Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin are going to meet a second time — but not until after the first of the year.
The announcement came from national security adviser John Bolton, who — borrowing the president’s favorite epithet describing the examination of the “Russia thing” — said the meeting would occur after the “witch hunt” has concluded.
C’mon, Mr. National Security Adviser. There ain’t a “witch hunt” taking place.
Robert Mueller is proceeding with his probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded in 2016 with the Russians operatives who attacked our electoral system. The special counsel is not the partisan hack he has been accused of being by, um, actual partisan hacks.
The next summit between the U.S. and Russian presidents should proceed. I support the idea of the two leaders talking to each other. They should face each other and they should talk openly and candidly about the issues they have in common and those that separate them. They also should do so publicly to the extent they can.
The problem, though, still rests with that first summit in Helsinki. They went into a closed-door meeting and the world doesn’t yet know what they discussed, where they agreed and what they decided. Then the two leaders had that press conference in which Trump rolled over in front of Putin in that ghastly show of weakness by the so-called “leader of the free world.”
As for the juxtaposition with special counsel Mueller’s investigation, let’s just wait to see what conclusions are drawn once the probe is finished.
We have an extremely fluid situation in front of us. The Mueller probe can end in any number of ways, some of which might bode poorly for the president.
And, oh yes, we have that midterm election coming up.
If at least one congressional chamber flips from Republican to Democratic control, well … let’s just wait to see how that plays out.