I have no words: Trump sides with Putin over U.S. intelligence

UPDATE: Reader Simon sent me this statement in Business Insider from John McCain about Trump’s execrable behavior.  No matter what you think of McCain, he’s honest and frank here:

“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.

“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout – as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.

“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.

“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

_____________

It’s bad enough that Trump goes a-courtin’ dictators like Kim Jong-un and Putin while dissing our friends like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron, which is shameful, but now he’s sided with Putin over the American FBI on whether the Russians interfered in the last American election. Here’s part of a BBC report (click on the screenshot to read more).

And the icing on this cowpie cake:

I’m depressed and frustrated, and don’t know what to do. As the New Yorker put it, “Trump is the least dignified President in American history.” But it’s more than a lack of dignity; it’s a lack of gravitas, of smarts, and a surfeit of gushing narcissism. What can we do? I voted against the man, I’ve written my congresspeople on various issues, but I haven’t marched, which I don’t think accomplishes much. Only Congress can do something now, and they won’t.

We’re screwed big time, and we have this for 2.5 more years.

240 Comments

  1. Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Don’t think we’re out of the woods in 2.5 years. Aside from the SCOTUS nominations we have to accept that enough Americans side with Trump over anything that 2020 shouldn’t be taken for granted any more than 2016 was.

    • Historian
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes, even if Trump leave after the 2020 election, the damage he has done will persist long after he is gone. In addition to his Supreme Court picks, he has wrought havoc to the environment, the relations with our allies, the social safety net, immigration policy, and the norms of democracy. Yet, 42% of Americans support him and the Republican Party is his toadies. Much of what most of us took for normal prior to Trump is now under assault and his cult of the white aggrieved just love it. I once made the prediction that more books will be written about Trump than any other president than Lincoln. Perhaps I should revise that prediction.

      The present situation raises the question as to whether an 18th century document that is the supreme law of the land is still viable in the early 21st century. Nevertheless, any fundamental changes to the constitution is unlikely and changes that are made would be more likely to wishes of the right wing. Hence, we must face the possibility that one man and his abettors may reduce the country to the equivalent of a banana republic. I feel sorry for the young people who will face the consequences of the actions of old white men who can’t face challenges to their privilege. Yes, I am unabashedly using the word privilege because I think beyond doubt that it applies here. America is rapidly changing demographically and old, white Christian men in particular find the thought harrowing.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

        Some good points but all may not be lost. Schumer just finished a speech on TV in response to this debacle in Finland and actually gave a pretty good take on this mess. He did everything but call for impeachment but did give the republicans things that needed to be done right now.

        He said – add sanctions to Russia and stop current attempts to remove others.

        Demand that Trump sit for interview with Mueller team.

        Demand that the 12 indicted Russians be sent to the U.S. for trial.

        Demand that the President stop attacks on America’s institutions.

        • Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          And:

          Demand that the POSPOTUS stop attacking our allies.

          Demand that he and his minions stop lying.

          Of course all such demands will be ignored by the Orange Draft Dodger.

          • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

            I am afraid most of the allies brought this on themselves by attacking Trump from day 1 after he was elected, and in a manner that looked copied from his own playbook. A person with Trump’s oversized ego cannot let this go.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

              Nonsense. Mrs. May stumbled all over herself to fawn over tRump the moment he was elected. He repaid her with a shiv in the back.

              • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

                This is why I wrote “most”. I am also afraid that Mr. T. doesn’t keep a precise diary who insulted him and who didn’t, and lumped all Europe together, including UK.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

                He exhibits no difficulty remaining faithfully loyal to his handlers.

            • Linda Calhoun
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

              So what is everybody supposed to do, tiptoe around Trump’s “oversized ego”?

              Every domestic abuser in the world uses that excuse. “I couldn’t help it; she just made me so angry”.

              L

              • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

                If I were a politician, Ceiling Cat be witness that I’d try to be careful with other politicians’ egos and my own temper tantrums!

                As for abuse – Europeans have verbally abused America ever since Sept. 11, as Ayman al-Zawahiri predicted, while hiding under the US military umbrella. They had their justification of course, because loyal allies triggered the wrath of Islamist terrorists and then lost elections. Long before Trump, I wondered for how long Americans would let Europeans tread on them.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

                FWIW, as an American, I don’t feel the least bit “trodden upon”. Then again, I’m not a right wing Russian troll bot.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

                I’m not sure how Europeans are treading over the US. Imo, any treading has always gone both ways and besides, allies should be able to disagree.

                NATO for example. The agreement was always that members would ensure a minimum of 2% of GDP was spent on defence, and during the Cold War that was largely maintained. The fall of the Soviet Union and (then) 45 years of relative peace in Europe (for the first time ever) made people relax a bit. In financially tough times, some countries reduced their spending on their military because they didn’t see it as necessary.

                It is only in more recent years that Russian aggression has meant NATO has become increasingly vital. The trouble is, the 2008 GFC came at a time when countries could least afford to increase military spending.

                The US spends far more than 2%. Iirc it’s c. 3.5%. They’ve always been big spenders. From the outside, the importance of the military appears to be an integral part of US culture. It appears to the rest of us that you like that we look up to you militarily. It gives the US the chance to have military bases and therefore power in dozens of countries.

                The rest of the democratic world does both rely on and appreciate the strength of the US military at the same time as we also worry about the military industrial complex.

                We (the democratic world) have always thought that the US would have our backs in a crisis, and indeed, that has always been the case. And, fair enough, the US likes the kudos this gives them.

                The problem with Trump as president is that no one feels like they can rely on the US anymore. There’s no confidence that they will even honour their treaties let alone help those who aren’t even official allies (like New Zealand).

                There are faults on both sides of course, but Trump and millions of his supporters don’t see that. For example, does anyone think a Trump administration will ever spend less on the military? He’s always said he will spend more (and boasts about increases that aren’t even happening yet). NATO is not costing the US too much. It’s their choice to spend way more than is necessary to meet their commitment in the treaty.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

                The U.S. spends more on defense and military than all the other countries of the world combined. It does not necessarily make us better, just way more broke and any country that attempted to spend what we spend would soon be bankrupt and out of business. After the fall of the great enemy, Russia, we just spent more. Makes no sense at all. We have to have a national debate even before we close down a few bases in the states. It is nuts.

              • Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

                Good analysis, Heather.

              • Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:49 am | Permalink

                “Europeans trod all over Amnerica while hiding under the American military banner”. You might want to check the terms of that NATO treaty all over again. The only time it has been invoked was after 9/11 and your allies in Europe–most particularly the UK–lept to your defence. At the risk of being crude–get your head out of your ass.

  2. Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    We have to try to have a massive blue wave turn out in the midterm elections. We need to take back control of congress. That will give us the leverage to put the brakes on the worst he can do. It won’t solve all the problems but it is the best start we can do. Hugs

  3. BobTerrace
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    This shit-stain who is posing as representing the US needs to be impeached, convicted and executed as a traitor.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      I don’t care about the execution. But in my view his conduct does rise to the level of treason as defined in Article III Section 3 of the Constitution. He should be booted from office immediately.

  4. Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Yes, the problem is definitely more than a lack of dignity. It’s the destruction of norms, the defenestration of even a pretense of the importance of truth, and the dangerous lack of any level of thought or consideration regarding gravely consequential matters.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      And the people who can keep him in power are the creationists. The tribal bundling of a set of ideas that have in commonality their lack of reason has taken decades to accomplish. The Trump faithful do not consider issues, they believe. They just believe.*

      *Cue chorus from The Book of Mormon.

      • Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        That’s what baffles me. Christians are supposed to believe in the importance of love, kindness, humility, faithfulness, etc. Trump is antithetical to all of these things. He doesn’t know a damn thing about the Bible and clearly doesn’t care about taking care of those less fortunate than him. So I just don’t get their love for him. It doesn’t make sense, except, as you say, through the lens of tribalism.

  5. GBJames
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Trump is an asset of Russian military intelligence. We have a GRU agent in the White House.

    Republicans are fine with this.

