Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Take it easy with the ‘P-word,’ Mr. President

Donald John Trump isn’t known for possessing any sense of circumspection. He kind of blurts words out without thinking of how they might sound.

Such as when he endorsed Roy Moore in his race to become the next U.S. senator from Alabama. He said he doesn’t want a “puppet of Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer” to serve in the Senate, referring to the Democrat in the race, Doug Jones.

Imagine the president calling anyone a “puppet.” How can someone who many of us believe is a puppet of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin hang that pejorative tag on another politician?

The Russian government, which Putin runs with an iron fist, interfered in our 2016 election. Intelligence analysts believe Putin wanted Trump to defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton. Trump has refused to acknowledge publicly what the nation’s top intelligence agencies have said already about Putin’s involvement in meddling in our electoral process.

Other analysts contend that Putin is playing Trump.

Let me think for a moment.

Isn’t that how someone manipulates a political puppet?

‘Political hacks’ strike back at Trump

Donald John Trump showed his stripes yet again over the weekend.

So help me, the president sickens me constantly.

He met with Vladimir Putin in Da Nang, Vietnam. They shook hands. Trump and Putin had a brief meeting. Putin said he didn’t interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Trump said that he accepted Putin’s denial on its face.

Then the idiot in chief called former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “political hacks” because they have asserted that the Russians did interfere with our electoral process.

Can you imagine how Republicans would react if, say, Barack Obama had called two distinguished American intelligence officers “political hacks”?

Brennan and Clapper, of course, weren’t taking the president’s disparagement lightly. They have scolded him seriously, suggesting that Putin is “playing” Trump like a fiddle.

Trump did attempt to walk back his comments about Putin’s phony denial, but he managed to botch that as well, saying he backs the U.S. intelligence community, while continuing to suggest that Putin is “sincere” in his denial of election interference.

Sigh.

Oh, so very sad.

Are we clear now? POTUS backs intel agencies

That’s as clear as mud, isn’t it?

Donald John Trump says in one breath that Vladimir Putin is sincere when he says Russia didn’t meddle in our nation’s 2016 presidential election.

In virtually the next breath — actually it was the next day — the president says he backs the U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment that, yep, the Russians meddled, they interfered, they sought to influence the election outcome.

The question now is this: Which is it, Mr. President? Who do you believe?

This kind of stumble-bum rhetoric is driving many of us utterly bananas.

POTUS back tracks

Trump had been “on script” for most of his 12-day trip to Asia. Then he shook hands with the Russian president; the men met privately for a brief period in Da Nang, Vietnam. Putin told Trump he has been “offended” by assertions that Russia meddled in our election. Trump seemed to side with the bad guy while dismissing the assessments of the good guys, the men and women who work for our intelligence agencies.

For the life of me, I don’t understand — let alone accept — Trump’s belief that Putin can be trusted as far as he can throw him. The man is a former KGB hot shot. He is trained to lie.

Forgive me for quoting former Fox TV commentator Bill O’Reilly, but O’Reilly did assert correctly during an interview with Trump that “Putin is a killer”; Trump responded by saying, essentially, “So are we.”

Good … grief. Dude! Get an ever-lovin’ grip!

Oh, but now he backs U.S. intelligence analysts, who’ve been saying all along that Russian hackers meddled in our election — and they did so on orders from Vladimir Putin. One of them who stands by our analysis of Russian meddling happens to be CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whom Trump appointed.

My head is spinning.

Put, ‘er, blame America first?

Donald J. Trump pledged to “put America first” while he ran for the presidency.

It sold his pitch along the campaign trail. Guess what? He is governing under a policy of “blaming America first.”

The president is in Asia. He went to the People’s Republic of China and praised the Chinese government for “taking advantage” of the United States in piling up a huge trade surplus with this country. He also pledged to end that trend and vowed to restore some semblance of trade balance between the two economic powers.

Still, he blamed U.S. trade policy.

Then he ventured to Vietnam to attend a summit of foreign leaders. He shook hands with Vladimir Putin, who told the president — allegedly! — that the Russian government did not interfere with the U.S. presidential election in 2016. Trump accepted Putin’s assertion at face value.

