Trump Sells Out To Putin

President Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin was an even bigger disaster than anticipated.

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for roughly four hours today in Helsinki, Finland and, by the time it was over, the world witnessed what can only be called the most abject surrender to a foreign leader ever undertaken by a President of the United States:

HELSINKI, Finland — President Trump stood next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday and publicly challenged the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, wrapping up what he called a “deeply productive” summit meeting with an extraordinary show of support for a leader accused of attacking American democracy.

“They said they think it’s Russia; I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Mr. Trump said, only moments after the Russian president conceded that he had favored Mr. Trump in the election because of his promises of warmer relations with Moscow.

“I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that was responsible for the election hacking, Mr. Trump added. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

The 45-minute news conference offered the remarkable spectacle of the American and Russian presidents both pushing back on the notion of Moscow’s election interference, with Mr. Putin demanding evidence of something he said had never been proven, and Mr. Trump appearing to agree.

When asked whether he believed Mr. Putin or his own intelligence agencies, Mr. Trump changed the subject, demanding to know why the F.B.I. never examined the hacked computer servers of the Democratic National Committee, and asking about the fate of emails missing from the server of Hillary Clinton, his campaign rival.

“Where are those servers?” Mr. Trump said. “Where are Hillary Clinton’s emails?”

Asked by an American reporter whether he had wanted Mr. Trump to win and directed an effort designed to bring about that result, Mr. Putin quickly answered: “Yes I did, yes I did, because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.” It was not clear whether he had heard the translation of the second part of the question.

Mr. Trump’s statements were a remarkable break with his own administration, which on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for cyberattacks intended to interfere in the presidential contest. The indictment explained, in detail, how Russian intelligence officers hacked the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign, providing the most explicit account to date of the Russian government’s meddling in American democracy.

Mr. Putin said he would look into the possibility of having Russian law enforcement authorities assist Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Moscow’s election interference, in questioning the 12 people who were charged. But in return, Mr. Putin, who rolled his eyes at the notion that he had compromising material on Mr. Trump or his family, said that Russia would want American assistance in cases of interest to Moscow, including the ability to send Russian agents to work in the United States.

He also took solace in Mr. Trump’s doubt-casting about who was responsible for the hacking, saying the allegations that Russia directed the effort were “utter nonsense, just like the president recently mentioned.”

In the United States, critics of Mr. Trump reacted quickly to the day’s events. Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, responded sharply to Mr. Trump’s statement that Russia and the United States shared blame for their deteriorated relationship.

“This is bizarre and flat-out wrong,” he said in a statement. “The United States is not to blame. America wants a good relationship with the Russian people, but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression. When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs.”

(…)

As Mr. Putin and Mr. Trump emerged from a longer-than-expected set of talks that included a 130-minute one-on-one session with no advisers present, they said they had made progress in forging the bond both were seeking.

“We had direct, open, deeply productive dialogue,” Mr. Trump said. “It went very well.”

Mr. Putin said the two were “glad with the outcome of our first full-scale meeting,” adding, “I hope that we start to understand each other better, and I’m grateful to Donald for it.”

More from The Washington Post:

President Trump cast doubt on the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying after his summit here Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the autocrat gave him an “extremely strong and powerful” denial.

After Putin said his government played no role in trying to sabotage the U.S. election, Trump offered no pushback and went on to condemn the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference as “a disaster for our country.”

Concluding their first formal one-on-one summit here Monday, Trump said his message regarding the Russian interference “was a message best delivered in person” during the meeting, during which the two leaders “spent a great deal of time” discussing the Kremlin’s interference. Putin insisted publicly that the “Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal American affairs,” and Trump declined to dispute his assertions, instead saying that Putin “has an interesting idea” about the issue of interference.

“I don’t see any reason why” Russia would interfere in the election, Trump said as he stood next to Putin at a joint news conference after their talks in the Finnish capital ended. Of their private conversation in Helsinki about the interference, Trump said, “President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”

Trump also insisted that “there was no collusion” between his campaign and Moscow. “I didn’t know the president. There was nobody to collude with. There was no collusion with the campaign.”

Trump said that he holds “both countries responsible” for the frayed relations between the two nations and attacked special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation.

Putin later confirmed that he did want Trump to win in 2016, “because he talked about normalizing relations” between Russia and the United States. Yet he did not answer directly when pressed on whether the Russian government had compromising information on Trump or his family members, dismissing it by saying that “it’s hard to imagine greater nonsense.” He told reporters, “Please throw this junk out of your head.”

Sitting here some two hours after it ended, it’s still hard to believe that I witnessed what I witnessed in that post-summit press conference between Putin and Trump and the extent to which it is likely to damage American national interests significantly for the foreseeable future. Rather than confronting a man who clearly is responsible for what amounts to cyber and psychological warfare intended to create chaos inside the United States, disrupt the electoral process, and interfere with the election of American President, Donald Trump chose instead to lash out yet again at his domestic critics and his own Administration. Instead of condemning Putin publicly for breaking into the computer systems of an American political party and a candidate for President of the United States, he essentially blamed the victim for the attack by repeating comments he made over the weekend about how DNC didn’t adequately secure its servers. Instead of believing the uncontroverted assessments of his own hand-picked intelligence chiefs, all of whom have confirmed that Russia did indeed seek to influence the outcome of the Presidential election, he accepted the word of the man who ordered the attack and openly questioned why Russia would even want to interfere in an American election. It was, as more than one person has said in the hours since the press conference ended, without question the most embarrassing and abject performances on the world stage that we have ever seen from an American President and the most disastrous summit meeting between an American President and a Russian/Soviet leader since the end of World War II.

Not surprisingly, the reactions to the events of today are pouring in, and they are by and large entirely negative, although it’s not at all clear what they are going to amount to. For example, within minutes after the press conference ended, former CIA Director John Brennan took to Twitter with scathing remarks that will reverberate for some time:

Some Republicans have shown the courage to come forward with strong words of condemnation. For example, Senator John McCain, put it this way, and his full statement deserves to be read:

As did Senator Jeff Flake:

Other Republicans have released statements that don’t go nearly as far as McCain and Flake, and don’t even come close to approaching the strong language that Brennan used in his Tweet, but it’s clear in any case that they aren’t going to do anything in response to what can only be called the most outrageous conduct any President has ever engaged in.

All of this comes after months of actions on the part of this President that have done everything possible to help Russia achieve the long-standing goal of driving a wedge between the United States and its allies, and to call into question the seemingly incontrovertible fact of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Instead of speaking out against Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election, the evidence of which is now vividly apparent thanks to indictments that have been issued by the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller both in March and just this past Friday, as well as the acknowledgment of that interference by Trump’s own intelligence advisers, the President has done everything he can to undermine that investigation and to dismiss it as “Fake News.” During his visits to Europe last year, Trump left many of our closest allies wondering just how committed the President was to the alliance and to its collective defense principles notwithstanding later assurances regarding that commitment on his part.

Additionally, over the past several months the President has in a number of other actions that have gone further than the Soviets ever could have dreamed of driving a wedge between the United States and its allies. In late May, for example, he imposed tariffs against America’s closest allies on the ridiculous ground on the ridiculous ground that they were a threat to American national security. He followed that up with a performance at the G-7 Summit in Canada during, which he basically blew up and during which he is reported to have made several derogatory comments about NATO itself. All of that has been topped off, of course, over the course of the past several days during which the President continued to trash the other members of NATO for allegedly not meeting their obligations to the organizations while making it clear he has no understanding of what the alliance is about or how it benefits the United States. This was followed up by a largely embarrassing visit to the United Kingdom during which he was derogatory toward his host Prime Minister Theresa May and made comments about internal British politics that were entirely inappropriate for a sitting American President. Now, he has topped it off with a performance that is both embarrassing and dangerous before the news cameras of the world that is going to do down in history as one of the greatest diplomatic disasters since the end of the Second World War.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Donald Trump, National Security, Politicians, Russia, Russia Investigation, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Yeah, but at least it’s got all of the drama and such of a typical reality TV show; what more can we ask? I mean, really, isn’t this what those in the hustings elected this guy for?

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  2. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Just imagine for :15 seconds that Obama had done what Dennison did in Helsinki?
    I’m telling you…no matter what you think is the very bottom, it’s still gonna get worse.
    What do you think Dennison is going to do in the face of near universal condemnation?
    And now a Russian National, Marilia Butina, who worked for Aleksander Torshin – a friend of Dennison’s – has been charged for being a conduit for Russian campaign meddling thru the NRA.
    Very bad day for Donnie, today.
    He will probably attack Guam, tomorrow.

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  3. Mark Ivey says:

    “Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

    Most of them are “comrades” now..