    • darrelle
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Short, to the point and accurate.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      What I’m wondering is when people will realize that Trump is far from the only Russian agent in government right now.

      First, it should be obvious. That they had the means to get one of their own in the White House demonstrably means they also had the means to get one of their own pretty much anywhere else they damned well please.

      Further on the obvious front…how on Earth would one expect that they could manage to pull off the Presidency without a not-trivial foundation from which to build?

      Some on the list, like Sessions, are obvious and as open about it as Trump.

      And we know about the NRA, too.

      And with Putin’s man in charge of the White House, and especially considering the way Republicans (and Fox) are kowtowing to Trump, it’s pretty clear that they’ve not at all been resting on their laurels; their ranks have expanded, no doubt. “Nice Congressional seat / pundit job you’ve got there. Shame if anything happened to it.”

      If you have any hope that the Republicans will finally recognize Trump for who he is and come to their senses…forget it. The time for that was after the Access Hollywood tape. In for a penny, in for a pound. Frog soup, the whole lot of ‘em.

      How America escapes from Putin at this point…I have no clue.

      Frankly, not an awful lot of hope, either.

      b&

      • GBJames
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        I completely agree with you, Ben. It goes down to the local level. My own (former) skunk of a sheriff was in Russia’s pocket.

      • mikeyc
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Wait. Are you suggesting that Trump and some of his administration are actually Russian spies? That they actively tried to advance a Russian agenda to subvert our democracy rather than their own to gain power?

        I dunno. The old aphorism; “never ascribe to malice what stupidity explains” applies (IMO) here, though swap “stupidity” for “a power grab”. It doesn’t change the seriousness of what they’ve done nor excuse their attempts to hide it, but I don’t think these people are working FOR Russia, even if that is the effect. They are just stupid, venal, craven and without principle.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          False choice. They are stupid, venal, craven, without principle, AND working for the Russians.

          • mikeyc
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            Good point, but I still think they aren’t Russian spies. Just stupid, venal and craven people.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

              I don’t think they are Russian “spies,” but I’m convinced the Russians have compromising material on the guy in the Oval Office, making him a Russian “asset” — that’s the simplest explanation that accounts for all the known facts, per Willie the razor-boy of Ockham.

              I don’t know how broad the inroads might be that Russian intelligence has made into the US political and media establishments. But there’s at least one other, Moscow’s man in congress, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-ussia).

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

                Basically, Putin owns Trump. It is all back to money. The Russians have bankrolled this turd for years. He paid cash to do his golf courses, all on Russian money, just for starters. He is nothing but a bought and paid for asset for Russian. There is no other explanation.

              • tomh
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

                Exactly right. And today was the first installment on repayment.

              • Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

                “I don’t think they are Russian “spies,” but I’m convinced the Russians have compromising material on the guy in the Oval Office, making him a Russian “asset”.

                This is a pretty good explanation that seems to fit the facts well. Would also add that Trump seems to admire autocratic governments and by extension their leaders…maybe that’s how he got mixed up with Russia in the first place.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

              When Trump spends two hours in a closed room with Putin with no record of what was discussed, he’s acting like a Russian intelligence asset. AKA “spy”.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

                Well, actually, he isn’t.

                The thing about spies is, they keep their allegiances secret. They do NOT have very-publicly-visible meetings with their spymaster.

                I’m not saying that Putin might not be pulling tRump’s strings. But if tRump is a spy, then he’s as incompetent at spycraft as he is at business and diplomacy. Which I guess is possible.

                cr

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

                If you prefer the word “agent”, I won’t argue. But “spy” doesn’t necessitate competence.

              • Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

                “I am a Russian spy. Seriously, I am the greatest Russian spy ever. Hillary could never have been as good a spy as me.”

              • Merilee
                Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink

                And I am very very good at it – the best👐

              • Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

                And I am so brilliant that other folks are simply agents, or double agents, or maybe even triple agents. But my numbers are so great, it is impossible to determine what level of agent I am – simply the best ever!

        • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know about Trump being a Russian agent. They must have standards after all. I suspect his ties are financial. They probably helped him out after one of his bankruptcies or in some real estate deal. He also feels a kinship with a powerful guy who controls his country so thoroughly.

          • GBJames
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

            Spies can be motivated by many things, finances among them.

            His behavior is that of an agent of the Russian government.

            • Rita
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

              +1

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            Everything he says and does regarding Putin and Russia screams: he’s a Russian asset/agent. There really is no other explanation. I’m sure you’re correct that he’s under Putin’s thumb because of financial reasons; I doubt he cares about any piss-tapes. But if Putin decides he and his oligarchs want their money back, paid in full, it would collapse Trump’s entire empire.

            • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

              Much as we’d like to see those pee-tapes, even if they exist he would just claim they were faked. With digital technology these days, that wouldn’t be hard to believe. I’m surprised no one has done this yet.

              • Mark R.
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

                Hell, at this point if the pee tapes came out and Trump said, “yeah, that was fun! Those Russian women are crazy! And Obama was illegitimate by the way, so I approved it.” His base would relish it, and the Republicans in Congress would shrug their shoulders. Well, maybe some of them would condemn it, but they would never vote against his agenda. That’s why Senators like Graham and Corker make me sick. All talk, no action.

              • Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

                CNN is reporting that more Republicans have spoken out against Trump’s statements today and have sided with the US intelligence services, including Ryan and McConnell. Still, it won’t result in any action. I doubt Trump will disown them over it as he needs them too much and I don’t think Ryan or McConnell will do anything more than just talk.

            • mikeyc
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

              I’m sorry but I do not agree. Trump is not a Russian agent in the sense that he shares their political and strategic goals and is undermining the foundation of this country in pursuit of those goals.

              He is little more than a patsy, a marionette who refuses to acknowledge the puppeteer. Those who think he is engaged in espionage are giving him far to much credibility. He is not a subtle man.

              The Russians do own him, but not because he is a fellow traveler. They own him because they have something on him he believes will cost him his power here.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

                You seem to think that there is only one kind of an agent. There is no reason why a “patsy, a marionette” is not an agent. The motivations of agents are various. One need not be subtle. One need not share strategic goals. On need only behave as an agent in service of a “puppeteer” in a foreign government.

              • mikeyc
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

                OK GBJames, this is what I think – (I thought I was clear, evidently not).

                Trump is NOT acting as an agent of Russia, he is acting as an agent of Trump.

                That means it’s true that Russia’s objectives are furthered and the motive is irrelevant when it comes to questions of treason.

                I am interested in people claims here about the motive for his acts – not the effect, which I agree is no different in effect to one who is acting on behalf of the Russians. His motive is Trump. Not Russia. Not Putin.

                I believe I cannot make myself any clearer. If you still don’t understand my point, well, that’s ok.

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

                You’re forcing a false choice. Trump’s motives are irrelevant to the question of whether he is an agent or not. He could be in it for money, for love, for mis-directed patriotic fervor, for delusions of being a deity. It makes no difference. His behavior is that of an agent of a foreign power. If you act like an agent, if you serve a foreign power at the expense of your own country, you are an agent.

                I understand you fine. I think you are just wrong.

              • Mark R.
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

                After Trump spent some time in Russia in the 80’s after the Soviet Union collapse, he met with many Russian players, soon to be or already were oligarchs. When he came back to New York, he placed full page ads denouncing NATO and Reagan politics- way too anti-Russia.

                This is from 1988. He hasn’t changed his ideology.

                “We’re being ripped off and decimated by many foreign nations who are supposedly our allies,” said Trump. “Why can’t we have a share of their money? I don’t mean you demand it. But I tell you what, folks, we can ask in such a way that they’re going to give it to us—if the right person’s asking. … The Japanese, when they negotiate with us, they have long faces. But when the negotiations are over, it is my belief—I’ve never seen this—they laugh like hell.”

                Back in the 80’s it was Japan, now it’s China and the EU. He hasn’t changed in 40 years. Russia and autocracy is his goal, and has been for decades.

                Wake up people! I don’t know what else to say.

              • Posted July 16, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

                Not true wrt Canada. Trudeau has been very diplomatic, perhaps even handling Der-rumpf with kid gloves. In return, Trump mistook diplomacy and good manners for weakness and mildness.