When the Russian strongman says something, he “means it,” according to Trump. Oh, but what about the intelligence agencies who say the opposite, that the Russians did interfere and hacked into our electoral system? Trump calls former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI director James Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “political hacks.”

What the hell … 

He’s blaming America first, not “putting America first.”

I’m old enough to remember the 1984 GOP presidential nominating convention. The keynote speech at that event came from Jeane Kirkpatrick, the nation’s United Nations ambassador. She brought the house down by chastising who she called the “San Francisco Democrats” who were all too willing to “blame America first.”

I’m trying to imagine how the late ambassador would react to a president of her own party doing the very thing for which she once blistered the Democratic Party.

Should we trust Putin’s word? Nope!

Well, that settles it.

Russian strongman/president/dictator/former spy chief Vladimir Putin told Donald J. Trump that he didn’t “interfere” with the 2016 presidential election. The president took him at his word. He believes him. That’s it. Done deal. Let’s move on to the next thing, shall we?

Good … grief, Mr. President!

Who in the world should the president believe? A lying former KGB agent who is trained to deceive, divert and dissemble? Or should the president take the word of trained U.S. intelligence professionals who say quite the opposite, that the Russians did hack into our electoral process with the expressed aim of influencing its outcome?

Trump and Putin have shaken hands in Vietnam and have visited unofficially for a brief period when they weren’t posing for pictures with other foreign leaders. The president said he trusts Putin, that he’s telling him the truth, that when Putin says his government didn’t interfere that it’s good enough for him.

Once again, the president has disrespected and disparaged the intelligence officials who answer to him and whose mission is to protect U.S. interests against those who seek to do us harm.

I don’t know about you, but I am inclined to take the word of our trained spooks, the men and women who take their oath seriously enough to stake their careers on what they say in public.

They have said the Russians interfered with our electoral process. Putin can deny it all he wants. Those of who’ve been paying attention know about the Russian’s history and understand completely that he remains quite capable of lying to the face of the president of the United States.

If only the president, himself quite a prevaricator, would accept what the rest of the country knows.

Putin, Russians can declare: Mission Accomplished

If Vladimir Putin were so inclined, I might expect to see the Russian president unfurl a banner in Red Square that reads, in Russian of course, “Mission Accomplished.”

The Russians meddled in our 2016 election. They sought to influence its outcome. They attacked our electoral process. They declared a form of war against our democratic process.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded as much. I believe them. The winner of the 2016 presidential election, Donald John Trump, has yet to draw that conclusion.

Oh, no. Instead, he has disparaged our intelligence apparatus. He has sought to deflect criticism of the Russians through equivocation, saying that “it could be anybody” who meddled in our election.

Now, do I believe the Russians actually swung the election in Trump’s favor? Do I believe their meddling, by itself, resulted in a Trump victory? No. I believe the president defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton legally. I also believe Clinton made too many fatal mistakes down the stretch to salvage a campaign that she should have socked away long before Election Day.

But you see, the Russians have succeeded famously. They have thrown the U.S. political discussion into near hysteria. Accordingly, they have accomplished one of their primary missions, which is to cast doubt on our electoral process.

We’ve got congressional committees examining the interference. The FBI is examining it, too. The president fired former FBI Director James Comey over the “Russia thing,” and the Justice Department has appointed a first-rate special counsel, Robert Mueller, to conduct an independent probe of that Russia matter.

There might be indictments forthcoming. The president himself might find himself in a world of political hurt. Trump has been so consumed by this investigation that he cannot take the time he needs to fill critical spots within the nation’s executive government branch.

I cannot predict how all these investigations will conclude. I feel fairly confident in suggesting that no matter the outcome, that Vladimir Putin has succeeded wildly in undermining the electoral process of the world’s remaining superpower.

Trump-Putin ‘bromance’ renews

What in the world gives with Donald Trump?

He took the floor today at the White House for a brief press encounter with the president of Finland. He took questions from reporters gathered in front of the two leaders.

One of them asked, “Does Russia pose a national security threat” to the United States.

The president’s response boggles the mind.

He said “a lot of nations” pose threats to our security. Not Russia, which was the precise subject of the reporter’s question.

“A lot of nations … “

This kind of obfuscation and thinly veiled verbal trickery is maddening in the extreme. Although it shouldn’t surprise any of us these days.