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  4. MarkedMan says:

    Doug, you captured everything we need to know about Trump in your title. Unfortunately, to repeat what I said in another thread, although the founding fathers foresaw a situation where a bad actor could become president, they didn’t anticipate a situation where the rest of the government were essentially quislings. Perhaps there is nothing to be done. As long as the morally bankrupt Republican Party controls the government, their elected officials will put their own self interest before that of their country or their fellow citizens.

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  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    If there is anyone left who does not believe Dennison is acting as an asset for the Russian State…they are fools; if they are American, then they are traitors.

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  6. drj says:

    Sitting here some two hours after it ended, it’s still hard to believe that I witnessed what I witnessed in that post-summit press conference between Putin and Trump and the extent to which it is likely to damage American national interests significantly for the foreseeable future.

    The damage to the American national interest wasn’t done during the press conference. The damage was done when the GOP establishment (McConnell and Ryan in particular) deliberately looked the other way when Russia was busy putting its stooge in the White House.

    The only thing that happened today is that it became (even more) plain to see for all.

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  7. CSK says:

    As I mentioned on the other thread, Trump has been touting Putin as a great guy since 2007. That’s an eleven-year bromance these two have been having, though Trump appears to be the lover and Putin the beloved. I don’t know if Putin has a pee tape; I don’t even know if that would be enough to discourage the Trumpkins.

    It probably has more to do with Trump being owned, literally, by Russia. Trump senior started fawning over Putin in 2007. In 2008, Donny Junior remarked that the Trumps had money “pouring in” from Russia.

    The oligarchs have the money. The oligarchs own Trump. Putin owns the oligarchs.

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  8. An Interested Party says:

    I would call him Putin’s bitch, but that would be an insult to bitches, as plenty of them have more backbone than this pathetic toady…

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  9. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @CSK:

    I don’t know if Putin has a pee tape

    I’m a pee-liever.
    You will notice that Dennison’s handler did not deny it, but dodged the question.

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  10. Steve V says:

    Seen on my twitter feed just now: a Trump supporter calls into C-Span and says “I want to thank Russia for interfering in our election to stop Hillary Clinton from becoming president.”

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  11. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    one of the greatest diplomatic disasters since the end of the Second World War

    Let’s be very clear about what this was; Dennison chose the interests of Russia over those of the country he is sworn to protect. I know, objectively, that nothing is going to happen to him but there is little question that this, taken in concert with his lack of action in defending against further attacks, rises to the level of an impeachable offense. I mean, it’s not an Oval office blow job…but it’s pretty close doncha think?

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  12. PJ says:

    President Traitor.

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  13. Gustopher says:

    After his private meeting with Putin, I think we need to check for stains on Trump’s blue suit.

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  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Gustopher:
    +10
    I am actually laughing out loud…

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  15. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I’m willing to believe Putin has something on Trump in addition to the fact that the Russians literally own Trump. Trump has bragged about his friendship with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. When he and Ivanka were interviewed by Wendy Williams, and Williams asked him what he and Ivanka had in common, he replied, “I’d like to say ‘sex’.” The man’s a pig.

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  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Steve V:
    Yes, because given a choice between a traitor and a woman who used her personal email at work…the choice is obvious.

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  17. MarkedMan says:

    @Gustopher:

    After his private meeting with Putin, I think we need to check for stains on Trump’s blue suit.

    …annnnddd Gustopher wins the Internet!!!!

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  18. Kathy says:

    I said during the NFL flag kerfuffle that the defense of the country’s symbols trampled the principles those symbols represented.

    This is the end result.

    The putative leader of the nation lies prostrate at the feet of a tyrant. The country trusts and cares for no one, except those who attack it. And the people who can do something about it, are too timid to even shake their heads in public.

    But the flag is fine, and we all support the troops.

    BTW, as I recall, A man named bin Laden once issued a very strong denial as well. I wonder what became of him.

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  19. Ben Wolf says:

    Rather than confronting a man who clearly is responsible for what amounts to cyber and psychological warfare intended to create chaos inside the United States, disrupt the electoral process, and interfere with the election of American President, Donald Trump chose instead to lash out yet again at his domestic critics and his own Administration.

    Dude, you’ve posted hagiographies about Ronald Reagan, a guy who thought the Apartheid regime was swell. Maybe back off the moral outrage you’ve got no business feigning.

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  20. Yank says:

    Today was such an embarrassment for Trump that our resident Trump lackeys haven’t commented yet. I guess MAGA community is still figuring out a way to spin this mess.

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  21. An Interested Party says:

    After this performance, we see that the emperor has no clothes, no hair, no teeth, and certainly no spine…Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi have more backbone than this chump…the Democrats would be smart to take this press conference and cut ads to run from now until November 2020…

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  22. CSK says:

    @Yank:

    I think they’ve decided that it’s fake news, despite the fact that they can watch Trump uttering the words himself. And besides, they love Putin. He’s a “Christian” strong man who hates gays. What could be better?

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  23. EddieinCA says:

    All you have to know about how serious this is…

    ….nothing from TM01, MBunge, Guararni, or JKB.

    Crickets….

    What does that tell you?

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  24. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    And now a Russian National, Marilia Butina, who worked for Aleksander Torshin – a friend of Dennison’s – has been charged for being a conduit for Russian campaign meddling thru the NRA.

    This development cannot be minimized.
    Friday’s indictments put Roger Stone in legal jeopardy.
    This arrest puts Donnie Jr. in legal jeopardy.
    The noose is tightening.

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  25. Michael Reynolds says:

    For about 18 months I’ve been saying it again and again: Trump is a traitor. He is controlled by Putin.

    And I’m sure most people thought I was being hyperbolic, or trying to make a partisan point. No, I was just offering the only explanation that fit the facts.

    Now everyone can see it plainly: Trump is a traitor.

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieinCA:
    Well, they never know what they think until Hannity’s told them, so I imagine later we’ll have one or two wandering in to regurgitate lies so transparent they’d embarrass a toddler lying about cookies.

    It goes to my conviction that they all know the truth. You can tell by what they avoid commenting on. They know he’s a traitor, and they don’t care because he is their Cult Leader. But that doesn’t mean they don’t know the truth and have just enough sense to hide out until they get their daily dose of grooming.

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  27. Kathy says:

    One should ask the GOP whether they’re happy knowing Putin will meddle in the midterms to help them. To them this might be worth selling out the country they purport to love.

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  28. Jen says:

    @EddieinCA:

    That…they haven’t been fed a plausible narrative from one of the fawning outlets that they can come here and endlessly repeat?

    Trump put his hand on a Bible and took an oath to uphold and defend this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

    He violated that oath today, in plain sight of everyone. He’s either a Russian asset, completely senile, or dumb as a lamppost. Or all three. There is no other explanation.

    The only open question is, what will Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell do about it?

    I don’t want to read tweets from Flake or McCain. I want them to DO SOMETHING about this.

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  29. Yank says:

    If there is anyone left who does not believe Dennison is acting as an asset for the Russian State…they are fools; if they are American, then they are traitors.

    Those lefties will continue to deny it because collusion destroys their preferred narrative that Clinton lost because she didn’t push their preferred policy choices.

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  30. Kathy says:

    There’s a recent book called “The Internationalists,” by law professors Oona Hathaway and Scott Shapiro. It’s about the genesis and effects of the Kellogg-Briand pact, also known as The Pact of Paris, in which a lot of nations vowed to renounce war as an instrument of policy.

    The book’s worth reading if for no other reason that all the history it covers. But IMO the authors make too much about the Pact and its effects. It had an effect, no question, but so did other things like nuclear weapons, multinational organizations, smart policies by world leaders, and not least the sincere desire not to go through another destructive conflict like the World Wars fought in the first half of the XX Century.

    Still, one point the authors make rather well is that if war is to be renounced as an instrument of policy, then something else must replace it. They suggest this something wound up being trade. And a complimentary point is that disputes, even some that involve aggression such as seizing the Crimea and invading Ukraine, can be addressed, with war effectively outlawed, through sanctions in a way they term “outcasting,” which pretty much mean making the offending nation an outcast. And we can see this happening all the time.

    I’m not claiming that keeping up sanctions will make Putin cough up the Crimea. No. That won’t happen. I won’t even say a future Russian government would be willing to return it. But effective sanctions (and, for example, Russia ought not have been allowed to host the World Cup, regardless of when the decision was taken), might keep Putin, and successors, from engaging in more aggressive adventurism.

    It’s more complicated than that. For one thing, Putin very likely wants to make client states off the former Soviet republics, rather than take them over outright. But the principle of sanctions remains.