          • Merilee
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            “They must have standards…” LOL. I agree that the Russians must have something, probably financial, on him.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

            “I don’t know about Trump being a Russian agent. They must have standards after all.”

            My thoughts exactly.

            Also, as Mikeyc said, ‘never suspect conspiracy where incompetence is an adequate explanation’.
            (Or similar).

            It’s very possible that tRump owes Russian financiers a lot of money, and Putin is taking advantage of that.

            I can’t help feeling, though, that if the Russians had been planning from way back when to get ‘their man’ elected to the White House, they would have chosen someone less flaky, less obnoxious, more predictable, more subtle, and more reliable.

            cr

            • Posted July 17, 2018 at 10:55 am | Permalink

              No, I think the Russians are fine with someone who is so incompetent and so disruptive. They don’t really have much hope that their chosen POTUS will consciously and consistently make decisions in their favor. The best they can hope for is someone who’s main skill is destruction. As many people have said, Trump is good at breaking deals but not at making them.

            • W.T. Effingham
              Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

              Vlad the Inhaler and several of his closest business associates are taking what they can while they can. As for their colleague, Spanky J. Chump, pliability tRUMPs reliability.

        • nicky
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Look, Mr Trump managed to bankrupt six of his enterprises, I gather no US banks wanted to loan him money anymore. Wether that is true or not, he went to Russia, its oligarch mafia (with oligarch Mr Putin Capo da Capo), with buckets, truckloads of money. We don’t know exactly what his dealings there were (no tax returns), but we may assume he’s deeply in their debt, they have him by the balls, so to speak.
          We have the Sater email, the infamous ‘our boy’ email, that shows the Russians were trying to get their boy elected as president. They succeeded. Mr Trump probably is a Russian shill.
          It does not help to realise that Mr Putin, when KGB, was specialised in ‘turning’ westerners. He is a professional, he knows all the tricks, compromise, blackmail, flatter, and psychologically seduce and dominate.
          As surreal as it seems, I do think Mr Trumps is ‘Russian’. I’m not into conspiracy theories, but if we look at Mr Trump’s actions and foreign policies, he does exactly what a Russian shill would do.

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            In 2008 Trump Jr. already admitted much of their money was “pouring in from Russia” for a lot of their projects in Qatar and Dubai because, as you said, US banks weren’t loaning them money anymore. Putin’s background really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

          • Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            There is the problem, that Mr. Putin is a professional while Mr. Trump isn’t.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think they’re Russian operatives, but they are trying to align the US with Russia rather than Europe.

          The Dominiomists, want a Christian Republic (an Islamic Republic equivalent) and have a powerful political organization, the name of which I forget unfortunately. (I will look it up later and get back to you.) Right wing Republicans, GOP mega donors, Wayne La Pierre (NRA), KellyAnne Conway, and many more are members. They don’t want to align with socially progressive Europe, but with socially regressive Russia where the Orthodox Church is taking over the morals of the country. The new anti-gay laws in Russia are the most obvious, but there’s a lot more. Christianity in Russia is taking a very dark turn.

          • mikeyc
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

            You make some good points. Still, I think it is much simpler. I don’t believe they are acting out of any other motive than self-interest. Full-stop. i don’t believe they are out to create some new world order or re-align American allegiance to Russia. They got into trouble because prior to Trump’s campaign, they had business dealings with Russians (not necessarily IN Russia). As a consequence of those dealings, they were compromised by the Russians, their activities with respect to the election and perhaps by other personal or business malfeasance. Ever since has been essentially an attempt to avoid getting caught – with both their obstruction AND whatever it is the Russians have over them.

            IMO – they are garden-variety amoral actors and we need look no further than their own business and personal ethics for a motive.

            • Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

              I agree but the search for Trump’s ultimate motivation is going to get us right back to considering free will.

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

              I agree that Trump’s motives are financial. He is all about himself, and likely thinks of nobody and nothing else.

              But imo he is the puppet of the Council for National Policy. They are the ones that want the closer ties with Russia. Here is a long but interesting article about them, with evidence for them wanting closer links with Russia: https://extranewsfeed.com/americas-taliban-the-council-for-national-policy-to-which-kellyanne-bannon-the-devos-family-7465f1754ca4

              • mikeyc
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

                Thanks! I think..

              • Mark R.
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

                “Council for National Policy” Goddamn, how Orwellian is that?

                Sounds like one of Big Brother’s Party Ministries. Perhaps the “Ministry of Love?”

        • Posted July 17, 2018 at 3:59 am | Permalink

          I don’t believe Trump is literally a Russian spy, but I do believe the Russians manipulated the election (and possibly are manipulating him) to get exactly the outcomes that are happening.

          If not, they must be marvelling at their good fortune.

      • Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        At one time I dismissed the kompromat hypothesis. Now, with Trump doing his best to destroy the Western alliance and his craven kowtowing to Putin, it makes a lot of sense.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Where is Joe McCarthy when we actually need him?

      • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        🙂

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        I hope that was meant facetiously.

        cr

        • Posted July 16, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

          Not at all. Republican Joe McCarthy thought, wrongly, that there were people in the government selling out to America’s enemies. Now that there really is such a person, at the very highest level, where are the Joe McCarthy Republicans today?

    • Mike Cracraft
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I’ve always believed that Putin has something on Trump that would kill off his presidency if exposed. Maybe some tapes of Trump’s trysts with Russian prostitutes or possibly Trump bribed some officials to get a real estate deal.

      • tomh
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Except that neither of those things would kill off the Trump presidency. A lot of hand-wringing but no effect.

        • Mark R.
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          yup

  6. Roger
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    He knows they will help him and Republicans with their propaganda and hacking.

  7. busterggi
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Nipper knows his master’s voice.

  8. M&S
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    A solid enough economy, the historic advantage that seems to apply to the incumbent and a silly electoral system all conspire to point towards another 6.5 years. Which is a tragedy.

    • M&S
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Oh and the complete and utter lack of integrity shown by the wider Republican party. How could I possible forget that…

    • demfromsc
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      And, unfortunately, the fact that so many American voters can be so easily fooled by a demagogue!

      • Blue
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        I concur with both M&S and demfromsc on almost all of your points.

        Except for one. Except for this one:
        “can be so easily fooled … … ”

        I maintain, and did so as well inside
        the early autumn of y2016,
        and Dr Coyne’s pre – election wagering deal,
        that not only he would win but also that
        he would win .because. ( incl w / the idjitcy
        that is the Electoral College ), there .are.
        THIS MANY voter – eligible people who
        .think and behave. just … … like him.

        A majority of USA – voters .are. of (t)his ilk.

        Blue

        • GBJames
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          Trump did not win a majority of votes.

          • Blue
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

            ” a majority ” at where, GB James, it,
            via that E’l College, still seems
            to actually matter as winning.

            ” a ” majority he did.

            Blue

            • GBJames
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

              You said: “A majority of USA – voters”.

              That’s pretty clear, I thought. And very different from “a majority of electoral college”.

              • Blue
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

                Per history.com, thus in re clarity, GB James:

                “When Americans [ USA ] vote for a President and Vice President, they are actually voting for presidential electors, known collectively as the electoral college.

                It is these electors, chosen by the people, who elect the chief executive.”

                Blue

              • GBJames
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

                I’m well aware of hour our electoral system works.

                You said “USA – voters”. The majority of “USA voters” voted for Clinton, by 3 million or so. How that vote was parsed by the Electoral College is a separate matter.

              • Blue
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

                I repeat, GB James: ” .A. majority ” of voters.

                I repeat again: I did .not. state what you do:
                “the” majority.

                Thus I repeat: “.A.” majority of E C voters, as BY “.a.” majority of USA – voters, is, and was, Trump’s.

                Blue

              • Blue
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

                “.a.” as in “.a.” certain type of majority

                I am out.
                Blue

        • Filippo
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

          Just for the record – are you for or against the Electoral College system?

    • Harrison
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      An escalating trade war makes a solid economy much less certain.

