Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

‘Dumb as a rock’ Tillerson isn’t so dumb

This is the kind of story that makes me shake my head in utter disbelief.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin was better prepared than Donald Trump for his 2017 meeting with the president, which prompted this response from the Leader of the Free World:

“Rex Tillerson, a man who is ‘dumb as a rock’ and totally ill prepared and ill equipped to be Secretary of State, made up a story (he got fired) that I was out prepared by Vladimir Putin at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany. I don’t think Putin would agree. Look how the U.S. is doing.”

Ah, yes. The president of the United States is at his “finest” when he gets his Twitter digits limbered up.

However, this does beg the question: If the president who pledged to surround himself with the “best people” was going to hire a secretary of state, why would he select someone who is “totally ill prepared and ill equipped” to do the job of representing U.S. foreign policy interests?

Tillerson wouldn’t have been my first choice as secretary of state. However, he is far from being “dumb as a rock.”

He also was right when he described the president as a “moron.”

Stop the ‘what about-ism’ with election interference

I totally understand that the Russian attack on our electoral system during the 2016 presidential election occurred during President Obama’s administration.

I’ve noted as much in this blog.

That all said, I am growing weary of Donald Trump’s team reminding us of that while suggesting that the current president is taking steps to ensure that it won’t happen again.

Fiddlesticks!

It’s not happening. FBI director Christopher Wray has reminded us that the Russians conducted a comprehensive attack on our system in 2016; they doubled down in 2018; and they are now preparing to engage in what Wray called “the big show,” which is the 2020 presidential election.

The Trump administration needs to demonstrate graphically that it is in fact taking measures to ensure that the Russians will not do once again what they have done in our nation’s most two most recent election cycles.

White House press secretary — and serial liar — Sarah Huckabee Sanders told us yet again that the Obama administration is the real villain here.

No! She’s got it wrong! Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that Vladimir Putin is the No. 1 bad guy betrays the president’s lack of commitment to protecting the nation’s election system against a foreign hostile power.

Uh, Mr. POTUS, the Russia probe was no ‘hoax’

Donald Trump and his BFF, Vladimir Putin, reportedly chatted this week by telephone.

The U.S. and Russian presidents talked about a lot of matters, according to Trump, but they didn’t discuss the one issue that looms like a colossus over both of them.

It’s that matter of Russian interference/attack on our electoral system in 2016.

Oh, but then Trump said he referred to the investigation into that issue “the Russian hoax.” Trump still seems to ignore what every single high-ranking U.S. intelligence official has said out loud: The Russian attacked our electoral system.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel who looked into allegations of “collusion” and possible obstruction of justice, was the latest of them to say the same thing. He said the Russian attack was “sweeping and systematic.”

Trump isn’t buying it. He calls it all a “hoax.” The attack itself. The investigation into it. The impact it likely had on the result of the 2016 election. None of it happened, Trump appears to say.

Yep, he buys instead into Vladimir Putin’s alleged denial that he did anything untoward during the election.

I’m not altogether certain why I keep saying what is so patently obvious to everyone, but I’ll keep saying it. The Russians are bad actors. They are not our friends. They won’t be our friends as long as they governed by a former KGB spy whose job was built on lies and deception.

Yet the president said yet again after chatting with Putin that being “friends” with Russia is a good thing. Sure it is. Only if Putin is out of the picture. That, of course, won’t happen.

The Russians attacked us. It is the farthest thing possible from a “hoax.” Robert Mueller’s investigation sought to determine whether there was a conspiracy to collude with Russians who launched that attack. The investigation was no “hoax,” either.

It was done by a highly credible, dedicated, and heroic public servant. Robert Mueller deserves praise — not condemnation — from the president of the United States.

Trump and Putin deserve each other. This nation, the one Donald Trump supposedly leads, deserve far better than it is getting from its president.

Yes, the blame for Russia hacking crosses party lines

It pains to me state this, but the release of Robert Mueller’s report on The Russia Thing and other matters has revealed a serious stain on the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

I am not for a single instant going to give Donald Trump a pass on his campaign’s involvement in the Russian hacking of our electoral system in 2016. You won’t see me offer up a “What about this?” excuse for what happened during the course of that campaign.

However, I am going to concede that all of the hacking, the interference, the blatant attack on our electoral system occurred during the final full year of President Obama’s administration.

The president and the Justice Department under his watch should have taken stern, immediate and decisive measures to stop it. They didn’t.

A CNN analysis notes that Obama was too wrapped up in the Iran nuclear arms deal he and Secretary of State John Kerry were brokering to risk angering Russian President Vladimir Putin. They wanted the Russians on our side. Yet they knew of the hacking, according to Mueller, while it was occurring in real time.