    And it’s the Cheeto who cannot be bothered to read intelligence briefings, who doesn’t care whether he knows anything about a subject, and who gives advice such as “sue the EU” as though he were Wisdom personified, who holds in his hand the fate of sanctions on Russia.

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  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: For whatever it’s worth, Dennis Praeger was blathering on his show this morning that Brennan had some nerve calling Trump a traitor–and aren’t government employees supposed to not talk about politics. Beyond that, the spiel seemed to be that there are no limits to the perfidy of liberals if they’re trying to make what Trump said into an issue.

    Absolute flummery! Pfui!

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  32. Mikey says:

    Part of Trump’s mindless, idiotic rant was repeated references to “the DNC server,” “why didn’t the FBI take the server,” and so on.

    Of course, this is the morons’ conspiracy theory du jour, and it indicates nothing more than complete ignorance of how computer forensics actually works.

    One of the first rules of computer forensics is YOU DON’T TURN THE FUCKING MACHINE OFF. Because the most advanced malware sits in RAM, not in persistent storage, if you turn the machine off a lot of evidence will just go “poof.”

    So you go in with some sophisticated tools and you take a forensic image of the machine as it is running. Then you cryptographically sign the image so you can ensure it isn’t changed somehow as you transport it back to your facility for analysis. This also has the advantage of ensuring the integrity of the actual physical evidence, should it for some reason become necessary to the case.

    So most likely the DNC brought in CrowdStrike and CrowdStrike took a forensic image and gave it to the FBI. I guarantee you that image still sits somewhere at Quantico, and there’s probably a copy at the Washington Field Office as well.

    But the Trumpist fools neither know nor care about any of this. Their Dear Leader wants to know about “the server,” so they do, too, even though it’s basically irrelevant.

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  33. wr says:

    @Ben Wolf: “Maybe back off the moral outrage you’ve got no business feigning.”

    As a lifelong liberal, I’m usually baffled when someone as smart as Michael Reynolds talks about how much he hates liberals. Fortunately there’s always Ben Wolf to illustrate what he’s talking about…

    Just remember, he didn’t vote for Jill Stein and gets really pissy if you say he did!

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  34. wr says:

    @Jen: “I don’t want to read tweets from Flake or McCain.”

    Flake was on MTP Daily with Katy Tur, delivering all his usual pearl-clutching talking points. And for the first time, she just kept going after him asking why if he was so concerned he didn’t actually do something instead of just talking tough. And when he tried to spin out his usual bullshit line, she asked him directly why he was willing to stop the confirmation of judges over tariffs, but not over this.

    You’d think his best friend just ran off with his dog…

    But things seem to be breaking finally. Thomas Friedman, one of the kings of “why can’t we all be civil” scolding wrote a column calling Trump’s behavior treasonous.

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  35. Mister Bluster says:

    Now, he has topped it off with a performance that is both embarrassing and dangerous before the news cameras of the world that is going to do down in history as one of the greatest diplomatic disasters since the end of the Second World War.

    World meet REPUBLICAN Donald Vidkun Quisling* Trump!

    (*Quisling was transferred to Cell 12 in Møllergata 19, the main police station in Oslo. The cell was equipped with a tiny table, a basin, and a hole in the wall for a toilet bucket. wikiP)

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  36. An Interested Party says:

    It’s bad enough to call the European Union a foe and then proceed to kiss the ass of the Russian dictator…in fact it’s outrageous and certainly unworthy of any American president…but this president likes to use the schtick that he’s a tough guy…did anyone see any toughness from him in this press conference? Did anyone see an aggressive leader fighting for American interests in this press conference? Does anyone have any doubt that this dotard is beholden to Putin in some way? Melania is tougher than her husband…the whole thing should have been called “To Russia With Love”…

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  37. wr says:

    @Mikey: “One of the first rules of computer forensics is YOU DON’T TURN THE FUCKING MACHINE OFF. Because the most advanced malware sits in RAM, not in persistent storage, if you turn the machine off a lot of evidence will just go “poof.””

    Does this mean that such malware can be defeated by turning the machine off? Not snark — actual ignorance!

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  38. Michael Reynolds says:

    @wr:
    To be clear, I don’t hate liberals, I hate dishonest, virtue-signaling clowns who can’t be bothered to think an issue through before rushing to endorse a stance they don’t understand or condemn anyone who disagrees with their ill-conceived notions.

    This started for me when I Tweeted one of those innocuous, b.s. things you’re supposed to say as a kid book author. Apropos of nothing but signing off, I tweeted that young writers shouldn’t be discouraged, you can make it, rah rah. I was dragged for days because suggesting that young writers could succeed through talent and hard work, I was ignoring the fact that young black writers are doomed to failure.

    I asked whether they wanted me to Tweet the opposite: give up, you’re gonna fail, and of course no answer. Should I travel back in time and warn Jason Reynolds (no relation) to give up before he starts?

    There are people on the Left every bit as nasty, stupid and narrow-minded as right-wingers, they’re just fewer in number and until recently they were ignored as cranks.

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  39. SenyorDave says:

    @wr: But things seem to be breaking finally. Thomas Friedman, one of the kings of “why can’t we all be civil” scolding wrote a column calling Trump’s behavior treasonous.

    In Friedman’s defense, he did write this about Trump as part of an op-ed in August, 2016:

    Forget politics; he is a disgusting human being. His children should be ashamed of him.

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  40. Scott says:

    I, for one, don’t believe there is a pee tape nor would I necessarily care about that. However, I do believe that there should be a full and complete accounting of the Trump business dealings above and beyond the tax returns. And there should be a demand for the books to be opened or else resign. His choice.

    I would further put a law on the books for financial disclosures for all high offices, elected or appointed.

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  41. CSK says:

    I just glanced at Trump Central (Lucianne.com). The only article about Trump’s presser posted there today is something from, God help us, The Gateway Pundit, “reporting” that Putin said in the press conference today that Bill Browder, grandson of a communist (I assume Earl Browder), gave $400,000,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    The Gateway Pundit is what the Trumpkins consider a real news source.

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  42. Mikey says:

    @wr: No, it will just go hide somewhere very hard to find until the machine boots up again. Once in RAM it is much easier to detect.

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  43. Slugger says:

    No worries. Trump said that Putin is willing to provide some agents to help in the investigation. I am sure this will clear everything up nicely.

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  44. An Interested Party says:

    …“reporting” that Putin said in the press conference today that Bill Browder, grandson of a communist (I assume Earl Browder), gave $400,000,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

    Hmm…anyone can say whatever they want (either real or imagined) about Hillary Clinton, but she never, ever would be obsequious to the Russian thug…

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  45. Monala says:

    @CSK: and since Putin is the source of the $400k to Hillary rumor, they think Putin is a valid source, too, with no independent verification.

    I guess that’s because they are indeed following their leader Trump: “Putin said it, that settles it!”

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  46. Kathy says:

    It’s not a good look for an “alpha male” designate, whom his supporters have anointed Trump as, to grovel and debase himself in public. I’ve a tiny hope, about the mass and size of a baby neutrino, that some of his supporters will begin to question this guy.

    I suppose they’ll turn to willful blindness, and only see how “tough” the Orange Clown is with people who are not in the room and can’t talk back to him. That’s their man! that’s their hero! Sticking it to the “liburals” and draining the swamp!

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  47. Robert C says:

    @Mark Ivey:

    The comrades comment speaks volumes about how many on the left are looking through the wrong prism. Russia is no longer communist. It’s an authoritarian, almost exclusively white, xenophobic, orthodox Christian country. This is exactly what Trump and the Alt-right want for America. Russians aren’t comrades, they’re fellow patriots.

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  48. CSK says:

    @Monala:

    Oh, of course. Trump loves Putin; therefore, they love Putin.

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  49. Hal_10000 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    If there is anyone left who does not believe Dennison is acting as an asset for the Russian State…they are fools; if they are American, then they are traitors.

    No, I don’t believe he is. Nor do I believe that makes me a traitor. I think Trump is a fool who is far more concerned with fighting against his domestic enemies than having any coherent policy. And I believe he has demonstrated, over and over again, a fetish for strongmen and thugs. The Putin Ownership Theory doesn’t explain why he also loves Kim, Duterte, etc.

    It’s hard to tell the difference between Trump being a “traitor owned by Russia” and just being an idiot. Sans any evidence of the former, I will believe the latter. But regardless of why he’s doing what he’s doing, the consequences will last for decades. Even if he has a stroke tomorrow.

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  50. Kathy says:

    @Hal_10000:

    You may be right Dennison is just Putin’s useful idiot.