  9. Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    It was a disgusting display and a complete embarrassment for our country. Trump’s motivations are obvious. It is always all about him and his personal popularity. The fact that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election casts doubt on its legitimacy trumps everything in his mind.

    We watched the press conference live on CNN and, of course, their reporters were understandably outraged. We switched over to Fox News just to see how the “other side” were handling it. They had their usual array of lightweights that tap-danced around the issue and reported the controversy between Trump and his opponents — something like “His opponents aren’t going to like what he said here.” They also claimed that Trump wants to resolve our differences with Russia and this meeting was a good start. It will be interesting to see what our politicians say about this, though I suspect nothing will change.

  10. Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    It’s worse.

    ‘“I think the European Union is a foe,” Trump says ahead of Putin meeting in Helsinki’

    This week’s DER SPIEGEL
    https://mobile.twitter.com/DerSPIEGEL/status/1017802870635319296/photo/1

    The title: “Breakdown [as in a marriage, disruption, disintegration]
    What it means for Germany to be Trump’s enemy”.

    Yep, “feind”, that’s enemy, according to Germany’s leading weekly political magazine.

    The gist Trump is divisive in the NATO, especially has a beef with Germany. But he was also the elephant in the China store when he was in Britain.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Yeah… Up here in Finland and Sweden some people have not taken T***p seriously enough.

      Our countries don’t formally belong to NATO, so we have amused ourselves with the aircraft-selling defence budget antics of T***p.

      But, “European Union is a foe” makes things a bit clearer.

  11. Posted July 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Unless you praise and fawn over tRumpsky and appreciate his “bigly” smarts, you are the enemy (e.g., Trudeau and Macron).

    Further, if you haven’t noticed it by now, this man is hell-bent on becoming the DOTUS (Dictator of the United States).

  12. Gerry Warren
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    and all Putin had to do was show the Trumpster the movie.

  13. mikeyc
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    This as close to treason as one can get, if it isn’t actually legally treasonous.

    Sadly, nothing will be done. There will be a lot of teeth gnashing and bile spewed from various sides, but in the end, nothing will be done. Our political system is utterly ruined and we continue to decline. All we can do is hope something of our country that is worthwhile survives.

  14. Nicholas K.
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    This is treason.

    • neil
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      But the emails! Benghazi! Drain The Swamp! Lock Her Up!

      Oh, it’s beyond foolishness. Trump is obviously a man who has never been told “No. You can’t do that”. He doesn’t understand concepts such as ‘treason’ except as a word to use against people who oppose or thwart him.
      He just thinks that there are Top Dogs and there are Losers, and he wants to hang out with the biggest of the Top Dogs.
      Not understanding that that just makes him…a dog.

  15. Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Trump has no clue of the US constitution. I suppose in this age of post-truth that is of no consequence.

  16. Merilee
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Sub😖🙀
    So depressing.

  17. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Well, as I have said consistently since this guy was elected – the only conclusive thing anyone can do is vote. The fact that this country put this moron into this position is collectively the fault of all Americans. Just because you did not vote or did not vote for him does not really get you off the hook. We all are forced to live with it. So here we are depending on one thing to get us out and that is the Mueller investigation. And we also see that investigation itself, does not get it done either, because we have a congress full of Trumps now.

    Because of the flaws in our constitution we have no recourse but to vote. Making his party the minority party in both houses of congress will be a start. If it is really a strong turnover in both houses, only then is there chance for impeachment. I hope it will result in this because if not…we have to wait until 2020 and I do not think we have that long.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      I fear that there will not be a “blue wave” in November.

      The votes may be there. But, we have no idea what the Russians are planning, and there is nobody to stop them. If they can make it look like it’s close in many districts, and turn just enough of them to make it appear as though Republicans genuinely won, how would we ever know?

      L

      • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        I am more optimistic about stopping the Russian hacking. After all, are we really doing nothing because Trump didn’t give the order? Sure, he could put more money into protecting our social media and voting systems but I doubt whether the effort will be very capital-intensive anyway. Social media companies have been sufficiently shamed already, want to avoid future shame, and have the resources to fix the problem. I have to think that even government agencies are at work on the problem but maintain a low profile so that Trump doesn’t attempt to interfere or shut it down.

        • GBJames
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          I don’t share your optimism.

          Electronic voting systems are enormously insecure. Russian hackers have already explored these avenues. They don’t have to attack all of the many systems out there, just some well selected voter registration and/or balloting systems.

          • Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            Don’t you think all states have been examining their voting systems’ security? Even the reddest of states doesn’t want their votes hacked.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

              And all companies have been examining their networks. Hacking still happens.

              And there is not even a common belief among Republican state officials that there is a problem to be solved.

      • Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        I worry that you’re already devising a back-up rationalization about why there may not be a “blue wave” in November. If there is no “blue wave” it will be because the Dems blindly refuse to acknowledge that they—not the Russians, not the Electoral College system—are responsible for Trump being in office. Finding yet more ways to avoid facing that truth, even in advance of defeat, is about as counter-productive a strategy as I can imagine.

        • Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

          Sounds more like version 1.0 of how Republicans who voted for Trump are going to portray history after Trump’s fall. “We didn’t put Trump in office, Dems did by fielding a weak candidate!”

  18. JezGrove
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    The most embarrassing aspect of the post-summit press conference was Putin’s obvious grasp of the underlying historical detail when responding to questions by contrast with Trump’s responses, which were typically vague.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      I found it telling that Putin said he wanted Trump to win the Presidency. Putin is a smooth operator. He could have said “I didn’t have a preference” or even better for Trump, “I was supporting Clinton”. That would have been a gift. But since he said he wanted Trump to win, Trump can no longer claim otherwise. It was a backhanded compliment.

  19. tomh
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    There is an interesting article in Esquire about the Republicans and Trump, asking if there is a red line he could cross that would cause them to turn on him. Video tapes? DNA evidence? a war with Germany? For instance, earlier this year Sen. Lindsay Graham (R- SC) said that if Trump fired Mueller, “it would be the end of President Trump’s presidency.” He no longer believes that, because Trump has “done such a number on this guy,” attacking Mueller’s credibility. In short, all red lines have vanished, the GOP is the party of Trump, and there is no turning back for Republicans.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Luckily you are incorrect and the followers, at least some, will in fact, turn on this guy when specific things are done. Right now I think his personal actions on this tariff crap will erode part of his base soon. The Midwest base will probably be the first to go. If you look at what is currently happening with commodity prices the farmers are in big trouble. If you say, oh well, that is just a few farmers, think again. How the farmers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and many other states go, so goes much of the base in those states.

      I know something about the farm in rural Iowa and I am sure they cannot make any money based on the current drop in corn and beans. China has put it to Trump and actually the farmers and is moving away from purchases here. The prices will continue to drop and his support will be gone before you know it. These people will soon begin going out of business, it does not take long.

      Sometimes a small wave can become a Tsunami.

      • tomh
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        @ Randall Schenck

        I admire your optimism.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          Not optimism really, I do not live on optimism. But I know Iowa and I know the prices of corn and beans. Give it a couple of months and you will see. Harvest time begins in Sept. and I suspect the prices will be shit by then. People who are put out of business do not tend to back the same horse that put them out.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

            As long as you know Iowa, buddy, maybe you can explain Rep. Steve King to the rest of us. If you don’t mind, you could start by identifying his species. 🙂

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

              I really cannot identify the species on this one. I am convinced he is actually an alien from another planet. A planet covered in whatever stupid is made of. He was way out there long before Trump.

              • Blue
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

                O, do not.not.not. get me started, Randall /
                Mr Kukec.

                That species allegedly “represents” my region.

                WHY he keeps IN that office IS EXACTLY WHY
                I placed my wager in the autumn of y2016, w
                Dr Coyne.

                THAT is the WHY of why Trump was elected once.

                And, quite possibly, y e t a g a i n.

                Blue

              • Rita
                Posted July 16, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

                I think a lot of people reflexively vote Republican and don’t pay attention after that. So they have no clue about how far out there Steve King is.

          • Linda Calhoun
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

            They will not make the connection between Trump’s tariffs and their bankruptcy.

