What do you guys think…?
How did Trump do?
What do you guys think…?
How did Trump do?
Trump puts on a great show at his rallies - very entertaining and often informative (when he doesn’t exaggerate).
That said, Trump is a lousy extemporaneous speaker. He often speaks in incomplete sentences, often not completing a thought before moving on. His choice of words is often used against him by his opposition. Finally, Trump is self-centered - his responses, especially as they relate to anything having to do with the Mueller investigation, are almost always about him.
Trump seems to find it impossible to view the investigation in a bifurcated manner- to him it has ALL been a witch hunt. I would conclude the 1.5 year focus on him personally has been a witch hunt - specifically, Mueller and the Dems have their target (Trump) and have been furiously looking for an election conspiracy crime to pin on him or a close member of his team.
But, the dual-track investigation has indeed turned up evidence and indictments of several Russian operatives engaged in election meddling, for lack of a better term. This is serious stuff. The indictment went to the heart of the question asked by the AP reporter yesterday.
Predictably, Trump made his response all about himself and Hillary Clinton’s server. By doing so, he appeared to equivocate as to the relative value of his US intel VS Putin’s “strongly worded” denial of election meddling. No matter how one slices it, Trump’s response was not his finest moment.
A better extemporaneous speaker would have been able to offer a response that would not have appeared as though he was throwing his intel folks under the bus, while at the same time not entirely fronting off Putin in such a way that might have rendered the meeting between the two leaders entirely pointless.
I hear no one wondering about the question that posed such difficulty for Trump - so I’ll take a stab at it. I think the AP questioner INTENDED to lob a no-win question to Trump knowing that Trump would likely botch the response. IMHO - the question was worded in such a way as to virtually require Trump to make a public fool of either Putin or himself - to blow up whatever positive results might come out of the meeting. “Who do you believe, the US Intel community or Vladimir Putin”? In short, the question’s construction/wording likely reveals an underlying purpose.
Trump haters must have loved it.
Mueller and Rosenstein meddled in the foreign relations of the United States (which is NOTFB) by releasing these last indictments days before the summit. Rosenstein reportedly gave Trump prior notice that the indictments were going to be made. Trump could have ordered him to delay it a week but that fact would have been leaked to the media who would have blown it all out of proportion. As far as the grave importance of Russian meddling in 2016: they have been doing it for over half a century. The U.S. and many other nations have engaged in it on dozens of occasions. On the stage of international affairs, it is a misdemeanor and not a felony. It pales against the issues of Syria, Crimea, etc.
Why did Trump not acknowledge the validity of U.S. Intelligence Agencies asserting the existence of Russian meddling and hacking of the democrats?
There are two facets of the Mueller Russia investigation: A) general Russian election meddling and B) Russian collusion with Trump or his campaign. However in the reporting of the media these are interchangeable and synonymous. Therefore acknowledging the validity of “A” gives credibility to “B” in the eyes of the media and whatever portion of Americans still has trust in them. In point of fact, “B” is dead in the water.
The forensic evidence of Russian hacking of the DNC was never seen by our intelligence agencies. Also there is some evidence that it was not the Russians but an inside job. I will be surprised if it can be proved either way.
Trump: “Where’s the beef?”
Putin could hardly contain his laughter at the question about compromising information on Trump.
We may never know if the soccer ball gift was pre-planned or a surprise to Trump. If it wasn’t pre-planned, Trump brilliantly got rid of it. The alternative would be to stand there holding it like a dork for the remainder of the press conference. Anyway, nice catch Melania.
I thought it interesting that in one of Putin’s responses (untranslated, in Russian) an American idiom popped up: “2 cents”.
The bottom line is that we do not know what transpired in the 4 hours prior to the press conference. It was another dog and pony show just like our congressional hearings.
I haven’t kept up with this, (working too much, atm) but I’d say that’s a sound observation.
Trump himself consistently conflates the two facets of the investigation.
When the POTUS is on the world stage and is asked, "Who do you believe, the United State’s intelligence community or Vladimir Putin? - Can the answer really be that hard?
