UPDATE: Speaking at a Cabinet meeting today, President Trump says “there has never been a President as tough on Russia as I have been.”
Yes, this really happened.
On Monday, President Trump orchestrated one of the biggest international relations disasters in the history of the United States. On Tuesday, Trump returned to the White House and offered a half-assed explanation for his relentless public defense of Russian President Vladimir Putin that was based on the premise that he mistakenly forgot to use an apostrophe in one of his comments.
Today Trump completed the circle by “walking back his walk-back,” as Politico aptly explained:
President Donald Trump on Wednesday returned to a defiant posture, insisting his deeply controversial meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin will prove to be a great success “in the long run” and complaining that his critics are suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
One day after issuing a rare mea culpa — in which Trump claimed he meant to say there’s no reason to believe it “wouldn’t” have been Russia that meddled in the U.S. election — Trump appeared to be walking back his walk-back…
…Those who have been critical of him, the president said, are “haters” upset that he has a warm relationship with Putin, a former KGB agent who the U.S. intelligence community has concluded with “high confidence” ordered the 2016 cyberattacks targeting the U.S. election process…
…Trump’s tweets capped a whirlwind few days in which Trump found himself perplexed by the severe blowback to his remarks in Helsinki.
If none of this makes sense to you, according to Trump, it may be that you just aren’t smart enough to understand:
So many people at the higher ends of intelligence loved my press conference performance in Helsinki. Putin and I discussed many important subjects at our earlier meeting. We got along well which truly bothered many haters who wanted to see a boxing match. Big results will come!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2018
Also, smart people spell “Colusion” with only one ‘L.’