            They will find some way to blame Obama, Clinton, Democrats, etc.

            L

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

              Oh, they may be Trump followers but fortunately not all that stupid. That other brain Dead Senator, Joni Earnest is from Red Oak, Iowa, about 30 miles from my home town. She is already waking up to the coming disaster and actually questioning what the hell Trump has done to them. They will turn on Trump like a bunch of hungry hogs.

            • Mark Sturtevant
              Posted July 17, 2018 at 2:45 am | Permalink

              I am from Iowa. The farming block may not be up on the world economy of oil, or know the latest about trade policy with Argentina, but when it comes to international markets concerning corn, soybeans, and pigs, they are all over it.
              Some of the smartest people I know are Iowans who never went to college. I would generally not want to debate them.

      • Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        I agree that this is reason for a little hope. The tariff skirmishes Trump has started with China, Canada, and the EU will have real bottom-line consequences for many of his base supporters. I don’t think they will feel the pain enough in time to make a difference at the midterm elections, but if the trade war continues, it could spell doom for his 2020 bid.

        However, I fear that, like everything he does, he will simply wait for things to get bad enough so that some of his base starts seriously complaining, then will remove (or downgrade) the tariffs and claim moral victory over the “foreign oppressors” imposing retaliatory tariffs. This could be more than enough to whip the hardest hit of his base back into a fervour of support. Retaliatory tariffs will then be removed or downgraded to end the trade war, and Trump will be able to claim overall victory, “saving” his base from the financial calamity he created. He’s already played this same game with immigration.

    • mikeyc
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      If this is actually true (I have very little faith in anyone’s opinions about Trump anymore) do you think there is a silver lining here? If it’s true that the GOP has become the party of Trump, it suggests that at least some sane Republicans (they DO exist – in fact, I continue to think they are the majority of their party, just cowed right now) they might see that our very existence as a country is at stake and so abandon him in 2020?

      • tomh
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Well, so far any Republican who abandons Trump tends to lose in the primary. I think this will be even more so in 2020. Re-election is always the ultimate goal for a politician.

      • Historian
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Some Republican office holders from time to time have spoken out against Trump on one issue or another. But, they are all talk and no action. The overwhelming majority of Republican office holders know that their re-election depends on the support of the Trump cult. And if the choice is between country and election, there really is no choice at all. This is why there must be a blue wave in November. It is our only hope of constraining the considerable damage Trump has already done. If the Democrats do not win at least one house of Congress, democracy as we know it may become nothing more than a memory. But the cult will be happy since democracy means nothing to them. They only want relief from the “grievances” that weigh so heavily on their minds.

  20. Jon Gallant
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    The next development is easy to predict. Mueller’s team will finally call in President Trump for a deposition, and will ask him, under oath, whether he had any dealings with Russian officials during the 2016 election campaign. President Trump will purse his lips and reply: “Нет никогда, клянусь.”

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      I’da settled for just a “nyet.”

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Does tRump speak Russian?

      cr

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Looks like a case for the thought police to break. Orwell has a word in all of this. Sadly.

  21. Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    sub

  22. MP
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    >>we have this for 2.5 more years.

    He COULD get re-elected in 2020.

  23. bric
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    My guess is Russian troops will enter through Alaska/British Columbia; communications networks will be compromised while Russian sleepers take over key Government Positions. No doubt the Republican grandees will expect to be rewarded with high offices for their work for the Greater Russo-American Federation but Putin will be disgusted by their betrayal of their own country, and they will all be publicly executed as an example to the populace. So there’s that.

    • Jon Gallant
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      But remember, the Russian troops won’t have Russian insignias on their camouflage uniforms. That way, it could be argued that they are really British Columbian, or Costa Rican special forces. The only Republican grandees to be executed will be of the Flake and McCain variety, while Mitch McConnell will retire from the Senate and become CEO of the newly merged Exxon-Gazprom oil giant.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      My prediction is more invasions in Europe.

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        I agree.

        I was struck by Merkel’s statement that Germany knows what it is to be under Russian domination.

        I remember the joy when the Berlin wall came down. People don’t want to live like that. The Americans who think this is all just fine have no idea what they’re actually in for. All they can see right now is how they’re sticking it to the “libtards”.

        L

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

          I’ve said it before – a big chunk of Trump’s support voted for him out of sheer spite. The chance to stick one in the face of all the people they resent overrode any concerns they might’ve had about Trump on a personal or professional level. He gives them that little hit of adrenaline they love every time he ‘pwns libtards’.

          They basically voted for a human coffee machine. Politics in the normal sense really didn’t come into it at all.

          • Ken Phelps
            Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

            Just watching Rand Paul make a complete asshole out of himself on CNN. Sad.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Putin has been building up the Russian military near the Suwalki Gap, perhaps the most strategically sensitive area in the Baltics.

        Meanwhile, Putin is the one who told Trump to cancel the joint US-South Korean military exercises as a “needless provocation.”

      • nicky
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that is adefinite possibility. Latvia and Estonia will probably be the next targets, with a quarter tona third of their population Russian. Lithuania can be taken in stride, despite only 5% Russian.

  24. Roger
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Now the new headline…

    Trump fist-bumped Turkish leader Erdogan, said he “does things the right way”

    Yep real headline. Not a joke.

  25. Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    How sad that our congress has chosen party over the constitution

  26. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    For the first time in my life, I worry for our nation’s future. Trump is grossly ill-suited to be president of the United States, and plainly does not have this nation’s best interests at heart. John McCain has issued a spot-on statement taking Trump to task for his disgraceful performance on the world stage today. Are there no other Republican statesmen who will come to the aid of their country?

    • Lynn Wilhelm
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been truly worrying about this since Trump won the Republican nomination.
      American democracy is no longer safe.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I’ve been worried about this since it first became clear that Trump would win the Republican presidential nomination. Anyone who can make it to a major party nomination has the built-in support of 40% of the US electorate and, thus, a “puncher’s chance” at becoming president. That Trump could get even that far reflects poorly on the sad state of American democracy.

        • Posted July 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          The system apparently pushes the wrong people to the top.

        • Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          “That Trump could get even that far reflects poorly on the sad state of American democracy.”

          While we agree on Ted Williams and Anthony Trollope, I have to differ with you on this one, Ken. If anything, the 2016 election results restored my faith in the democratic process: a significant portion of “we the people” got fed up with the direction the country was going and wanted change, and then actually went to the polls and made this happen with their votes. I find this both amazing and reassuring, not to mention a blueprint for the only way to turn the present situation around.

          Gary

          • Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

            This only makes sense if “burning the house down” is considered a reasonable kind of “change”.

            • Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

              “This only makes sense if ‘burning the house down’ is considered a reasonable kind of ‘change.’”

              I’m not sure reasonable comes into it: one voter’s “reasonable” is another voter’s “treasonable.”

  27. Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    now he’s sided with Putin over the American FBI on whether the Russians interfered in the last American election

    Why would one trust the FBI if they do not provide concrete evidence?

    Also, I’m astounded at why anyone would care about what Trump says, rather than what he does. Is Trump an honest person? Of course not. In action, Trump has been by far the most Russophobic president since the founding of modern Russia.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Also, I am astounded as to why anyone would consider the leaking to the public of highly publicly relevant information about the nature of how the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton work a bad thing. I don’t think transparency for either party is bad, whether forced or not.

      • Adam M.
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I agree with that latter point. Hackers releasing information about the DNC’s dirty deeds was a public service, in my opinion. Transparency in politics is a good thing. The only problem is that it was one-sided; we don’t know what machinations go on in the RNC.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, it’s a real shame the Watergate burglars got caught, too, before they could release the dirt stolen from the DNC offices before the ’72 election, huh?

          Would you be as sanguine if someone pulled a home invasion at Trump tower to get dirt on the Donald, or is it only the weaponization of cyber thievery you’re willing to abide?

          Are you cool with Russia’s use of social media to micro-target voters with fake stories (as spelled out in the Internet Research Agency indictment), too?

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          ” The only problem is that it was one-sided;”

          …uh, yeah, but that’s a pretty f—ing big problem though isn’t it?

