Donald J. Trump said the following in advance of his meeting today with Vladimir Putin: “I think we will end up having an extraordinary relationship. I really think the world wants to see us get along.”
Great, Mr. President. I happen to agree with the notion that the “world wants to see us get along.”
But first things first.
Donald Trump needs to clear the air, lay down the law, get down to brass tacks … pick your throw-away phrase.
The president needs at the outset to deal forthrightly and in the strongest terms possible with the notion that Russian meddling in our electoral process is a total non-starter. He cannot continue to pass the Russian attack on our system of government off as somehow routine. He cannot say that “everyone does it,” and that the Russians are no worse than any other great power that seeks to do the same thing.
The two men are meeting at this moment. Whatever they said to each other behind closed doors remains a mystery.
I want to have faith that the president of the United States would give the president of Russia the trashing he deserves for doing what he did in 2016.
I am saddened at the lack of such faith that Donald Trump will do the right thing on behalf of the electoral system he took an oath to protect and defend.
Only then could the nations “get along.”