Yes, so did the Trump team. They, too, should have acted. The Trump campaign should have blown the whistle loudly on what was occurring in the moment. Donald Trump’s invitation to the Russians to look for Hillary Clinton’s “missing e-mails” tempted the Russians to the point of launching their attack on our system that very day.

But as they say, we only have one president on the job at a time. The president we had in 2016 failed to do what he should have — and could have — done to stop this attack on our sacred electoral system.

President Obama said he told Putin to “knock it off” at the time. It wasn’t nearly enough.

Oh, yeah! The Russians attacked our electoral system!

What has seemingly been lost in all the hubbub over special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings that Donald Trump did not “collude” with Russians is this important morsel . . .

Mueller has joined other U.S. intelligence officials in affirming that the Russian government did attack our electoral system in 2016. Yep, they did it.

Mueller, a former FBI director and a prosecutor with decades of experience looking at national security matters, determined that the Russians orchestrated a campaign to disrupt our electoral process. They used social media hacking and disinformation to roil the U.S. political tides in Trump’s favor. They didn’t want Hillary Rodham Clinton to win the 2016 presidential election and they did what they could to prevent it from happening.

I won’t yet suggest that their efforts were determinative, but they damn sure intended for them to sway the result.

Attorney General William Barr’s summary of Mueller’s report devotes a significant section to “Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.” Barr outlines the two major efforts that sought to sow discord in the United States. Mueller, though, “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” according to the attorney general.

So, with that comes another question: Will the president of the United States now offer a full-throated condemnation of Russian leadership, including his pal Vladimir Putin, and warn them about future serious sanctions this nation will take if they continue to embark on these missions of mischief?

If you want an example of threats to our national security, Robert Mueller has peeled more layers off an effort that occurred right under our noses.

If only the major beneficiary of that scandalous behavior, Donald Trump, would admit what the rest of the world knows.

‘Low-IQ’ Biden goofs up? Hmm, let’s think about this

Donald Trump accused former Vice President of being a “low-IQ individual” because of a slip-of-tongue moment in Delaware. Biden seemed to reveal that he’s decided to run for president next year, then he backed away from his (mis)statement.

That prompted the president to suggest that Biden isn’t very bright because he, um, misspoke.

I can’t stop giggling over that one.

Let me see if I have this correct.

Donald Trump stood next Vladimir Putin in Helsinki this past year and said he didn’t see any reason why the Russians “would” attack our electoral system in 2016. Oops! It took him a day or two, but then he said he meant to say that he didn’t see why they “wouldn’t” interfere as they did in our presidential election.

And then . . .

He recently referred to Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook as “Tim Apple.” He was heard saying it. Then he backtracked. Trump said he inserted “Cook” quietly before saying “Apple.” OK. Except no one heard him say it.

Low IQ? Is that how one could describe the president because of his own frequently clumsy use of language?

How in the world can POTUS ‘like’ a murderous tyrant?

Donald Trump’s best friends among the ranks of world leaders seem to have something in common. They’re tyrants, strongmen, autocrats, dictators . . . any and/or all of the above.

His latest demonstration of such were his statements about how much he likes North Korean tyrant Kim Jong Un. It begs the critical question: How is it that the president of the United States of America “like” someone such as Kim Jong Un.

For the record, Kim Jong Un is starving his people while he lives in relative opulence; Kim has murdered members of his own family because they disagree with his policies; he terrorizes his subjects mercilessly; he threatens South Korea with nuclear annihilation.

Then he lied about not knowing about the imprisonment of an American college student, Otto Warmbier, who then was relegated to a vegetative state and released; Warmbier died as a result of his captivity.

Trump said he believes Kim’s denial that he was aware of Warmbier’s mistreatment.

He groveled at Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, who denied attacking our electoral system in 2016. Trump swallowed Putin’s denial over the assessment of the nation’s intelligence community that determined the Russians did attack us in 2016.

When a U.S. resident journalist was killed in Turkey by Saudi agents, Trump accepted the denial that Saudi prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump’s latest display of infatuation with a tyrant — Kim Jong Un — reveals a dangerous trend. The president of the United States — who occupies the most powerful office on Earth — acts with astonishing weakness when he takes the word of a killer.

Mea culpa: Mitt was right about Russia

It’s time to admit I was wrong about something back in 2012.

Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney — the freshman U.S. senator from Utah — declared that Russia was the nation’s No. 1 “geopolitical foe.”

