The Depths of Helsinki

Donald Trump’s Summit Disaster, excerpted from NextDraft.

Vladimir Putin could have inserted an ethernet cable into the base of Donald Trump’s brainstem, and still, the performance by the American president could not have been worse. In recent days and weeks, President Trump has heaped endless praise on Kim Jong Un, humiliated America in front of our NATO allies, called the European Union a key US foe, and fist-bumped Turkish president Recep Erdogan, saying, “He does things the right way.” And yet, none of these ominous markers on the ever-accelerating descent down a near-treasonous mountain of idiocy and lies could have fully prepared America and its allies for the disgrace we saw on the international stage today. Trump held Russia blameless for their election hacking, sided with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies, brought up Hillary’s emails, criticized Democrats and past administrations, and touted his own election victory. About the investigation that has led to indictments of dozens of Russian operatives, Trump said, “I think the probe has been a disaster for our country. It’s ridiculous what’s going on with the probe.” George W. Bush once said he saw into Putin’s soul. Donald Trump just stared into his colon.

  • From Reuters: Shock as Trump backs Putin on election meddling at summit. And from The Atlantic: Trump Sides With the Kremlin, Against the US Government.
  • About the bad state of relations between the two countries, Trump played his all too familiar both sides card, explaining that he holds “both countries responsible” and said that, “We’ve both been foolish.” And that was the goodpart of Trump’s performance. Think I’m exaggerating? Try this quote on for size: “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today, and what he did is an incredible offer — he offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators.”
  • Trump: “I don’t see any reason why” Russia would interfere in election. (That’s why. Right there.)
  • Former CIA Chief John Brennan: “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanors.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”
  • John McCain: “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.”
  • James Fallows: “There are exactly two possible explanations for the shameful performance the world witnessed on Monday, from a serving American president … Either Donald Trump is flat-out an agent of Russian interests … Or he is so profoundly ignorant, insecure, and narcissistic not to realize that, at every step, he was advancing the line that Putin hoped he would advance, and the line that the American intelligence, defense, and law-enforcement agencies most dreaded. Conscious tool. Useful idiot. Those are the choices, though both possibly true.”
  • The New Yorker: “We have never before had an American President who shared Moscow’s goals.”
  • What did Trump get in exchange for letting Putin off the hook, humiliating America, and throwing his entire intelligence community under the bus? A soccer ball
  • I know there are some who will think my statements are too harsh or somehow based in partisan politics. Those people are wrong. This presidency has been an epic disaster for America. Now, remarkably, we’ve reached a new low. It doesn’t matter if Donald Trump really peed on a mattress in front of a hidden camera, because today, he shat the bed in front of the whole world.

Dave Pell Writes NextDraft. The Day’s Most Fascinating News.

I write NextDraft, a quick and entertaining look at the day’s most fascinating news.

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