          It’s like saying you’re glad to see all black criminals locked up, the only problem being that all the white ones got to go free.

      • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps not but why is it even relevant now? At most it shows the Democratic Party leaders putting their fingers on the scale for Clinton over Bernie (not illegal) and perhaps some mismanagement of Hillary’s emails. It’s a big nothing-burger.

    • jorgensen28ryan
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Do you have any evidence that his actions are more Russophobic than predecessors? The administration has taken strong stances against many sanctions on Russia.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for weighing in, Boris … or is it “Ivan”?

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Stop it…you’re killing me.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      What makes you think they don’t have concrete evidence? My understanding is this latest indictment includes quite a bit of detail, though I haven’t read it. And, of course, they typically don’t make all the details public in order to protect sources and methods. Congress’ intelligence committees also have access to these details, right? If they were lacking, we would have heard the Republicans making that argument which we haven’t.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, the indictment the DC grand jury dropped last week is what’s known in the trade as a “speaking” indictment, in that it includes much more detail than is legally required.

        One of the most interesting details (and one that wasn’t at all necessary to include) is that the Russian intelligence agents first went to work diligently trying to hack various servers associated with the Clinton campaign on July 27, 2016 — the very same day that Trump went on national tv and entreated the Russians to find Hillary’s “missing 30,000 emails.”

        • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Right! Can’t possibly be a coincidence. Unfortunately, we can’t use Trump’s own words as evidence of collusion.

      • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        They might have concrete evidence. That’s certainly possible. But the general public (especially the general public of technical experts) hasn’t seen it, which is what matters.

        Prosecutorial allegations are simply that, prosecutorial allegations.

        • Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          Yes, some of his supporters are already reminding people that indictments aren’t convictions.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      “I’m astounded at why anyone would care about what Trump says …”

      Yeah, heaven forefend that anyone should take what the leader of the free world says seriously.

      At some point in his presidency, when for example this nation is faced with a grave security threat, Trump is going to need the American people, and this nation’s allies, to believe what he says. You got another excuse you’re gonna make for this asshole then?

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        “leader of the free world”

        Excuse me? Who exactly is that?

        cr

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        And, umm, after ‘weapons of mass destruction’ why should anyone take seriously what an American president says?

        Why should anyone ever – in your words – ‘believe’ a thing tRump says?

        I agree the ideal would be to have a president that people could believe. But – after Dubya and now tRump – I do not think that any foreign leader should give any credence to what POTUS says just because, at some time in the distant past, US Presidents gave lip service to the truth.

        cr

      • Posted July 17, 2018 at 12:43 am | Permalink

        Expecting Trump to be honest about anything is like expecting pigs to fly. I’m not in the business of making excuses for Trump.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 17, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          One more reason he’s completely unfit to hold the office of US presidency.

    • nicky
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Russophobic? What has he done?
      – sharing classified information with Russian officials
      – trying to lift sanctions,
      – trying to get Russia back into the G 7-8
      – dividing the West (disparaging NATO, calling EU a foe, starting trade wars, etc)
      -isolating the US (Paris, NAFTA, de facto leaving G7, etc)
      – dividing the US from within
      – and now rejecting his own intelligenge agencies for some ‘loose’ talk by Mr Putin?

      I wound call that Russophilic, or better Russian Imperiophilic if not Putinophilic

      • Posted July 17, 2018 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        Back in reality, Trump has (sadly) tremendously increased sanctions on Russia and Russians, approved arms sales to Ukraine, and struck Syrian forces numerous times, including killing several hundred Russian military contractors.

        Focus on actions, not words.

        Why is there such an outcry for hostility toward the world’s second-largest nuclear power?

        • GBJames
          Posted July 17, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

          Congress has done those things. Trump has resisted and has dragged his feet as much as possible to not implement them.

          • Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

            This isn’t true.

            • Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

              Yes, it is true.

              • Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

                It’s absolutely true. I’m wondering where pithom gets his information.

              • tomh
                Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

                Fox New, of course.

            • GBJames
              Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

              It isn’t hard, pithom, to find support for my statement.

              Here’s one. Another. Another.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 17, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

          You know why. Because Russia is a consistently bad actor that is openly trying to undermine every single, painstaking gain liberal democracy has made since the end of the war. They are homophobic, misogynistic, dishonest, corrupt, religiously extreme, anti-democratic, anti-free-speech…

          To stand by while a bully does their thing, even though you could intercede at any point…that’s not diplomacy, that’s not ‘avoiding needless aggression’; it’s complicity.

          • Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

            What are your thoughts on Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia?

        • Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          Wait, let me answer this one! Because the Russians hacked our elections and gave us Trump!

          • Posted July 18, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

            “. . .the Russians hacked our elections and gave us Trump!”

            Just keep believing that and we’ll get six more years of Trump. The Dems gave us Trump by nominating Hillary over Bernie, doubling down on identity politics, and ignoring/vilifying a major portion of the population as a “basket of deplorables.” Simply no need for the Russians.

            • Zetopan
              Posted July 20, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

              I see that you are still singing the far right apologetics. What elected Trump is gerrymandering + voter suppression + Russian propaganda + all of the Trump voters. If the Democrats had run Mickey Mouse it would still have required Trump voters to elect Trump.

  28. Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    It all depends on the midterms. If the Republicans are turned out of control of the House convincingly, their fear of opposing Trump will evaporate and the Democrats will get subpoena and other investigatory powers.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      I agree completely with this. Some evaporating is already occurring as a few republicans are beginning to turn. If this slaughter carries over to the Senate, I think impeachment will happen.

    • Harrison
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      What are Republicans going to do? If they could oust or replace Trump without riling up their own base they’d have done it by now.

      It’s actually kind of funny. Republicans have done their best to cultivate a low-information voter base under the assumption that keeping them stupid would make them easier to lead, and now they’ve got away from them. The base only wants Trumpkins. And if the broader public turns on Trumpkins, the base will want them all the more, and care not one whit how unelectable they become.

  29. darrelle
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Like a couple of others have above I often refer to Trump as a traitor. It isn’t just this incident here. He has been engaged in “treasonous” activity for some time. But if I understand correctly treason only applies during war. Sedition doesn’t seem to work either since POTUS is the highest authority. I don’t know of an existing charge that applies but except for the “during war time” technicality treason is otherwise perfectly encompasses Trumps activities.

    It doesn’t even matter what Trump’s motivations are. Doesn’t matter if he’s motivated by greed, vanity, fear. His actions tell the tale. He is destroying our government. He is destroying our relationships with other countries. He is enabling a massive raid on the public coffers. He is warping our judicial system. He is consorting with dictators. He is aiding and abetting Putin. He is providing cover for Putin’s machinations against the US and our allies. He is behaving like a dictator instead of a President. I’m sure I’ve missed some things.

    But, you know what? The ones I really want? The ones who really deserve to be stripped of power, authority and money, and be put away for the rest of their miserable lives? The key Republican Party traitors that have made all this possible. We’d probably have to go back 30 years to get them all. Never going to happen. Some prime examples? Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, John Boehner, Paul Ryan, Mitch Fucking McConnell. And let’s not forget folks like Rupert Murdoch, Sean Hannity and their confrères. These people have been instrumental in corrupting the bodies that are supposed to protect the US from a traitorous POTUS like Trump. And in many cases they have been motivated primarily by lust for power and money. And they’ve used every dirty trick from every book from Ancient Greece to the Third Reich, and invented a few of their own.

    I gotta stop babbling.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      “I gotta stop babbling.”

      I dunno, darrelle, I thought you were on a pretty good roll, there. 🙂

      • Linda Calhoun
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        +1

    • Maryann Schulz
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Finally, darrelle, someone ‘babbles’ what is really going on with this disastrous Trump takeover of our country. ‘He is behaving like a dictator instead of a President.’ Your last paragraph further explains what is going on with the ‘key Republican Party traitors that have made all this possible’.

      We don’t have until the next election to correct this. We may not HAVE a next election. You are not ‘babbling’ you are speaking truth clearly without all the dancing around the stark reality of what is really going on.

      Thank you.

