Politics Magazine

U.S. (& World) Should Be Frightened By Helsinki Summit

Posted on the 18 July 2018 by Jobsanger
U.S. (& World) Should Be Frightened By Helsinki Summit (Cartoon image is by Jimmy Margulies at jimmymargulies.com.)
The people of the United States, and the world, should be terrified at what they saw from Donald Trump in Helsinki. Never has an American president been seen to so obviously grovel to a Russian leader. Trump showed weakness by accepting Putin's denials, and seemed to embrace Putin as America's new best friend, while blaming U.S. intelligence, past presidents, Democrats, and the Mueller investigation as the reason why relations are bad between the two countries -- completely ignoring Russia seizing the Crimea, attacking the Ukraine, supporting Assad in Syria, and attacking our own democracy (as though these did not contribute to that poor relationship).
Ina tweet, Trump tried to blame the media (fake news) for the world being horrified at his appeasement of Putin. That won't fly. The entire world watched the press conference, and they saw him embracing Putin -- after attacking our best allies only a couple of days before. Putin, as the cartoon above shows, wiped the floor with Trump. Trump is either a weak and ignorant fool, or he's terrified that Putin will release some secret they know about him -- maybe both!
Here's is part of an incisive op-ed by Max Boot in The Washington Post:
If anyone is “the enemy of the people,” it is Trump himself.
Those are words I never thought I would write about an American president — even one as boorish and bigoted as Trump. But after his appalling performance in Helsinki at what CNN’s John King aptly called the “surrender summit,” questions about Trump’s loyalty to the American people will only intensify. Indeed, the question came up at the news conference itself. The Associated Press’s Jonathan Lemire courageously asked “does the Russian government have any compromising material on President Trump or his family?”. . .
The Russian president dismissed the issue as “nonsense,” but it was his answer that was nonsensical. Putin said that he was not even aware that Trump was in Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant when it has been previously reported that Trump invited him to attend. Putin declined but, according to The Post, he did send “a ‘friendly’ letter and a gift of a Russian lacquered box” to Trump. . . .
The sellout in Helsinki only adds further credence to this speculation about the true nature of Trump-Putin ties. Not only did Trump fail to call out the Russian strongman for his many crimes — he also attacked the FBI and accepted Putin’s assurances that Russia was not responsible for interfering in the U.S. election even though the U.S. intelligence community has provided overwhelming evidence that it did. “President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Trump said. “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
We are past the point when such statements can be dismissed as naivete — especially when Trump has previously admitted that Russia did hack the election. We are past the point where Trump’s conduct can be ascribed to his belief that it is imperative to improve U.S.-Russia relations. If Trump doesn’t care about the state of U.S.-German relations, U.S.-Canadian relations or U.S.-U.K. relations — all of which he has damaged in the past month — why would he care about U.S. relations with a country that has one-fourteenth of America’s GDP and one-tenth of its defense budget? We are past the point where Trump’s conduct can be ascribed to his general sympathy for dictators. If he is waging a trade war on China’s dictator, why is he cozying up to Russia’s dictator?
We are past the point when Trump’s conduct — which leaves future elections wide open to Russian manipulation — can be ascribed to his unwillingness to do anything that will tarnish his glorious victory. It is true but insufficient to point out that that Trump’s unwillingness to acknowledge the Russian attack on America is putting his own interests above the country’s.
Even if Trump were thinking only in terms of his own political survival — his usual mode — he would be tougher on Putin, because he must realize that kowtowing to the Russian only strengthens suspicions of collusion. But Trump just cannot bring himself to do it. Is that because he hopes for more aid from Putin in the future — or because he is afraid of what Putin can reveal about him? Either way, he gives every impression of betraying his oath of office.
U.S. Constitution, Article III, Section 3: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Trump’s own national security adviser said the Russian election attack constituted an “act of war.” So what does that make his boss? Some — including former CIA director John Brennan — now dare call it treason. That conclusion was once unthinkable. No longer.

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