The president has continually refused to:

* Criticize the Russians for taking the Crimea back from Ukraine.

* Concur with intelligence agencies that Russia acted alone in trying to influence the 2016 outcome.

* Agree that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a killer.

He keeps soft-shoeing around the obvious assertions by almost everyone else in Washington that Putin is a real bad dude and that he governs a country that poses a serious threat to this nation’s security.

He keeps yammering about the need to craft better bilateral relations.

It’s seemingly obvious, though, that the Russians do threaten us. It’s also obvious that they launched an attack on our electoral process.

When is the president of the United States going to own up what has become patently obvious to the nation he was elected to lead?

Sarcasm? Is that why POTUS ‘thanked’ Putin?

It’s becoming a throw-away line, an automatic “out” for every ridiculous statement that flies out of Donald John Trump Sr.’s mouth.

The president received a direct question the other day. A reporter asked the vacationing president what he thought of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to expel 755 U.S. diplomats. Trump’s response was to “thank” Putin for reducing the U.S. diplomatic service’s payroll.

So, with that idiotic response, the president of the United States effectively told those diplomats — and their Russian allies in the U.S. mission — that they don’t matter. He didn’t thank them publicly for their service. He didn’t say a negative word about Putin’s response to our government’s decision to impose sanctions on the Russian government over its meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Oh, no. He didn’t go there.

Did he mean what he said? White House flacks said he was being “sarcastic.” Really?

Well, where is the disclaimer from the president? Why didn’t he reveal his sarcasm in the moment? Why did he in effect send the message to our Russia mission staff that they don’t matter, that their work and their years of service to the nation is of no value?

I do not believe there was a hint of sarcasm in what Donald Trump said. I believe instead that he engaged his mouth without first thinking of the consequences that his words carry.

This is yet another disgraceful demonstration of a president who “tells it like it is.”

Trump ‘thanks’ Putin for kicking out diplomats? Wow!

Donald John Trump Sr. sat with reporters today while vacationing in New Jersey and took a question about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

A reporter asked the president to respond to Putin’s decision to expel 755 U.S. diplomats from Russia in retaliation to the sanctions bill approved by Congress and signed by Trump.

“I want to thank” the Russian president for kicking the Americans out, Trump responded, adding that he had planned to cut the U.S. diplomatic payroll and this gives him a chance to make good on that plan.

No, he didn’t say he was joking. There was no apparent tongue in cheek. The president “thanked” the Russian strongman for punishing the United States.

Oh, and the diplomats who are being given the boot? The president doesn’t have their back, either.

How many more ways does Donald Trump need to show that he has no business occupying the most noble office in the land?

Open wide, Mr. President, and swallow this bill

Congress has just force-fed Donald J. Trump a heaping helping of his least-favorite veggie, chased down with a bitter concoction of political reality.

The president signed a bill that imposes tough new sanctions on Russia. He doesn’t like the bill. He signed it anyway, then took a series of shots at Congress for — as the president implied — undermining executive authority to conduct foreign policy.

Poor guy. What lawmakers have done is hold him more accountable for the way he deals with Russia, the nation that meddled in our 2016 presidential election.

Trump continues to remain virtually silent on the meddling matter. He has said utterly nothing in public about the harsh retaliation that Vladimir Putin recently took in response to the sanctions bill; the Russian president ordered the expulsion of 755 U.S. diplomats and foreign service staffers. Trump’s reaction? Silence, nothing.

So now we have imposed more sanctions on Russia. The president needs congressional authority to lighten them, which gets under Trump’s paper-thin skin.

He lashed out at Congress for its inability to approve a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and said he, alone, is able to negotiate better deals with foreign powers than those nincompoops on Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, the probe into Russia’s meddling continues. The president needs to let that investigation proceed full throttle. If it produces nothing, then Donald Trump can crow himself hoarse. If it comes up with something, um, incriminating, then he has to deal with whatever consequences fall into his lap.

If the president isn’t going to speak out on behalf of our electoral system, then it behooves Congress to articulate a nation’s outrage. That is what lawmakers have done with this sanctions bill — and they have forced it down the president’s throat. Good for them!