    • Posted July 18, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      “The key Republican Party traitors that have made all this possible.”

      You’re by no means babbling, Darrelle, but I think you’ve got it backwards: it was the key Democratic Party traitors that have made all this possible.

      Trump owes his election to what one writer has called “the leftover people.” These may be “deplorables” to the Dems but their grievances were and are real. Many of these voters, which include a large swath of the middle class, were once Democrats, and felt they’d been betrayed as they watched the so-called party of the disenfranchised systematically ignore or vilify them—perhaps the most disenfranchised group in the country.

      I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I’m convinced that we’re not going to turn things around until the Dems wake up and start taking major responsibility for “making all this possible.”

      • GBJames
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        You seem to take the “America is responsible for Al-Qaeda attacking the World Trade Center” approach to things.

        • Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

          Yes, if they hadn’t built such a target as the twin towers, no one would have slammed airliners into them. And what was up with those pilot training schools? Don’t they run security checks on their students?

      • Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Their grievances might be real to them but if it’s based on “white disenfranchisement”, they can go to hell. If it is based on racial animus, they can go to hell. If it is based on irrational fear of immigrants, same thing.

  30. Marta
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone remember watching “The Manchurian Candidate” back in the day? Remember how chilling it was, and how you comforted yourself by saying it could never, would never happen?

    I’m wondering if Trump treason was what Saint Ronnie had in mind when he said “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      “Vladimir Putin is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful despot I’ve ever known in my life.”

      Trump sounds like a former NoKo POW when he mindlessly repeats his mantra “if we got along with Russia, that would be a good thing, not a bad thing.”

      • Posted July 17, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Well, IMO he’s just committing a specific instance of the “politician’s fallacy”

        Something has to be done.
        This is something.
        Therefore this has to be done.

        It would be *great* if the US and Russia and everyone else got along, he’s *right* about that. But it does not follow that should be under all circumstances and for any reason whatever.

  31. Leigh
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    You wrote, “I’m depressed and frustrated, and don’t know what to do”

    What can you do? How active are you in the 2018 campaign? I agree marching and demonstrating accomplish little. Making sure good candidates get elected is worth our time and effort. Ohio is close by – what are you doing in that special election? Sounds like people in that state could use your help.

    November seems a long way off, but people in my neighborhood are out (and have been out) registering voters, canvassing, staffing offices, and working hard. Come join us. I would hope that everyone who reads your website is also out, right now, today, actively participating the the 2018 election.

    • mikeyc
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      “Making sure good candidates get elected is worth our time and effort. ”

      There’s the rub. The problem is that our only hope for “good” candidates comes from the Democrats.

      It’s a forlorn hope.

    • Rita
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Young people are registering in record numbers, but there are still a lot of young people who aren’t paying attention, and aren’t planning to vote. Now is the time to reach out at every opportunity to talk to the people and impress upon them that this may be the most important election in our lifetimes.

  32. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Well, Trump broke the perfect record.

    I characterize him as baby, bully, buffoon and bombast, likely learning in that order before leaving school. The newly learned addition does not fit the B-club: traitor.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      “betrayer”?

      I hate to see a good alliteration run brought to an end by a little thing like high treason.

  33. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    From the perspective of a Briton it just feels like the world’s most powerful nation is being taken for a joyride.

    The fact that there are people here, at WEIT, about as genuinely liberal a website as I can think of, who nevertheless defend what he said today is just profoundly, deeply depressing. It’s so depressing that I can’t even bring myself to reply to their comments.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      I like the “joyride” analogy. And the Republicans are in the front seat enjoying the view. But where is Trump taking us? It’s not likely to end well.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        I just hope there’s a car left at the end of it – good luck American voters, we’re counting on you to take back the wheel

  34. JohnE
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    These would seem to be the two choices Americans have. Under Option A you can choose to believe, as Trump insists, that: (1) the legions of men and women who serve in our intelligence agencies are all corrupt and/or incompetent, such their unanimous conclusion that Russia interfered with the 2016 election is wrong; (2) the legions of men and women who serve in the FBI, who statistically are overwhelmingly conservative and who are led by Republicans, are corrupt and their investigation of the connections between Russia and the Trump campaign is a sham; (3) the European Union, who have been our allies for the last 70 years (WAAAY longer in the case of the UK and France), some of whom have sent their troops to fight alongside ours in our recent conflicts (yes, France sent troops to fight with us in Afghanistan!), are our “foes” and cannot be trusted; (4) our historic foes, the undemocratic countries of Russia and North Korea are really our friends, and their despotic leaders are worthy of our admiration; and (5) our media is the “enemy of the people.” Alternatively, under Option B, you can believe that the guy who paid $25 million to settle the Trump University fraud suit, the guy who stole from his own charity to pay corporate fines and other personal expenses, the guy who stiffed his creditors in bankruptcy proceedings multiple times, the guy Mitt Romney called “a phony and a fraud,” the guy Colin Powell called a “national disgrace,” the guy who was called “ignorant and dangerous” with the potential to be “the most reckless president in American history” in an open letter published by 50 former conservative national security advisors, the guy who lies so often he no longer has any idea (or cares) what the truth is – you can believe that THAT guy, Donald J. Trump, is a lying sack of sh@t who would say ANYTHING to defend his own @ss and promote himself, regardless of the consequences to our country.

    In what bizarre upside down world could any rational person possibly think that Option A is more believable than Option B?

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      It’s the same level of irrational tribalism that any strong group attachment eventually ends up arriving at.

      Most of all it seems to me like following a football team; with the incredible hypocrisy, the displays of fealty to human beings who six months ago you were booing because they played for someone else, the grudge held against a player because ten years ago he played for you local rivals…
      In football it’s a sign that you really support your team if you call the referee a c— and hate your opponents for no real reason. The more absurd your hypocrisy and irrational your animosity the more die-hard a supporter you are*.

      *this is the mindset of a particularly noxious breed of supporter – not all.

      • JohnE
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        “Irrational tribalism” — I agree completely. Unfortunately, it’s my understanding that a number of psychological studies have shown that people who put a high value on group loyalty and authoritarianism tend to be conservatives. It’s why Rush Limbaugh has had the number one radio talk show since at least 1987 when record keeping began, and Fox News has been the highest rated cable news network for the last 16 years. And where are all the wildly successful liberal radio talk shows and cable news networks? (Cue the sound of crickets.) There is much truth to the adage that trying to organize liberals is like herding cats. (I thought I should work in a cat reference for the benefit of our host.)

      • Marilyn
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        I see it more like a cult following a leader no matter what he does. If Trump went to one of his rallies and asked them all to drink cyanide-laced kool aid, they would do it. There is absolutely no way to talk to these people at all.

  35. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Just a matter of time until Trump denies saying what he said at the joint press conference today, probably by claiming it was dubbed in by the “Deep State” in conjunction with the Fake Media. Maybe he’ll take that theory out for a spin tonight on “Hannity.”

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      It might be interesting to hear what Hannity has to say about the day’s events. He’ll probably take a stance similar to that of the regular Fox News reporters and talk about how much it will anger the opposition.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        Well, he just did the next best thing, claiming that the transcript and video tape should say “why wouldn’t they?” rather than “why would they?” regarding Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

        So, mutatis mutandis, we’re all good, right? … right?!

        • Posted July 17, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          That was totally unbelievable. How does it fit into the rest of his talk which started with “Where’s the server?” It will be interesting to see how many Republicans who spoke out yesterday walk it back today with “Ok. I’m satisfied now.”

  36. Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I think John Brennan just about sums it up for me:
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/16/politics/john-brennan-donald-trump-treasonous-vladimir-putin/index.html

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I just saw Jerry’s update about John McCain’s statement which I think is honest, insightful, courageous and outstanding. McCain is an honest broker, and I wish he could be cloned.

      • Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        I wish he was in Trump’s position.

        • Posted July 16, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

          Would it be too gauche of me to wish for the inverse?

        • Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          No, we did want him either. We would have been at war with everybody with McCain running things.

  37. Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Trump is an experiment on the american psyche, it’s tolerance to anal narcissism and chaos. So far, so ummm… good.