    But considering the size of the wedge Don the Con is driving into the heart of the West, like imposing tariffs on allies, sowing division within NATO, being nasty to all his allies, surely there has never before in history been so useful an idiot. It just boggles the mind.

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  51. Hal_10000 says:

    Addendum: one of the things to remember about Trump is that he is a colossal poser. One of the sharpest comments I ever heard was that Trump doesn’t act like a rich man; he acts like a poor man’s idea of what rich people act like. Trump has no admiration for real political strength; he has admiration for what a weak man’s idea of strength is. This is why he has

    And I think we see the same thing with his worship of thugs and distaste for actual politicians. Real strength like Merkel’s or Obama’s doesn’t impress him. Thuggish strength — like Duterte’s and Putin’s — does.

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  52. Guarneri says:

    Gawd I wish I had the tin foil hat concession.

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  53. CSK says:

    @Guarneri:

    You’d probably be selling all those hats to the idiots at Lucianne.com who believe that Infowars and The Gateway Pundit are legit sources of news.

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  54. Hal_10000 says:

    @Kathy:

    It does. I still can’t believe what I’m seeing. There’s a part of me that wishes he *was* a Putin stooge since that would a) make it easier to get rid of him; b) be an alternative to the terrifying truth that this is what he actually believes.

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  55. CSK says:

    @Hal_10000:

    I see no reason why Trump can’t be a) and b).

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  56. TM01 says:

    Brennan is going to reverberate? Maybe within your echo chamber, sure. Brennan is a bloviating idiot. Treason FFS. Whatever, man.

    So I guess the alternative is what then? Yell at him? Pound the podium and demand answers?

    Then you’d be screaming OMG TRUMP IS GOING TO START WWIII OMG!!

    Either way, you’re all set to call whatever he does, in whatever way, a failure.

    Would it have been better or worse if he’d showed up with a Staples easy button promising more flexibility? Because I really don’t know at this point.

    I was under the impression that the world would be better off if we weren’t enemies with Russia. Am I wrong?

    Would calling out Putin right then and there have lead to ANYTHING constructive?

    Would that have lead to Putin apologizing, breaking down in tears, promising never to do anything like that ever again?

    Or would he have dug in and be even more adversarial?

    Does the world benefit if the US and Russia are on friendly terms or not?

    And who really cares if there’s some friction between us and Western Europe. For gods sake, you act as if Belgium could invade us any day. Do you really expect us to all agree on everything all the time? Think of it as your brother constantly “borrowing” $20 every week. Eventually you have to smack him, but you’re still brothers.

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  57. An Interested Party says:

    @Guarneri: That was as pathetic as Trump’s sycophantic performance in Helsinki…of course you’ve linked to a website that traffics in Russian propaganda, so such should be expected of you…

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  58. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    You know I can read the stress in your comment, right? Very short, even for you.

    My own, personal pleasure in all this will be knowing that you’ll know I was right and you were wrong. You’ll never admit it, you’re too weak, but you’ll know it. You’re feeling it now.

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  59. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “It’s an authoritarian, almost exclusively white, xenophobic, orthodox Christian country.”

    Yet another example of how much Fundamentalist Christianity has compromised itself and God by identifying with the heretical Evangelical Movement. When I was young, we would never have identified Russian Christianity as “orthodox” except to the extent that we meant that orthodox (as in “Orthodox Church”) = Satanic. You have to remember that all of those icons in the churches are just signs of idol worship in much the same way that the crucifixes in Roman churches show that the Catholics worship the “dead” Jesus, not the “risen, victorious one.

    And yes, sometimes I wonder how I arrived at the age I am with anything even vaguely resembling sanity.

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  60. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Hal_10000: “It’s hard to tell the difference between Trump being a “traitor owned by Russia” and just being an idiot.”

    I save myself some mental gymnastics and painful yoga poses (sciatica) by being open to the possibility that the two are not mutually exclusive. He can be both at the same time.

    On the other hand, I’ve also given up on the notion that Republicans are good people and you seem not to have done so; maybe you need the distinction more than I do.

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  61. Yank says:

    I save myself some mental gymnastics and painful yoga poses (sciatica) by being open to the possibility that the two are not mutually exclusive. He can be both at the same time.

    Seriously. It is bizarre how some smart people keep ignoring the mountain of evidence right in front of him. He can be both, folks. Remember that.

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  62. MarkedMan says:

    Some of the mindless Trumpoids are asking, essentially, what else could Trump have done? Stand up there and berate him? It’s important to remember that this one on one meeting was Traitor Trump’s idea to begin with. Virtually everyone told him not to do this, but for some reason he felt he simply had to be in a room alone with Putin. (Note that he doesn’t “negotiate” with any other world leader without other administration members present. Only Putin.) and then he came out and bent over and let Putin have his way with him in front of the whole world. I despise everything about Trump but even I will acknowledge that he has impressive understanding of dominance displays in a kind of chimpanzee/eleven year old way. So he knew when he went out there and let Putin talk first and take the lead and then was so obviously repeating what Putin told him to say that it would make him look like some kind of weak girly-man. He knew that even his Baghdad Bob friends on Fox Pretend News would have trouble swallowing this. But he did it anyway. What the heck does Putin have on Trump that he felt compelled to take this meeting and then humiliate himself in this way? And Was his dread of this moment the reason he was lashing out at everyone else at the summit? Does it explain his bizarre comment about Merkel being controlled by Putin? Maybe it was the ultimate case of Republican Whaddaboutism – sure I’m a pathetic weakling impaled by Putin, but whaddabout Angela!? Huh!?

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  63. michilines says:

    @MarkedMan:

    So he knew when he went out there and let Putin talk first and take the lead and then was so obviously repeating what Putin told him to say that it would make him look like some kind of weak girly-man. He knew that even his Baghdad Bob friends on Fox Pretend News would have trouble swallowing this. But he did it anyway.

    Putin even pulled an “art of the deal” thing and kept Trump waiting for 40 minutes or so.

    It’s completely pathetic and embarrassing.

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  64. Gustopher says:

    @TM01:

    Does the world benefit if the US and Russia are on friendly terms or not?

    Do you consider groveling to be friendly? Do you consider letting someone walk all over you to be friendly?

    That’s not friendly, that’s compliant.

    That is signaling to Putin that he has a green light to expand elsewhere, since Crimea isn’t really a big issue. If Russian tanks roll into the Baltic states, is Trump going to defend them, or not? He’s been so compliant up to now…

    This is how wars get started. An aggressive nation gets inconsistent signals about what will and will not be tolerated, assumes others will back down, and is surprised if they don’t.

    For instance, Iraq interpreted statements by the first Bush administration as a go ahead to invade Kuwait, and we are still dealing with the consequences of that thirty years later.

    If the US and Russia were friends, the world would be a safer place. This is not friendship.

    If the US and Russia understood each other’s goals and how far they would let the other push, the world would be a safer place. Trump is not doing that, unless he is willing to roll over on his back for a tummy rub no matter the provocation.

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  65. Hal_10000 says:

    @TM01:

    This is not rocket science. This is diplomacy 101. This is a dance we have done with many nations, Russia included. The dance, it goeth thusly:

    “We have a long history of cooperation between our two nations. And we hope to continue to work with the great nation of Russia toward a more peaceful and prosperous world. But we are disappointed and alarmed by the steps taken by their leadership in recent years: their interference in neighboring nations, their support of Assad, the deaths of overseas dissidents and, most recently, clear indications that they interfered in our electoral process. The door of friendship and cooperation between our great nations is always open; but Russia must change its behavior if that partnership is to work. We can not work with a nation we can not trust.”

    The above is basically what almost every President has ever said about Russia. Read what Reagan said about Gorbachev. Or Kennedy’s telegram to Khruschev. Or FDR. Or Ike. Or Carter. Or basically every President up until Trump. We’ve always known how to tell a nation we don’t like what they’re doing without risking a war. Until now.

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  66. NW Steve says:

    @TM01:

    I was under the impression that the world would be better off if we weren’t enemies with Russia. Am I wrong?

    Here’s a thought. The answer to your question might depend on the terms of the friendship. Unconditional friendship with no reciprocity might not actually be so beneficial.

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  67. One American says:

    @CSK: shhh careful not to let some facts get in the way, just MAYBE those 2 presidents today know a little more than those here.

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  68. Matt says:

    @Mikey: Oh god man as someone that has been involved in IT for +20 years my head nearly explodes every-time one of those idiots mentions “servers”…

    I have been called “mean” because I straight up will tell people they don’t know shit “and here’s why” when trumpsters bring up the server stuff. These people are completely delusional. They are willing to believe stupid/insane theories because they just don’t like Clinton or the DNC or whatever. Their hatred completely shuts them down from any sort of reality. It’s basically a couple steps away from the pizzagate people. They believe in a lot of extremely unlikely/impossible shit because they want to.