In both instances - and you demonstrate excellent insight in acknowledging the existence of conflation by media regarding collusion and meddling - Trump seems hampered by his lack of ability to clearly delineate between the two investigative tracks.
It strikes me as very unfortunate that Trump seems to have such a glaring deficiency with respect to his ability to CLEARLY explain what our intel agencies - ALL of them - describe what Russia did to meddle and that he, Trump, in no way colluded with Russia or Russian operatives. The two facets/tracks of the Mueller investigation are just not that difficult to differentiate/explain.
As for media - media is going to do what it always does when Trump is involved. That said, Trump does himself or our cause no favors by ham-handing his communication.
I think the answer is simple. Trump doesn’t prepare for these meetings. He thinks he can handle everything spontaneously and off the cuff. Chances are, if he had spent any time with his political team he would have heard this question or something similar enough that he could have answered the question or intelligently deflected it as to give something that most people would have accepted.
It is completely clear that the US Intelligence agencies cannot be trusted, they are partisan hacks; Putin is as predictable as the day is long so there is never a reason to wonder what his position will be.
Trump spoke his mind, when Putin said they had nothing to do with our election I am certain he knows that there is no evidence to the contrary; after what the FBI and the DOJ has been trying to do to Trump for over TWO YEARS I have no doubt that he trusts Putin over them.
These scumbags gave Clinton a complete pass with piles of evidence that she committed Treason, but they have been witch hunting Trump, his entire family and everyone even remotely connected to his campaign with ZERO evidence that any crime has been committed; why the hell would Trump sing the praises of this swamp?
The only thing I was upset about was Trumps partial walk-back, I am used to him doubling down but I guess he has his reasons; hopefully he will keep firing.
The only think remotely connected to Russia (and NO evidence of this has been released) is the claim that they hacked Clinton’s illegal server and Podesta’s computer at the DNC; I will bet that we NEVER see any actual evidence of either because it does not exist.
And Trump is not “getting it from both sides”, the only ones trying to make this a story are the Extreme Left in both Parties and the media; which has been the case since day one.
Anybody who feigns confidence in the US Intelligence Community, the Judiciary or the DOJ after what we have witnessed over the last couple of years is a moron or a partisan hack who knows they are fully committed to preserving the deep state and burning the Constitution.
I can see why Trump may want a chance to clean house in these “Intelligence Agencies” and restore some integrity to them, that may be why he is holding back a little; but they certainly are deserving of no more than utter contempt based on their performance in recent years.
Putin is not a problem for the United States, the biggest threat we face is the total corruption of our Judiciary at every level as it selectively uses “The Law” to punish its political foes; the critics don’t see this but more and more Americans are seeing it every day.
And that is a wonderful thing
I would have advised him to say “Neither one, I still haven’t seen complete conclusive evidence.”.
Frankly, I think we give Russia far more importance than it deserves. Russia is a nuclear power, but its leadership has no desire to commit suicide. MAD - mutually assured destruction - is alive and well. The same could be said of China, but perhaps not North Korea.
Back to Russia - financially/economically Russia is a second rate nation.
BTW, I think one of the best things Trump did on this trip was to take Merkle of Germany to the woodshed regarding the deal Germany cut with Russia with the gas pipeline. I mean, what the hell, NATO exists to protect Europe from Russian aggression. Without the kind of deals like the gas pipeline to Germany, Russia would undergo yet another collapse and Putin would likely end up resting in a shallow grave.
We pay at least 70% of NATO’s operations cost to protect Europe from Russia and the most economically sound European nation, Germany, cuts a major deal that serves to prop up the Russian economy - the same Russia they seek protection from. IDIOTS!!
I hope Trump continues to publicly kick Angela Merkle’s butt.
I think MAD applies to North Korea too. The real danger is that they will sell to ANYONE.
Very good point, OD.
Hi RET. I guess I would point out that Russian meddling in our elections was talked about going back to at least the McCain/Obama election.
Aside from Trump’s equivocation regarding Russian meddling/US intel agencies, my main problem in all of this has to do with the venue in which Trump’s response was given and in front of whom it was given - Putin.
