Talk with Putin about Ukraine? Nyet. Talk about annexing Crimea? Nyet? Talk about shooting down a Malaysian airliner? Nyet. Take him to task for meddling in our election? Nyet! Nyet! Nyet! Roll over and kiss his ass? Oh, hell yeah.
During Trump’s summit with Putin, he backed the Russian dictator’s assertion that he didn’t meddle in the 2016 presidential election. In Helsinki, while standing next to Putin, Trump said, “My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
Trump was proud of his statements and behavior at the summit. On the flight home aboard Air Force One, he turned on the television to find that most people didn’t agree with him. The term “treasonous behavior” was tossed around…a lot. Even Fox News wasn’t buying it and were highly critical, except Hannity. Even Newt Gingrich said it was the most “serious mistake” of the Trump presidency. According to unnamed sources, Trump’s mood got so dark that staffers were avoiding him on the plane. Do you know how hard it is to escape someone on an airplane? Even on Air Force One, it has to be difficult. I saw that Harrison Ford movie. Except Harrison was trying to kick Russians off the plane, where in reality Trump would probably hand them the keys.
Trump rarely apologizes or backtracks. This is a man who didn’t apologize or backtrack for saying John McCain, a POW, was NOT a war hero. He didn’t do it after attacking Gold Star Families. He didn’t apologize for saying he didn’t want people coming here from “shit hole countries.” He didn’t even apologize for defending Nazis. But then again, none of that stuff really upset Republicans that much. Treason while sharing a stage with Putin on camera, however, does upset a few members of the GOP.
It took over 24 hours and after two interviews on Fox News for Trump to realize he had to issue a statement explaining his statements. In the tradition of all things Trump, the statement was incoherent and stupid.
Trump didn’t backtrack on attacking the FBI, or his whataboutism deflecting about Hillary’s server, or calling an investigation that indicts Russians a “witch hunt,” blaming the victims who were hacked, thinking it’s a great idea for Russian to help investigate the meddling, or his total appeasement of Vladimir Putin. He focused on one word and told us he didn’t have sex with that dictator depending on your definition of the word “is.” Oops, wrong president.
No. Trump told us he meant to say “wouldn’t” instead of “would.” He thought it would be clear and understandable for most people that “would” meant “wouldn’t.” In saying he didn’t see why Russia “would” meddle, he meant to say He didn’t understand why Russia “wouldn’t” meddle. He explained it away as a “double negative.” I’m shocked he didn’t say Putin didn’t not do it.
He is overlooking the fact that his “would/wouldn’t” statement was sandwiched between praise for Putin. So, saying it was Russia who meddled doesn’t fit into the context. Even after his statement, he started riffing and went back to his old argument about others besides Russia doing the hacking.
Trump was reading off a script when he delivered his explanation, and on the script “no collusion” (with only one L) was written with a Sharpie.
The White House defense is that we don’t have to worry about treason, just incoherence. While I do believe Trump is incoherent, I’m not buying the explanation. Trump meant to say he believes Vladimir Putin over America’s intelligence agencies.
The real danger in this is that it takes us back to where we were last week. Republicans will go back to business as usual, which is defending Trump no matter what horrible things he says or does. Now they can say it’s not treasonous behavior because Trump changed one word. Even if you did buy it, that doesn’t change the rest of the summit or the fact Trump held Putin’s hand in private for two hours. It doesn’t change the fact that the president of the United States sided with a Russian dictator over the nation he’s sworn to defend and protect. His squirmful backtracking doesn’t change the fact he threw every single one of us under the bus.
Republicans and Trump sycophants can’t use this lousy excuse to deflect from the real danger that is Donald Trump. Donald Trump did engage in treasonous behavior. There is no way to walk around what Trump did in Helsinki. There is no way to overlook that Putin has something on Donald Trump, or that our president is enamored and afraid of Putin. But to be fair, Trump is afraid of a lot of people and things. Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, vegetables, written text, shark week, stairs, etc.
During Trump’s explanation, the lights in the room actually went out for a few seconds. Someone has the right idea because the lights need to go out on this entire administration.
Watch me draw.
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