    @wr: Turning the machine off just causes you to lose the current state of ram and other stuff that could be useful for investigative purposes. We’re not talking about your home computer here we’re talking about servers that are online 24/7 365 days a year. Regardless the malware/spyware/wathever is present on the hard drive and will reload but potential information could be lost.

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  69. JKB says:

    What else could Trump do but repeat Putin’s denial of involvement. To say anything else, and you would be screaming about obstruction of justice. Russian, via indictment of Russian officers, must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Due process demands it. Mueller made it impossible for Trump to publicly condemn Putin without risking accusations of interfering with the judicial process.

    Ironically, after the propaganda indictment announcement, Mueller transferred the case to the DOJ national security division. Thus proving that there was no need for a Special Counsel to investigate and prosecute the crime which involved no American citizens. Not to mention, the Russian officers were apparently not in a US jurisdiction when these “crimes” allegedly occurred. Not to mention, they were allegedly acting in accordance with their duty and within their chain of command. And interesting precedent, indicting military officers for official acts while inside their own country that remotely impact a foreign country. Drone pilots are going to love that precedent of international law.

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  70. Gustopher says:

    @JKB: It’s so cute when you try to be clever.

    What else could Trump do but repeat Putin’s denial of involvement. To say anything else, and you would be screaming about obstruction of justice.

    Let’s assume that you were right that Trump couldn’t condemn the actions of Russia (you aren’t, but let’s pretend)… He could have said “the general consensus of our intelligence community is that attacks on our democracy have occurred, and originated on Russian soil — beyond that I can say nothing, due to an ongoing witch hunt led by the failing FBI”

    Ironically, after the propaganda indictment announcement, Mueller transferred the case to the DOJ national security division. Thus proving that there was no need for a Special Counsel to investigate and prosecute the crime which involved no American citizens.

    Has Mueller closed up shop? I don’t know what the next set of indictments will bring, but we do know that Americans are involved — the only question is whether they were sitting accomplices or useful idiots.

    Not to mention, the Russian officers were apparently not in a US jurisdiction when these “crimes” allegedly occurred. Not to mention, they were allegedly acting in accordance with their duty and within their chain of command. And interesting precedent, indicting military officers for official acts while inside their own country that remotely impact a foreign country. Drone pilots are going to love that precedent of international law.

    One word: Guantanamo.

    The people there are being held for crimes that did not take place in the United States.

    Another word: Server.

    The servers that they hacked into were located in the US, so they were, in fact, committing crimes in the US.

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  71. Matt says:

    @JKB:

    Not to mention, the Russian officers were apparently not in a US jurisdiction when these “crimes” allegedly occurred. Not to mention, they were allegedly acting in accordance with their duty and within their chain of command. And interesting precedent, indicting military officers for official acts while inside their own country that remotely impact a foreign country. Drone pilots are going to love that precedent of international law.

    Holy shit I could see you at the Nuremberg trials using this explanation to show that Hitler or at the very least everyone acting under him did nothing wrong. After all they were just following the chain of command. Not to mention they were in Germany which isn’t in the US or UK’s jurisdiction….

    That defense didn’t work for the Nazis that tried it…

    @Gustopher: Since you covered the other stuff I decided to step a bit further out on my response.

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  72. TM01 says:

    @Matt: OMG!

    Nuremberg trials

    Hitler

    STFU already.

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  73. TM01 says:

    Let’s return to a recurring theme here: Future Presidents will have a huge mess to clean up because Trump.

    Here’s what we have:
    Mitt Romney was right.

    Obama was horridly, catastrophically wrong.

    President Trump is stuck cleaning up Obama’s mess.

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  74. CSK says:

    @TM01:

    How does that entail sucking up to Putin? And bear in mind that Trump’s been a cheerleader for Putin for 11 years.

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  75. wr says:

    @Matt: Thanks for the info!

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  76. wr says:

    @TM01: So on the one hand, Trump is entirely right and Russia is our bestest friend in the world and we only have to give Putin everything he wants and the world will be rosy. And on the other hand, Obama was wrong and Russia is the biggest villain in the world and Trump has to fix the problem.

    What do you do — wipe your brain clean after every message you type?

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  77. TM01 says:

    “I’m aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people … as president, but in your current role as prime minister,” Obama said during a breakfast meeting at Putin’s country home on the outskirts of Moscow. “We think there’s an excellent opportunity to put U.S.-Russian relations on a much stronger footing.”

    Was that Statesmanship or Selling Out?

    If Statesmanship, what has changed? Was it better to work towards cooperation with Russia then, but not now?

    If so, was Putin nicer 2 years ago? Was he not interfering, if you will, on the world stage? When did Russia change from Benelovent Lover Of Mankind to Total Pure Evil?

    Really, if you want to talk about Norms, it sure sounds as if President Trump is following them here. Even appearing to continue Obama’s policy of being nice to Putin.

    But nope. I guess it would have been better for Trump to play the loose cannon, thereby destroying any for chance for any sort of significant negotiations.

    Or is it as simple as you’re still just upset that Hillary lost?

    Is that what changed?

    Your candidate losing is what turned Russia into a Monster? That was the trigger?

    Wow.

    Talk about putting Party over Country.

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  78. An Interested Party says:

    It figures that Trump apologists would eventually show up…their “logic” about how Trump had to do what he did makes no sense…at least “Barry” never bowed and scraped to a Russian thug…and certainly Hillary never did either…but their hero embarrassed himself and this country on an international stage…”pathetic” doesn’t begin to cover it…

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  79. PJ says:

    @TM01:

    STFU already.

    Mike Godwin:

    By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis. Again and again. I’m with you.

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  80. Kylopod says:

    @TM01:

    “I’m aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people … as president, but in your current role as prime minister,” Obama said during a breakfast meeting at Putin’s country home on the outskirts of Moscow. “We think there’s an excellent opportunity to put U.S.-Russian relations on a much stronger footing.”

    You know what’s most fun about looking up the quotes you righties throw at us? It’s finding the exact right-wing sites you lifted the quote from, knowing full well you didn’t discover the quote on your own. In this case the source (according to Google) is FrontPage Magazine, in an article titled “8 times Obama sold out America to Russia” and an earlier one titled “Obama vs. Trump: Who Really Colluded with Russia?”

    But I also decided to do what you clearly neglected to do: look at the quote in its original context.

    “U.S. President Barack Obama praised Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s achievements Tuesday, attempting to mend fences with Russia’s powerful politician after criticizing him for Cold War thinking…. Obama ruffled feathers in Moscow ahead of his visit by saying that Putin needed to ‘understand that the Cold War approach to U.S.-Russian relationship is outdated’ and that Putin had ‘one foot in the old ways of doing business.'”

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-obama-russia-putin-sb/obama-praises-russias-putin-before-beluga-breakfast-idUKTRE56657Q20090707

    In other words, in attempting to paint Obama as the Putin shill that Trump so clearly is, you’ve proven the opposite. The very quote you provided was just buttering Putin up right after doing something Trump has been strangely unable to do, which is criticize Putin (and remember this was years before it came out that Putin was interfering with US elections, the real issue right now). Trump has gone back and forth on other dictators depending on his mood–like when he gushes over Kim Jong Un just months after calling him “rocket man.” But with Putin, it’s been a steady stream of praise and flattery. Why is that?

    What, tongue-tied again? You don’t have an answer because a right-wing site hasn’t (yet) provided you with one?

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  81. drj says:

    @wr:

    What do you do — wipe your brain clean after every message you type?

    I’m sure you’ve seen what Kylopod and MarkedMan have said in a previous thread about right-wingers.

    The takeaway: right-wingers (although “authoritarians” is probably a better term) do not believe that their arguments should refer or relate to a consistent view of observable reality.

    I suppose the difference with twenty years ago is that, back then, they could still be shamed into pretending that reality should matter. But that’s gone now.

    The big question is how we are supposed to deal with people who can’t even be bothered to create a mental fiction that is, if nothing else, at least internally coherent.

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  82. Mikey says:

    @wr:

    What do you do — wipe your brain clean after every message you type?

    Of course. Every good cultist does that.

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  83. Jen says:

    @TM01:

    Really, if you want to talk about Norms, it sure sounds as if President Trump is following them here. Even appearing to continue Obama’s policy of being nice to Putin.

    Obama was nice to Putin, but listened to his intelligence agencies and acted accordingly.
    Trump is nice to Putin, but is summarily dismissing his intelligence agencies, and acting accordingly.

    The distance between these two practices can be measured in light years.