In my view, whatever the Russian threat to our democracy might be, it pales when compared to the threat presented by the poisonous, insane vitriolic attecks provided by left-wing media in this country and their friends - Democrats.
Oh I agree that Russia “meddles” in our elections and we “meddle” in many other countries elections as well, all nations have their own preferences as to what leadership they would like in the other nations of the world and all to some degree try to sell some propaganda to the voters which will help that result materialize.
Obama coming out as opposed to BREXIT and threatening to punish Britain with draconian trade restrictions if they voted for BREXIT was a great example, the British naturally gave Obama the bird over this but if he was smarter and got his propaganda delivered from a British source it may have had some effect.
We drop pamphlets from airplanes into nations where we cannot move about freely when they are approaching an election, these are designed to motivate the people to choose our favorite “horse” in their election.
In America Internet ads are cheap and reach a lot of people so that is how propaganda gets spread, I have no doubt that this type of “meddling” occurs but that is just Free Speech in a nation that declares Free Speech to be a “Self Evident Right” of all men; that is how a fair election takes place not a corrupted one.
Russia may very well have bought some of those ads, I just don’t see that as a “threat to Democracy” or an “Attack on Democracy” I also have yet to see an accusation that any ad they allegedly purchased had false information (not that my opinion would change if they did)
That is why I think Trump was conflicted about praising our Intelligence Community, he knows they are corrupt and leading the nation into divisive rhetoric with no evidence of any law being broken or any election result being corrupted; and he knows that Putin knows the same.
It is hard for a straight talker to blow sunshine up anyone’s butt, especially those who have cast off all integrity to attack you, your family and every friend and acquaintance that you have had anything to do with. Trump wanted to unload but he also probably had his longer term strategy to think about so he was not at all smooth at times, a politician with no soul gets lots of practice just saying what they think people want to hear but those with a specific agenda don’t get much practice at that.
Trump will be up all night thinking this over and hit the floor swinging tomorrow, at least I hope he will
We don’t know all of the gory details so this is speculation guided by common sense.
I can’t believe that our 16 intelligence agencies each conducted their own seperate investigation into Russian meddling and hacking. The most likely scenario is that it was conducted by the CIA and the others were presented with a report and signed off on it. Yes, that CIA, the one headed and controlled by John Brennan. That would be the same John Brennan who is proven to have lied to Congress under oath. The same John Brennan who voted for the Communist Party USA at the height of the Cold War. The same John Brennan who’s visceral hatred for Donald Trump oozes from every pore in his body. The same John Brennan who, after the Trump-Putin press conference, was as hysterical as a high school girl in the 1950s who was afraid she was pregnant.
Pardon me if I doubt this report. Don’t misunderstand me. The Russians probably did “meddle”; possibly hacked computers but I can’t give much weight to the findings of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.
Not his finest? The president has had a LOT of fine moments, so OK, not his finest. But he did good.
The point of the meeting was to build good relations with Russia. You don’t do that by falling into the trap that enemy Rosenstein set for him and condemning Putin over stuff that’s been going on at least since WWII. And bringing up the Democrat collusion and hacked servers was brilliant! He threw it right back in the evil-doers’ faces.
Exactly! Though I think A and B are interchangeable and synonymous in Mueller’s and Rosensteins’s minds too.
What could he have done better?
When I heard him say that Putin strenuously denied the allegations, I knew immediately he wasn’t talking seriously. That only sounded weak if you didn’t realize he was brushing aside the media’s irrelevant impertinence and insolence.
Even Obama confessed the Russians couldn’t affect the outcome of any vote. And even Rosenstein confessed when he announced the indictments that no votes were affected. Sure, meddling is bad, but the purpose of the meeting was to improve relations with Russia.
Everybody, including Trump, fell for the trap set by the . . . MEDIA.
The focus was diverted to such things as election meddling, intelligence agencies, etc.
When in fact, as Ken just said, “the purpose of the meeting was to improve relations with Russia”.
The only thing that all that diversion has to do with is NOT improving relations with Russia. If the purpose of the meeting was to NOT improve relations, then by media standards and actions, it was a . . . success.
