President Trump stunned the nation and the world with his refusal to condemn or to challenge Russian President Vladimir Putin during the recent summit in Helsinki, Finland, and we’re just now learning that his babysitters in the White House were just as furious as we were.
The Associated Press is reporting that Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser John Bolton and Chief of Staff John Kelly teamed up to give the president an earful for his deferential behavior towards Putin on Tuesday following Monday’s meetings and to plan a walk-back of his comments.
Trump was reportedly taken aback by their anger, believing that his performance had boosted his “credibility abroad and his favorability at home” and that he had “taken the measure of the man and opened the door to deals down the road on a number of thorny issues.”
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Needless to say, our notoriously thin-skinned and perpetually cranky President was not pleased to see that both his friends and his foes had found common ground in their disgust with his kowtowing to the murderous dictator.
It took him 27 hours before finally attempting to do some damage control, which took the form of a preposterous attempt to argue that he had misspoken and that “I thought it would be obvious, but I would like to clarify just in case it wasn’t. In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’”
What little repairs his statement had done were immediately dashed by his administration’s announcement that they were “considering” an offer made by Vladimir Putin to exchange several Americans, including former Ambassador Michael McFaul, for several Russians who were indicted by the Special Counsel for their role in the 2016 election hacks.
It is incredible to think that Trump somehow thought that he had done well in his meeting with Putin and that the American people would be pleased with him for submitting to the whims of a hostile foreign power and doubling down on his efforts to excuse their interference in our elections.
He is either lost in the throes of delusion or relentlessly dedicated to playing dumb in an unsuccessful effort to disguise his pro-Russian actions. He’s definitely not fooling anybody.