    A more talented statesperson could have stood at that press conference and conveyed, politely but in no uncertain terms, that Russia would not get away with meddling in our elections. Unfortunately, we have Trump who is as subtle as the coloring on a baboon’s bottom.

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  84. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Nice to see JKB and TMzero agreeing that Russia attacking us is not important.
    Traitors.

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  85. Michael Reynolds says:

    Guarneri, JKB and TM01 are now bigger culties even than Fox and Friends:

    Addressing Trump directly, Kilmeade said: “When Newt Gingrich, when Gen. Jack Keane, when Matt Schlapp say the president fell short and made our intelligence apparatus look bad, I think it’s time to pay attention and it’s easily correctable from the president’s perspective. Nobody’s perfect, especially [after] 10 intensive days of summits, private meetings, and everything on his plate. But that moment is the one that’s going to stand out unless he comes out and corrects it.”

    Even this Fox toady doesn’t try to justify Traitor Trump beyond pleading exhaustion. God knows he’s no profile in courage, but I point it out as a contrast with the utter servility and intellectual auto-castration of our local Trump bootlicks.

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  86. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds: As I watched the Fox & Friends clip, I was reminded of that moment from the press conference early in his presidency when he was asked by a reporter for Orthodox Jewish magazine Ami to comment on a recent spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the US. In framing the question, the reporter bent over backwards to make it clear he wasn’t trying to criticize Trump or imply he was anti-Semitic. Nevertheless, Trump cut the reporter off, called him a liar, and declared himself to be the “least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgYs8XEWGr0

    This Fox & Friends segment is doing more or less the same thing, bending over backwards to insist Russian meddling didn’t affect the election, he won fair and square, there was no collusion, etc.–just long enough for the president to listen to them. They can try it all they like, and the criticism will probably go down as well with the president as the Jewish reporter’s question on anti-Semitism.

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  87. Kathy says:

    1) There are two relevant years when discussing relations with Russia: 2014, when Putin invaded Ukraine and seized Crimea, and 2016, when he meddled in several national elections, notably the Brexit referendum and the US general election. How relations unfolded before 2014 and between 2014 and 2016 are of necessity different from what they are now.

    NOTE: from the Russian perspective, relations with the US before 2003 are quite different than afterwards.

    2) Conquest just isn’t a thing anymore. Between the rise of the first cities millennia ago and until WWI, conquest was just what nations did when they could. War was the means, profit was the goal. Since WWI there have been very few successful conquests, and these tend to be very small. For example Israel taking the Golan Heights (and the Sinai, but that was given up).

    The Japanese and Germans, and even the Italians, managed to conquer vast territories in WWII, but as soon as they lost the war all such lands reverted back (more or less, it’s rather complicated in spots). Since then the highest profile conquest attempts were Saddam taking Kuwait (a small country, but with outsize influence due to large oil deposits), and Putin taking Crimea.

    That’s why it’s such a big deal, that’s why several countries imposed sanctions on Russia. Worse yet, the conquest of Crimea is by all measures a success for Russia, insofar as they are keeping it indefinitely.

    But the sanctions mean there has been little profit, monetarily, for all these gains. Politically it’s a different matter.

    If the world doesn’t stand united in opposition to conquest, this will encourage others to give it a try. And if sanctions aren’t kept on indefinitely, this signals other would-conquerors (and repeat conquerors like Putin) that profit is merely a matter of waiting out the world.

    Now, about 2016. One can argue how much influence Russia really brought to bear. And likely the answer is “not very much.” But “not very much” may be enough in a close election, such as those noted above. And perhaps for the upcoming US midterms.

    It may be that being forewarned, things won’t work the same way. But, one thing to keep in mind, is that the attacker has been thinking about the matter longer and harder than the defender. If Russia meddles in the midterms, they won’t do exactly the same things they did in the general election. and since there are a lot of little races in effect, look for them to meddle more, or only, in the closest ones.

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  88. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    What every toady (JKB, TMzero, Guarneri/Drew) that is asking what was he supposed to do, is forgetting…is that Dennison did not have to be in this position at all. It was another unforced error…the result of his rank incompetence, extreme arrogance, and fragile ego.
    HE NEVER SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS SUMMIT.
    Putin baited him into it and played him like a piano…just like Kim did.
    If Republicans had the balls to stand by the principles they claim to have…they would demand his immediate resignation.

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  89. CSK says:

    Well, here’s Tweetboy’s latest deranged rant:

    “While I had a great meeting with NATO, raising vast amounts of money, I had an even better meeting with Vladimir Putin of Russia. Sadly, it is not being reported that way–the Fake News is going Crazy!”

    I know who’s going crazy, and it ain’t the news.

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  90. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    What else could Trump do but repeat Putin’s denial of involvement.

    You’d think that the worlds greatest negotiator, a stable genius, would have thought of something.
    Like…maybe not put himself in that position to begin with?
    You are a traitor to your country. Be proud.

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  91. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    HE NEVER SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS SUMMIT.

    It’s worth repeating.

    If Republicans had the balls to stand by the principles they claim to have…they would demand his immediate resignation.

    I’ve given up trying to comprehend Republicans’ reasons for kowtowing to the Grand Cheeto. It’s probably not just wrong, but delusional.

    But this seems as good a time as any to remind all that a whooping electoral loss in the midterms might be the only thing to bring the GOP back to its senses, if they have any sense left.

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  92. al Ameda says:

    I’m a politics junkie, and I’ve been following this stuff for too many years, and without question, this was the most embarrassing, humiliating, cringe-y and tone-deaf performance by an American president on an national or international stage in my lifetime. And keep in mind this includes the Nixon Watergate period, and Bill Clinton’s I did not have sex with ….” moment.

    It does prove to those who needed convincing, that Trump was not trolling us all along, that what he tweets is actually what he ‘thinks.’ Sell out our intelligence agencies to save his political rear end? In a New York minute. Sell out our European and Asian allies to create a Putin-Trump alliance? Well, you tell me.

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  93. Franklin says:

    So Trump blamed America for our relations with Russia? Geez, and it seems like just yesterday when Obama was on his worldwide apology tour. And somebody (I won’t say who) was all up in arms then.

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  94. James Pearce says:

    @JKB:

    Mueller made it impossible for Trump to publicly condemn Putin without risking accusations of interfering with the judicial process.

    Only at his weakest, at his most infantile and defensive, will Trump claim, “I’m paralyzed by witchhunts!”

    Trump didn’t confront Putin because he wants to align with Russia politically. Period. Let’s just be clear about that. He wants to embrace Russia as part of some geopolitical vision he has, along with the trade wars, along with the “negotiations” with NK, along with pulling out of every treaty he can think of with the developed world. Don’t kid yourself about that. Kowtowing to Russia isn’t something Trump is forced to do.

    It’s something he wants to do. If that’s something you want too: Trump 2020. If it’s not, as insufferable as the libs can be, you should consider putting one of them in charge.

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  95. MarkedMan says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Putin baited him into it and played him like a piano

    I agree with what you said except, perhaps, this bit. This is just my intuition speaking, but I feel that Trump may have been compelled by Putin to go crawling to Helsinki. My reasoning is in this post: @MarkedMan:

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  96. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    But this seems as good a time as any to remind all that a whooping electoral loss in the midterms might be the only thing to bring the GOP back to its senses, if they have any sense left.

    Kathy, I’m afraid that however appealing this seems, it is just wishful thinking. What happens when the crazies take over a party? Just look at the state level. California Republicans were in the drivers seat but gradually the RWNJs took over the party. They never came to their senses. Now that the Dems have a veto proof majority, the remaining Republicans have just become crazier. People that want to get things done have either become Dems or work outside of government.

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  97. Pylon says:

    I see that the usual suspects finally got their “what was Trump supposed to do” talking points (identical to Hannity and Pirro).

    Here’s a few ideas:

    a. Don’t have a conference right after Russia has interfered with an election, poisoned people, etc.
    b. Don’t have a “no aides” meeting with Putin.
    c. Don’t publicly prefer Putin’s “strong denial” over American intelligence agencies. You can always just put the question off or just state the fact that Putin has denied it but intelligence says it happened.
    d. Bite the bullet and embrace the dispute and say it’s been a matter of deep and intense discussion.

    There’s nothing wrong with meeting an enemy. There’s a lot wrong with siding with the enemy.

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  98. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @MarkedMan:
    I can’t find anything to back it up…but I thought I had read that the Summit was Putin’s idea.
    Maybe not.

