Trump/Putin Summit: As Bad As You Thought. No, It’s Worse.

UPDATE #5: Traitor.

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UPDATE #4: As James Fallows writes for The Atlantic, the moment of truth is at hand for Congressional Republicans:

There are exactly two possible explanations for the shameful performance the world witnessed on Monday, from a serving American president.

Either Donald Trump is flat-out an agent of Russian interests—maybe witting, maybe unwitting, from fear of blackmail, in hope of future deals, out of manly respect for Vladimir Putin, out of gratitude for Russia’s help during the election, out of pathetic inability to see beyond his 306 electoral votes. Whatever the exact mixture of motives might be, it doesn’t really matter.

Or he is so profoundly ignorant, insecure, and narcissistic that he did not  realize that, at every step, he was advancing the line that Putin hoped he would advance, and the line that the American intelligence, defense, and law-enforcement agencies most dreaded…

…with every hour that elapses after this shocking performance in Helsinki without Republicans doing anything, the more deeply they are stained by this dark moment in American leadership.

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UPDATE #3: Arizona Sen. John McCain with harsh words for President Trump:


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UPDATE #2: From the editorial board of the Washington Post:

In Helsinki, Mr. Trump again insisted “there was no collusion” with Russia. Yet in refusing to acknowledge the plain facts about Russia’s behavior, while trashing his own country’s justice system, Mr. Trump in fact was openly colluding with the criminal leader of a hostile power.

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UPDATE: Sen. Cory Gardner breaks his silence, and, well, just wow:

We had to verify this isn’t a parody account. It’s not. Donald Trump made a mockery of Sen. Cory Gardner’s advice on dealing with Russia (below) today, and Cory Gardner responded by attacking Barack Obama.

It would be funny, just gut-busting comedy, if this was not such a serious matter.

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Politico reports as everyone with even a passing interest in the continued sovereignty of the United States–that’s every American, we sincerely hope–picks their jaws up off the floor:

President Donald Trump on Monday publicly sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence agencies, refusing to condemn the Kremlin for interference in the 2016 election and saying that “I don’t see any reason” to believe that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic computer servers.

Trump’s remarkable statement, during a joint news conference in Helsinki, Finland, after holding a two-hour one-on-one meeting with Putin, came after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians on Friday over allegations of involvement in the state-ordered election-interference operation…

Trump was directly asked at one point whether he believed the U.S. intelligence agencies, which concluded Russia carried out the hacking of Democratic servers, or Putin, who has said it did not. Trump acknowledged that his own intelligence chiefs “think it’s Russia.”

“I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump went on. “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be. But I really do want to see the server. But I have confidence in both parties.”

The aghast reaction to this astounding statement from President Donald Trump, defying the mountain of evidence to the contrary and even the indictments last Friday of numerous Russian intelligence agents for their role in subverting the 2016 elections to assist Trump, is at least somewhat bipartisan:

As of this writing, though, there’s no public reaction from Sen. Cory Gardner, but Gardner’s lip service to accountability at a campaign event last Friday left little in the way of wiggle room even for Colorado’s most infamously wiggly Senator:

When President Donald Trump meets Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Finland, he should hold the foreign leader accountable for his country’s destructive and illegal behavior, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said Friday…

Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea and continuing cyber aggression against the U.S., among other things, should land the country on a list of state sponsors of terror, said Gardner, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“The president needs to be very firm,” Gardner said. “If he’s going to meet with (Putin) at all, it’s got to be about our objections to his malign activities.”

Today’s summit, to put it mildly, does not appear to have passed Gardner’s firmness test.

Trump’s shocking rejection in Vladimir Putin’s presence of the conclusion of the entire U.S. intelligence community, whose findings were backed up by the GOP-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, is the clearest sign yet that Trump has no intention of doing anything to address a foreign government’s successful campaign to subvert an American election–an absolutely unprecedented situation that former CIA director John Brennan calls “nothing short of treasonous.”

Though unprecedented, this cannot be considered unexpected, even by devoted sycophants like Cory Gardner, given that Trump has denied the facts of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections at every step. The real problem for Republicans, the part they can’t acknowledge, is that they too were beneficiaries of the Russians’ operation to boost Trump, and to acknowledge this fact would inevitably weaken Trump’s legitimacy as President–and by extension, the Republican Party’s unchallenged control of the federal government.

Make no mistake, folks. Something very bad is happening to our country. For Republicans, at least the ones with any conscience or even patriotism left, the surprise victory of 2016 is now the worst-case scenario for their party.