    I’d have to say, somebodies fell asleep at the wheel and hit a “power” pole… and with that, the “lights” went out.
    Prognosis: not fatal but you will be limping for awhile.

    Meanwhile, we will wave ~ as we past the wreckage and wait for the repair job.
    To the power pole that is, we need light, the car is a f**king right off.

  38. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Trump knows what he’s done in terms of collusion and knows what he’s done to give rise to his divided loyalties toward Russia — and he knows that Mueller is coming for him to expose it. Accordingly, Trump thinks that admitting to anything regarding the Russian investigation, simply puts himself one step down the road to his eventual impeachment. So he denies everything, and instead babbles nonsensically on the world stage, about the “missing” DNC server, about the servers of some Pakistani who worked on Hillary’s campaign, and about Hillary’s 33,000 missing emails.

    Pitiful, if it weren’t so treacherous.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      The covers are off now. Mueller may become irrelevant before this show is over. When X CIA and other intelligence people say this is Treason like behavior what else is needed except backbone in our congress. One way or the other this guy is going down.

      • Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        It will not happen until Trump drops to about 30 per cent or less in the polls. That is what it took to get Congress to get the votes to remove Nixon. Congressmen read their polling numbers.

    • Posted July 17, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Trump said he accepts the intelligence results today. Agree that he babbles nonsense. That was the strategy of Casey Stengel and President Eisenhower. It worked for both of them.

  39. Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Seriously? “You have no words,” because “Trump sides with Putin over U.S. Intelligence?” It’s stunning, really. The same Left that once condemned the CIA as the source of everything evil and manufacturer of fake intelligence that led to war with Iraq is now praising it, along with the FBI, as a very font of truth, justice, and the American way! The same Left that once ranted about “McCarthyism” is now searching under every bed to find Russian spies. And this in spite of ample video showing the likes of Brennan and Comey wearing their hatred of Trump on their sleeves, and a creature like Strozk brazenly denying his bias as piece after piece of evidence is read out proving the same!

    Amazing! You people actually seem to believe your own propaganda! Don’t you ever bother to look for “news” from sources other than CNN and MSNBC? What reason do we have to promote this bitter hatred of Russia, a nation armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons? They are right next door to another country, China, that has just claimed the entire South China Sea, has built military bases there on disputed islands, and now clearly has its eyes on a military seizure of Taiwan. Take a look at the power of China to manufacture anything that one might reasonably include in the category of the “sinews of war” compared to Russia. Russia is in the noise. Eventually China will get around to challenging the “unequal treaties,” and turn on Russia. In that sense, she is our natural ally against a resurgent China that is clearly contemplating a war against us. Why, then, this blind hatred? Because Trump? I’m sorry, but that makes no sense at all. Would it really be too much to ask you to think outside of the ideological box you live in for a change?

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Russia is a superpower that likes expanding by military aggression and uses every opportunity to do so. It is also a superpower doomed to eternal misery because of fatal flaws in the culture of its nation, and regards bringing others down to the same misery as a surrogate of success. The fact that both the Democrats and the European “allies” have made grave errors, and that China is another rogue superpower to create problems, does not make it OK for the USA to submit to Russia.

      Otherwise, I can partly understand your gloating. I gloated myself when, upon Trump’s election, some US leftists apparently figured out for first time that Russia was worse than their homeland.

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Classic whataboutism. What about the Iraq War? What about China? You call that thinking outside the box? If so, I’ll stick with the box.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 16, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Your words are so full of nonsense I would not know how to address it. How does McCarthy have anything to do with what is happening today? You are living in a very desperate world that I cannot understand. Blind hatred of Russia you say….no, just blind hatred of Trump. Trump is the dangerous person who belongs in treatment, maybe a camp in Russia. You might want to look in yourself.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        “HelianUnbound” is a troll who stops by every so often to flog a squad of risible strawmen in defense of Donald Trump. She or he did it a couple weeks ago here, and is up to the same insipid trick again.

        His or her intent is merely to flash distracting red herrings.

      • Craw
        Posted July 16, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        But admitting to a “blind hatred of Trump” is admitting and confirming Helian’s contention, isn’t it?

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 16, 2018 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

          HU accuses James Comey and Peter Strzok of having a hatred for Donald Trump. Strzok was foolish for using his official FBI phone for personal political text messaging. But the opinions he expressed therein were largely shared by the sentient 55% of the American electorate that voted against Donald Trump — and were much more mild than what many, many mainstream Republicans tweeted and texted and said in public about Donald Trump during the Republican primaries and after the Access Hollywood video was released. Strzok’s personal political opinions had (and could have had) no impact whatever on any decisions made during the Russian probe, and Robert Mueller dismissed Strzok from his team as soon as he learned of the texts.

          James Comey had no personal hatred of Donald Trump at all; what he developed was a growing concern over Trump due solely to Trump’s own actions and statements and blatant efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation.

          If Comey and Strzok had a blind hatred for Trump the easiest thing for either to do would’ve been to drop a dime to the NYT or WaPo or WSJ before the 2016 election to reveal the Trump-Russia investigation, which would have revealed the extend of Trump’s lies about the hacking having been committed by a 400 pound New Jerseyite lying in bed, and likely would have scuttled Trump’s election chances. They didn’t.

          HU’s entire argument is ludicrous.

        • Posted July 17, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          I’ll admit hatred of Trump too though it’s not blind. I have details!

    • Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      What a pile of bad arguments. But I’ll limit myself to your comment about Strozk. Every human on the planet has a strong opinion about Trump. Strozk was forthright in his testimony about why he was sickened by Trump’s behavior.

      But a professional doesn’t let his opinion affect his working decisions. Biased actions would be a problem, not mere biased thoughts (everyone will have those). The Republicans brought up not one shred of evidence of improper behavior by Strozk, at least in the several hours I watched those hearings. The spectacle of that hearing was a dishonest sinister coordinated attempt to manipulate public opinion about the FBI, to promote Trump’s narrative.

  40. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    “his violation of international treaties,”

    Was McCain referring to Putin there, or tRump? Paris climate accords, the Iran nuclear deal, trade agreements…

    “That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.”

    Inexplicable? It’s tRump! Is anybody surprised? What more ‘explanation’ do you need? Just be thankful the bugger didn’t start a war.

    cr

  41. Mark R.
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I would like to add to this discussion a simple fact.

    Trump speaks with NATO in English.

    Trump speaks with Putin in English through a translator.

    Trump speaks (benefit of the doubt) with NATO in public.

    Trump speaks with Putin (and other powerful Russians) in private…and through a translator…always a Russian or Putin translator. Apparently, our President doesn’t bother with minor details like an American who speaks Russian or something like a tainted translation…or even any form of swagger. Trump swims in the fact of America’s military might (a tragedy) but in Putin’s presence, Trump swims with the jellyfish. Maybe the jellyfish have more choices.

    This second tier communication needs to be addressed. Putin is a master of communication manipulation…HEEELLLLOOO FOOLS. WTF? is such an underrated acronym at this point in regards to PuTrump.

    Word scream:

    NoooooahhhowwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhasdlfheahaxhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhqwertyR2D2.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! where’s c3po when you need him. support and smarts. support and smarts.

    Been drinking. This is madness and even determinism wouldn’t have stopped me from drinking!!!

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      I think many of us see the appeal of getting horribly drunk atm.

    • Diane G
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 2:03 am | Permalink

      In vino veritas.

  42. Craw
    Posted July 16, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Here is a contrary opinion and analysis

    https://pjmedia.com/spengler/once-again-president-trump-is-magnificently-right-this-time-about-russia/

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 17, 2018 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      I actually read that. Now I feel unclean and slightly stupider.

    • Posted July 20, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      I find it disgusting. Its author does not regard Ukrainians as human.

  43. Posted July 16, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I had a vision that Putin walked into the meeting 45 minutes late with an iPad, played the pee tape for Trump, and walked out.

  44. Posted July 17, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Trump did have one truthful statement in today’s walkback. Speaking of his NATO meeting, “When I left, everyone was thrilled.”


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