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  99. Michael Reynolds says:

    @TM01: @Pylon:

    TM01 shows up here at 21:15, Eastern time. Hannity goes on-air at 21:00 Eastern. 15 minutes, that’s how long it took for TM01 to download his talking points from #Cult45’s very own Miscavige. It’s almost like TM01 doesn’t have the capacity to think for himself. Almost like he’s a brainless cult member. Almost like that, yup.

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  100. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Now that the Dems have a veto proof majority, the remaining Republicans have just become crazier.

    That’s the Catch-22, isn’t it? If the Dems fail to win big this November, it’ll embolden the GOP to double-down on extremism; but if they do win big, it’ll be the relatively more moderate and sensible Republicans who will be the first on the chopping block, because they’re the ones likeliest to represent competitive districts. (This isn’t entirely true: I just saw a poll showing Trump/Putin toadie Dana Rohrabacher trailing his opponent, in a district Clinton won. Generally, though, the Trumpiest politicians tend to occupy the safest seats.) I really don’t see any way out of this other than making sure we capture the White House by 2020. Winning in 2018 is an important step in constraining Trump’s power for the remainder of his (hopefully single) term, but I’m not confident it’ll turn the GOP against him.

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  101. Guarneri says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    You just keep tellin’ yerself that, sweetie.

    I just got up. So how’s Outrage Tuesday going? Need a dube? Valium? Clean the feces up in SF? Need a Scotch. There we go! A scotch!

    Me? Carnoustie (the greatest venue) and The Open await. I shot 79 before they shut it down for the tourney. Awesome course.

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  102. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    You know the way you think you’re using words? You’re not. You’re transparent, Drew, absolutely transparent.

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  103. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Gustopher:

    Ironically, after the propaganda indictment announcement, Mueller transferred the case to the DOJ national security division. Thus proving that there was no need for a Special Counsel to

    Or taking it another direction than you did, is it possible that the action reflects on the difference between a Special Counsel and a Special Prosecutor by passing the indictment on to the agency charged with acting upon the discoveries related to the investigation of the Counsel (with no prosecutorial discretion because his office is not prosecutorial)?

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  104. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    it’ll be the relatively more moderate and sensible Republicans who will be the first on the chopping block, because they’re the ones likeliest to represent competitive districts

    Since before the Civil War the norm has been that the parties change gradually. Today both parties are unregognizable from 150, 100 or 50 years ago but they changed generationally. I wonder if this gradual change mechanism has been circumvented because Republicans are so toxi? Perhaps there will be a split that results in a new name. Something like “Fiscal Republicans” or “conservative Republicans” vs. plain old Republicans.

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  105. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Dennison giving a statement at 2:00 re: the Surrender Summit.
    Can’t wait to see how he tries to spin his weakness, cowardice, and submissiveness.

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  106. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Kathy, I’m afraid that however appealing this seems, it is just wishful thinking.

    It might be. But it’s about the only thing that will work, because a political party’s currency is electoral victories. A party that doesn’t win elections, either dissolves or becomes irrelevant.

    The upside of handing the GOP a major loss, though, isn’t just that it might moderate, but that any Democratic control of Congress will serve as a check on the Orange Obsequiousness.

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  107. TM01 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Nice to see JKB and TMzero agreeing that Russia attacking us is not important.
    Traitors.

    Attacked?

    With FB memes?

    What do you want, a shooting war?

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  108. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy:

    A party that doesn’t win elections, either dissolves or becomes irrelevant.

    In the end, though, a party doesn’t win elections. Individuals do. The Trump states, for the most part, will remain Trump states and they will elect Republicans. Just as in CA, certain districts reliably elect truly horrendous Republicans like Dana Rohrabacher.

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  109. TM01 says:

    @Guarneri:
    Don’t sweat it.

    The sad little man obviously has nothing else to do but look at clocks and timestamps. He’s living in his own little echo chamber where everyone who disagrees with him is a Russian agent.

    It’s funny tho…he looks at something as innocuous as timestamps, and then uses those to jump to a completely disjointed, illogical conclusion with no other evidence to back it up. But it MUST be true, because he’s said it’s so. No evidence will ever dissuade him.

    Kind of like the whole Russian Conspiracy thing living in his head.

    I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here….

    P.S. Good lord! Don’t waste good Scotch on that guy!

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  110. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan: I would say that the transition that happened between the ’50s and ’70s was pretty rapid. That was when the conservative wing of the GOP took over and totally eclipsed the once-dominant Northeastern moderates, and when the Dixiecrats began their defection to the GOP. But the groundwork had been laid several decades earlier. The parties in the early- to mid-20th century were a lot more factionalized than they are today. The factions often functioned almost like separate parties, so that you had stuff like the Conservative Coalition of the late 1930s to early 1980s, where conservative (mostly Southern) Dems regularly voted with Republicans on domestic issues. There are definite factions within each party today, and they reflect some real disagreements–but they’re far more allied with each other than they are with anyone in the opposing party. Party is the dominant unit now. That’s why the GOP has become so united in support of Trump. His more reluctant supporters think that, however bad he is, he puts them closer to achieving the goals they desire than building alliances with Democrats would do. And even if this situation breaks down and the GOP establishment finally at long last turns on Trump (which I still have extreme doubts will ever happen), I don’t think it will lead to any new realignment anytime soon. If Trump disappears tomorrow for whatever reason–impeachment, failing health, a defeat in 2020–most of the elements that make up today’s GOP will persist and it will fundamentally remain a radical party uniting racists with plutocrats, doing whatever it takes to keep itself in power and the Dems out of power.

    I could be very wrong about this, of course. I’ve been wrong before–though up to now it’s never been by being overly pessimistic.

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  111. Yank says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Yup. I called it earlier that they will show up when they get their talking points straight. They are so predictable.

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  112. An Interested Party says:

    Attacked?

    With FB memes?

    Oh, so you’re as dismissive of Russian attacks on our election as Trump is? So you know more than our intelligence agencies? You’re an idiot…

    The sad little man obviously has nothing else to do…

    Well, he could brag to a bunch of anonymous strangers about supposedly playing golf on some fancy course…oh wait, somebody else did that…soooooo impressive…

    Kind of like the whole Russian Conspiracy thing living in his head.

    Is it just living in Mueller’s head too? We’ll soon know…

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  113. TM01 says:

    Gods I love the Democrats.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=34&v=2Dly52zARCk

    BarackObamaDotCom

    But that never happened because History started with Trump.

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  114. TM01 says:

    @Yank:

    Yup. I called it earlier that they will show up when they get their talking points straight. They are so predictable.

    Apparently some people have never heard of Lunch Hour.

    Come up from your parent’s basements.

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  115. Michael Reynolds says:

    @TM01:
    Lunch hour? You came here 15 minutes after 9 PM eastern. That’s not lunch hour unless you’re in Hawaii.

    Can you at least try to come up with better lies?

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  116. Mister Bluster says:

    GOP Rep. Markwayne Mullin Weighs In On Trump-Putin Summit

    You don’t poke bear in it’s cave. (Russian Bears live in caves in Finland?)…I don’t think there was a good response the President coulda’ gave…(about confronting Putin on Russian meddling). I think everybody understands that Russia is no friend to us but at the same time we’ve got to give the President some latitude here…

    NO YOU DIMWIT. REPUBLICAN QUISLING TRUMP DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THAT PUTIN IS NO FRIEND!

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  117. Kylopod says:

    @TM01: Let us note, for the record, that in this thread, since your initial post, you have received pointed, specific counter-arguments from Gustopher, Hal_10000, NW Steve, CSK, wr, Jen, and me. You have responded not to a single one of them. Since your first comment to this thread, you have made 7 additional comments so far, which have consisted of (1) spewing more nonsense (2) telling Matt to “STFU” (3) giving “your mama wears army boots”-level schoolyard insults (4) providing us with your armchair psychoanalysis of Michael Reynolds.

    This is your version of “winning.” You’re so oblivious, you think that by completely ignoring those who dismantle your thin arguments, and skipping to lame rap-battle antics, you’re accomplishing something other than getting your ass handed to you. Sad!

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  118. Guarneri says:

    @TM01:

    No sweat here! Except teeing off on #17. Michael, and the rest of the pathetic crew here are just apoplectic that Trump is running circles around them. Just smoking them. They just can’t come to grips with it. Look at the bizarre and never ending gotcha predictions. Laughable.

    Been that way since Nov 2016.

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  119. Guarneri says:

    @Kylopod:

    Let the record show, Trump is president, Hillary is making bizarre excuses, Obama’s legacy is in tatters, two Supremes will be named by Trump, if not three, the economy is smoking, bizarre treaties are finished, and you and your ilk here are impotently punching fists in the air 24/7.

    Losers.

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  120. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    This is your version of “winning.”

    Yes. Yes it is. Why are you helping him to achieve it?