Putin’s victory is now total.

39 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    Were any quakes reported in the Simi Valley this morning?

    I cannot imagine that Ronald Reagan is not gyrating in his grave right now.

  2. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    The Koch brothers do not care about relations with Russia. All they care about is lowering taxes to zero.

    Cory's focus in life is very simple.

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Poor Cory. Trump had no intention of being firm with Putin. Trump was there solely to get Putin's commendation for good work done to date, on Russia's behalf, and to get further instructions.

    Somebody somewhere, sooner or later, has to leak exactly what Putin has on Trump that makes Trump so subservient to Russian interests.

  4. JohnInDenver says:

    Given all we know about from the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Mueller indictments, what would a Republican Chair of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy

    have to say about this? A more developed statement, shown in a photo on Twitter:

    Twitter comment

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      I'm sure Cory believes that he is playing some kind of 3D psychological chess – trying to get Trump to behave appropriately based on Trump's knee-jerk antipathy to anything Obama.

      But truly, Cory, if ever there was a time for plain speaking, if ever you can even show yourself capable of plain speaking, that time is now.

      Here's a question: Who is persuaded by this that everything's fine with Russia? Who is Cory's audience and what does he want his audience to believe or do?

  5. unnamed says:

    Cory Gardner:  Spineless weasel. 

  6. VoyageurVoyageur says:

    President Donald Trump today announced the U.S. will sell Alaska back to Russia for $10 million dollars.

    "We paid just $7.2 million when we bought Alaska, so this sale represents a profit of more than 100 percent," Trump said.

    NBC's Andrea Mitchell noted that Trump's math was wrong.  The $7.2 million the U.S. Paid in 1867 would be worth more than $150 million in today's dollars.

    " That's fake math and fake news, " Trump replied.  "I made a brilliant deal!"

     Russia n President Vladimir Putin said Russia accepted Trump's offer, on the condition that Sarah Palin was not included in the deal.

  7. The realistThe realist says:

    Please, everyone – contact Bennet and Gardner plus your Congressperson and demand that this orange, treasonous lunatic be impeached.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      That is an exercise in futility for every Colorado U.S. Rep except perhaps one who happens to reside in, and represent, the City of Aurora. (The 3 Dems either already support impeachment or would. Stillborn, Cowboy Boots Buck and the other idiot will support Trump to the end.)

  8. unnamed says:

    Will MAGAt-anus come here to tell us how our so-called "President" taking the side Russia, lead by despot Vladimir Putin over America will MAGA.  We're waiting.

  9. gertie97 says:

    I flipped to Fox a few minutes ago to see how it was spinning the unspinable and nearly fell off the couch. Shep Smith is giving it to Trump with both barrels. I am not making this up.

  10. RepealAndReplace says:

    My favorite was Michael Steele, former RNC chair, who said that the press conference resembled what a KGB/FSB Handler would be doing with his Asset.

  11. JohnInDenver says:

    The Atlantic has a former speechwriter for a Republican President to match James Fallows, the speechwriter for a Democrat. David Frum's take on Helsinki begins:

    We still do not know what hold Vladimir Putin has upon President Trump, but the whole world has now witnessed the power of its grip.

    Russia helped Donald Trump into the presidency, as Robert Mueller’s indictment vividly details. Putin, in his own voice, has confirmed that he wanted Trump elected. Standing alongside his benefactor, Trump denounced the special counsel investigating the Russian intervention in the U.S. election—and even repudiated his own intelligence appointees.

  12. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    When Russia sends over its intelligence agents, it does not send over its worst.  They’re bringing puppies.  And cute kittens.  They are saints.  And some, I suppose, are bad people. 

     

    /sarcasm

  13. Negev says:

    What do you suppose would be the proper punishment for Russian "meddling" in US elections?

  14. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    James fallows is a brilliant writer, but I can improve on his recent effort.

    "Donald Trump is so profoundly ignorant, insecure, narcissistic, and flat-out an agent of Russian interests."

  15. COgator95 says:

    Trump is a TRAITOR.

    Trump's kids are TRAITORS.

    The RNC is full of TRAITORS

    They ALL deserve a traitor's fate.

    Hint… the same fate as Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

  16. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    He is the very model of a very stable genius….

    Oh Randy Rainbow, we needed that.

     

  17. RepealAndReplace says:

    Has Shorter Coffman weighed in on this scandal?

  18. DavieDavie says:

    This sums it all up pretty well

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