I was among the Americans who scoffed at Sen. Romney’s assertion. I supported President Obama’s re-election and the president was seeking to make the case that Russia didn’t pose the threat that Romney said it did.

Obama was wrong. So was I. However, I take little comfort in knowing that millions of other Americans also were wrong.

We now are learning the hard truth about what Romney said in 2012. Russia has cemented its role as the nation’s premier threat.

Yes, we also have international terror organizations that pose serious and dire danger to this country. President Obama sought to tell Sen. Romney in 2012 during a presidential campaign debate that the “cold war has been over for 20 years.” While that is true, the Russia that emerged from the ashes of the Soviet Union has threatened the integrity of our electoral system.

The current president of the United States, Donald Trump, doesn’t act as if he believes it. He gives Russian strongman/tyrant Vladimir Putin a pass on Russia’s 2016 electoral assault. He denigrates our nation’s intelligence network in the process.

None of us who criticized Mitt Romney in 2012 should be as blasé as Trump is about Russia. I am concerned about what Russia is capable of doing.

Does Russia pose a direct military threat to this country? I do not believe that is the case, although they do possess a substantial nuclear arsenal developed by the USSR.

Russia, though, is a third- or perhaps fourth-rate economic power.

However, the Russians are capable of inflicting significant damage via their cyber capabilities. They have done so already. They will do so again.

Thus, they pose the most serious threat to this nation.

Mitt Romney was right.

McCabe gets the nation’s attention

I wanted to watch the “60 Minutes” interview with former acting  FBI director Andrew McCabe partly because the teasers preceding it made it almost an irresistible bit of broadcast journalism.

The interview didn’t disappoint me.

Of all the assertions McCabe made during his interview with CBS correspondent Scott Pelley, the one that got my attention referred to a conversation McCabe had with Donald Trump regarding North Korea’s nuclear ambition.

Trump said he had received assurances from Russian strongman Vladimir Putin that the North Koreans were not developing first-strike nuclear capability. McCabe said he told the president that the U.S. intelligence analysis said precisely the opposite.

Then McCabe asserted that Trump said: “I don’t care. I believe Putin.”

My jaw dropped!

Let me stipulate that I am not going to jump on the treason/traitor haywagon that’s been seen circling around the White House. Some national security gurus and honchos are suggesting some serious crimes have been committed by the president.

Trump backs Putin

I’ll stick with what we’ve all witnessed in real time. Such as that Helsinki joint appearance with Trump and Putin in which the president bought into Putin’s denial about Russian interference in our 2016 election while disparaging U.S. intelligence analysis that said — yep! — the Russians did it.

McCabe’s statement to Pelley only confirms what we have seen and heard. What we don’t yet know is why in the world the president of the United States would believe the assertions of a killer over the very men and women who work to protect us from people like Putin.

Trump to meet ‘Little Rocket Man’ one more time

If the North Korean dictator/killer Kim Jong Un is the “smart cookie” that Donald Trump has called him, then he must be scratching his noggin about this “bromance” that is developing between him and the president of the United States.

The two men are meeting Feb. 27-28 in Hanoi, Vietnam for their second summit. The irony of the summit location surely isn’t lost on Trump critics who are fond of bringing up the alleged “bone spurs” that purportedly kept the future president out of the military during the Vietnam War. But . . . I digress.

The point here is that Trump keeps tossing love at a dictator who has allowed mass starvation of his people, had members of his family killed because of policy disputes, has threatened to invade South Korea, has detonated nuclear bombs, has threatened to launch missiles at the United States.

Trump used to refer to Kim as “Little Rocket Man” and once threatened him with “fire and fury” if he keeps threatening the United States.

Good grief! Talk about running hot and cold!

Trump disparages intelligence chiefs

The summit is going to take place just as the president is disputing the assessment of his high-level intelligence chiefs who say that North Korea is still pursuing development of nuclear weapons, despite Kim’s reported pledge to dismantle his nuclear program. CIA operatives report that the North Koreans continue to work toward adding to their small, but relatively potent nuclear arsenal.

What in the world is the president going to tell Kim when the two men get together in Vietnam? Is he going to scold him? Will he challenge him to demonstrate his stated commitment to end the nuclear development effort? Or will the two men come out of their meeting and pledge their “love” for each other?

The most troubling aspect of this meeting the continual deference Trump displays toward strongmen around the world. The iron-fisted rulers of Russia, The Philippines, Turkey and, oh yes, North Korea keep getting weird compliments from a U.S. president who praises them for their, um, “strong leadership.”

If only we Americans could make that same boast.