States and ultimately destroy democracies around the world. Seem far-fetched? Hyperbolic? It isn’t.
On Monday, President Donald Trump met face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland. They kicked it off with a one-on-one two-hour meeting behind closed doors and then held a joint press conference where the President of the United States of America defended a ruthless dictator and then “shockingly” attacked his own country in the same breath.
“I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think that we’ve all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago, a long time, frankly, before I got to office,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Putin. He was offered multiple chances to denounce Russia’s actions, Mr. Trump instead placed blame on the FBI and said that he had “confidence” in both parties – the intelligence community and Russia. He didn’t.
“All I can do is ask the question – my people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be but I really want to see the server but, I have confidence in both parties,” Mr. Trump said.
He went so far as to say that Putin’s denial of having been involved in the election was “extremely strong and powerful.”
What in the world did you actually think was going to happen? What outcome were you hoping for? He’s been telegraphing this moment since before he was even inaugurated.
What outcome were you hoping for?
His twitter tirades, his bemoaning of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, the constant “WITCH HUNTS!,” advocating for Russia to be invited back into the G7 allies, the desire to make Europe a foe, to destroying NATO, it all led up to this moment. It was telegraphed like a comedian delivering a really long, really terrible joke. You don’t know the exact phrasing of the punch line but you put the pieces together before they get there.
Liberals were shocked. Reasonable Republicans clenched their pearls. The world was disgusted and not just Americans mind you.
It’s one of two things; either Trump has been compromised by Russia in the multitude of ways people have theorized or admitting that one of our greatest foes meddled in the 2016 General Election where Trump won 306 Electoral votes would effectively delegitimize his presidency. We all know the latter would be detrimental to his ego.
Admitting that one of our greatest foes meddled in the 2016 General Election where Trump won 306 Electoral votes would effectively delegitimize his presidency.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona tweeted that the president’s press conference was “shameful”, adding that he never thought he’d see a day when the president “would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement, “The president must appreciate that Russia is not our ally. There is no moral equivalence between the United States and Russia, which remains hostile to our most basic values and ideals. The United States must be focused on holding Russia accountable and putting an end to its vile attacks on democracy.”
Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, called the meeting a “missed opportunity to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.”
Former CIA Director John Brennan meanwhile took a much harsher route, tweeting that the president’s performance in Helsinki was “nothing short of treasonous.”
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska, said in a statement that Mr. Trump’s blame of the U.S. for the deterioration of relations with Russia was “bizarre and flat-out wrong.”
“The United States is not to blame. America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression. When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs,” Sasse added.
All of this is hot air by the other most powerful Republican figures outside of the Executive Branch because what has been done to combat President Trump’s actions and words other than to condemn it in a statement or on Twitter? Nothing.
Republicans’ shock is fake. That’s not surprising.
What is surprising is that liberals were perplexed that President Trump could exhibit such behavior and that’s what’s truly shocking. Be outraged but don’t be shocked any longer.