The media succeeded in getting the focus diverted in everyone’s mind . . . including Trump.
Is Putin a thug? Of course, but so is Rocket Man wth whom Trump met . . . to IMPROVE relations and thereby stop Rocket Man’s nuclear program.
In that effort, the media had NO handle (intelligence agencies, election meddling, etc.) with which to divert attention. So, they have remained largely silent.
If Trump is successful in the NOKO matter, they will remain largely silent. But if he is not, you can bet the media will have a field day.
Back to Russia. Trump was momentarily on point when he said he considers Russia a COMPETITOR, not an enemy. That’s how you handle relations. That’s how Reagan dealt with Gorby.
I’m still waiting for SOMEONE (ANYONE) to show me the evidence that Russia “hacked” into or interfered with the 2016 elections. The DNC has CLAIMED they did, but then refused to allow their servers to be examined by the FBI–which refused to INSIST. In short, all we really have is the “word” of a bunch of Democrats that there was ever any “Russian interference.” After the previous 8 years, is there ANYONE left in the country that trusts ANYTHING the Democrats have to say? Brennan made that claim and HE is the admitted former member of CPUSA…THE AMERICAN COMMUNIST PARTY! How in the Hell did he EVER manage to worm his way into the CIA???
The servers were only examined by Crowdstrike, a UKRAINIAN based operation; biased against Russia.
Julian Assange, who has a long reputation for honesty, came as close as he could to naming Seth Rich as the source (without actually naming him) of the leak without violating his own policy of not naming sources. Assange is not a big Trump fan.
Time stamps on the documents indicate that they were taken at speeds too fast for internet transmission but consistent with transfer to a USB stick.
From what I understand, the CIA in their lie detector vetting are more interested in SECRET skeletons that could be used to blackmail employees. They don’t care that much about politics or if you are a pervert.
First, I must say - Julian Assange and “record of honesty” don’t really fit in the same sentence. IMO, hanging our intel hat on Assange’s sketchy record of veracity would be foolish.
Second, I would never trust Brennan or any of the Obama intel department heads to tell the truth about anything. That said, it is Trump’s own (Trump appointed) intel heads who are, in unison, stating emphatically that Russia did meddle in the 2016 election - not at the ballot box, but in such areas as misinformation published on internet websites, etc. This includes life-long conservative Republican, Dan Coats.
I would point this out. The Russians/Putin, without any doubt whatsoever, are slapping one another on their collective backs for the on-going internal political turmoil underway in the USA - and the Russians are keeping it going within plain sight of the world - a world TOTALLY focused on partisan back-stabbings. For example - Putin was asked at the “summit’s” news conference on Monday if he had wanted Trump to win the election. His immediate response was, “Yes!!” Prior to the election, even though expressing his desire to get along with Russia, Trump was emphatic in his intention to hold Russia to account. Trump’s on-going imposition of sanctions on Russia has been unprecedented. Russia favored a hard-nosed bastard like Trump over "Uranium 1 and “reset button” Hillary Clinton? Please, that’s ludicrous.
So, why would Putin make such a claim? It plays into “collusion”, the Mueller investigation, the Democrat narrative and keeps partisans at one another’s throats, the GOP/Trump on the defensive, the anti-Trump media at a fever pitch - All contribution to it making it all the more difficult/crippling for Trump and his administration.
Moral to the story: Just because we’re stupid doesn’t mean our adversaries are as well.
PS: A hard-nosed bastard who is correct on the issues is just what the country needed. It’s unfortunate he can’t express himself clearly when called upon to extemporaneously explain his thoughts on complex, even not so complex issues, on the world stage. I mean, he has to even consider the offer from Putin to allow Russians - who have no real legal structure outside that dictated by Putin/Kremlin - to interrogate folks in America? I like Trump’s stance on nearly every issue - he raises issues that need to be examined - but, hell’s bells, he should have told Putin NO to this plan during the 2+ hours of their meeting. That he introduced the Putin plan as having some merit was idiotic in the extreme - I would not expect Trump to embarrass Putin during the press conference, but I wouldn’t want him to kiss his ass, either