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  121. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    @Kylopod:

    This is your version of “winning.”

    Yes. Yes it is. Why are you helping him to achieve it?

    Short answer: If my opponent defines “winning” as punching himself in the face repeatedly, who am I to complain?

    Slightly longer answer: Because we share this country with millions of people who hold views like TM01, and it’s useful to know what they’re saying and how to respond. Not all of them are closeminded, either, particularly when it comes to the young and impressionable, some of whom may be very open to listening to us if we make the effort.

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  122. An Interested Party says:

    …that Trump is running circles around them.

    Is that what it’s called when an American president kisses a Russian dictator’s ass? Who knew…

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  123. SC_Birdflyte says:

    “We do not become partners to evil by accident. As adults we are not forced by fate to become trapped by an evil power; we set the trap ourselves.” This gem of wisdom is from M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie (1985), a book I find has many insights about such situations.

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  124. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Oh, God, I have to bookmark that comment. It’ll be so much fun showing it to you later.

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  125. Mister Bluster says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump claims he misspoke on election meddling, now says he sees no reason why it wouldn’t be Russia that was responsible.
    WTOP

    …sit up straight at attention!… Your Supreme Leader REPUBLICAN Kim Jong Trump Demands it!

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  126. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri: @TM01:

    Even as you clowns are defending Trump. Trump is on TV walking back his Putin press conference.

    But that’s OK, right? Humiliation just cements your faith in Cult Leader. That’s the psychology of the true toady. Like Michael Cohen, you crave your spankings from Cult Leader.

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  127. CSK says:

    Trump just issued a very grudging, half-hearted retraction of part of what he said yesterday.
    http://www.axios.com

    He seemed genuinely startled by the fact that his love song to Putin ignited a firestorm.

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  128. PJ says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Trump is on TV walking back his Putin press conference.

    His handler, codename Vlad, decided it was a bit too much and that maybe Republicans in Congress would grow a spine and have Trump impeached, so “Vlad” gave him permission to walk back what he had been previously ordered to say.

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  129. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri: @TM01:

    George Will, another crazy Lefty with TDS:

    America’s child president had a play date with a KGB alumnus, who surely enjoyed providing day care. It was a useful, because illuminating, event: Now we shall see how many Republicans retain a capacity for embarrassment.
    […]
    The explanation is in doubt; what needs to be explained — his compliance — is not. Granted, Trump has a weak man’s banal fascination with strong men whose disdain for him is evidently unimaginable to him. And, yes, he only perfunctorily pretends to have priorities beyond personal aggrandizement. But just as astronomers inferred, from anomalies in the orbits of the planet Uranus, the existence of Neptune before actually seeing it, Mueller might infer, and then find, still-hidden sources of the behavior of this sad, embarrassing wreck of a man.

    Trump’s own DNI is running around trying to spin the jackasses’ Helsinki lies while his DoD people are still frantically walking back everything Trump said to NATO. But Trumpaloons never waver. That would be thought crime. It is not enough to obey Cult Leader, you must show unquestioning love. #Cult45 #TraitorTrump

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  130. Michael Reynolds says:

    Mod queue rescue, please.

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  131. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Trump is on TV walking back his Putin press conference

    That was likely the most bald-faced lie Dennison has told in his 3000+ lies since he took office.
    Does he think we are all as stupid as TMzero and JKB and Bunge and the rest of his base…and that we will believe that nonsense?
    Amazing

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  132. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    I assume that was all his panicky staff could get him to say. He doesn’t believe it, but they’ve bullied them into it. Trump is entering his ‘Bunker’ phase. Psychopaths don’t handle frustration well.

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  133. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    So he accepts Putin denial, but he doesn’t see why Russia wouldn’t meddle in the election.

    Sure. That makes sense in Bizarro World.

    Given we all know he’s going to retract his retraction (fine people on both sides!!!), he should have done so all at once and saved time.

    But we know the gall is strong with this one, don’t we? Lost in the shuffle of this latest treasonous scandal, is the news that the US is suing Canada, Mexico, EU countries, and others over the retaliatory tariffs they imposed due to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

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  134. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    I think you’re right, Kathy. It will be a re-rerun of Charlottesville: Trump will say something grotesque, his aides will force him to modify it, he’ll do so grudgingly, and then, the next day, he’ll return to his original grotesquery.

    And speaking of Charlottesville, somewhere today I read an emailed comment by Gary Cohn (who quit Trump after Charlottesville) in which Cohn confirmed not only that it’s impossible to get Trump to read even minimal briefing material, but that Trump walks out of meetings of heads of state when he gets bored.

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  135. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kylopod: An additional problem is that polarization and collectivization of ideology under party banner has isolated each side. Conservatives want the “coloreds” kept in “their place,” capital piled at the top of the pyramid, immigrants kept out, right to work to keep low end wages low, and government that stays out of elements of business and society in which the Conservatives have skin in the game. Where are they going to go but the GOP?

    On the other hand, what “agreements” are Democrats or people on the left of the spectrum going to make with people who have the above goals? The polarization has become almost perfect. By the end of a second Trump term, the Platonic ideal of dysfunctional policy and government will probably have been reached. Laissez les bons temps rouller!

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  136. Kylopod says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Where are they going to go but the GOP?

    A significant chunk of the party’s voters consist of lower-income whites who vote against their own economic interests. They’re the ones carrying signs saying “Keep your government hands off my Medicare,” or who hate Obamacare but love kynect. The reasons for this, we’ve discussed many times before: they fall for GOP lies about being for workers, they associate the social safety net with undeserving brown people, they think immigrants are coming for their jobs. Their “ideology” is largely incoherent, but their attachment to the GOP is deep-seated and cultural, just as their grandparents’ attachment to the Democratic Party used to be. In short, today’s GOP coalition is not in any way a perfect match; it’s more like the relationship of an abusive and abused spouse. But I am not sure what there is we can do about it, and I don’t share the idealism of the Bernie people that we can win these folks over through economic arguments alone.

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  137. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I think you’re right, Kathy. It will be a re-rerun of Charlottesville: Trump will say something grotesque, his aides will force him to modify it, he’ll do so grudgingly, and then, the next day, he’ll return to his original grotesquery.

    The stakes are higher this time around. After all, if he doesn’t walk back the walk back, Putin might be mad at him!

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  138. de stijl says:

    @Guarneri:

    I shot 79 before they shut it [Carnoustie] down for the tourney.

    Front nine or back?

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  139. JohnMcC says:

    @CSK: Just a small point: Mr Cohn left his position after TARIFFS. He expressed some misgivings about the Charlottesville Nazi parade business was excused by his boss, but nothing serious.

    Don’t give any of the bastards a break.

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  140. One American says:

    @An Interested Party: surely you jest

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  141. One American says:

    @Michael Reynolds: yep was lunch hour here before we could address the madness of the outrage of truth of corruption on American soil.

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  142. CSK says:

    @JohnMcC:

    Thank you for the correction.

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  143. Rick DeMent says:

    @Kathy:

    I’ve given up trying to comprehend Republicans’ reasons for kowtowing to the Grand Cheeto. It’s probably not just wrong, but delusional.

    It’s not delusional, it’s math. Trump holds a sizable chunk of the GOP base in his hand. could be as low as 15%, could be as high and 30%. These are the people whom the GOP has been courting with all of the rhetoric surrounding issues like guns, gays, abortion, raping immigrants, Xtian persecution, and racist appeals (otherwise known as the “deplorables”). The GOP has been playing footsies with these people since the 80’s, but have never had the stones to go all in with them. For years they played these people promising to address the more outlandish ideas. They took them for granted because they were crazy but useful.

    Then came Trump. All in and then some. They finally found the hero they have been looking for, the one who would lead them to the promised land. Now Trump has a lock on these people (and he is spawning more then a few imitators).

    The problem for the GOP is if these people don’t vote they lose big. If they cross these people they will get primaried in a lot of places. If they turn on Trump they lose even bigger then they are going to lose as it is. If they try and impeach Trump they lose big. If they support trump they lose big.

    If Trump survives his 4 years and doesn’t win the GOP primary he runs as a third party and literally destroys the GOP.

    They are in a lose – lose situation and there is really no solution to the corner they have painted themselves into.

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  144. charon says:

    @Kylopod:

    A significant chunk of the party’s voters consist of lower-income whites who vote against their own economic interests.

    A lot of Trump’s upper income supporters are every bit as gullible and foolish. You could delete the words “lower-income.”

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  145. An Interested Party says:

    @charon: If I’m some rich, greedy fat cat, I couldn’t care less what the idiot in the White House says, as long as I keep getting my tax breaks…

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