We Didn’t Know The World Was About A Race To See Who Could Be Best Friends With Putin
Of all the Trump finagles this week, we feel this following Tweet — which was largely overlooked (probably because it was quickly followed with one that identified the media as the “real enemy of the people”) — may be the most instructive. It’s a competition: like Survivor, or the Bachelor, and we’re winning!
In this context, the invitation for Putin to pay Trump a visit, seems less motivated by Trump’s desire to improve on his initial performance, and more to double-down on his singular vision that he was doing everything so right in the first place that there absolutely needs to be more of it post haste!
It also appears to be completely impetuous.
So impetuous in fact, that it looks as if he didn’t bother telling his Intelligence Chief, Dan Coats about it ahead of time. Coats, appearing at a security conference in Aspen, Colorado, appeared to be informed of the invite by NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, who was hosting a discussion with him. “That is going to be special” Coats quipped upon receiving the news. During that same forum, Coats said he’ll stick around the Trump Administration as long as “I am able to have the ability to seek the truth, speak the truth.”
At that same Aspen conference, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein released an extensive plan detailing the way the Justice Department plans to engage with attempts to hack the U.S. election process, and also how it would interact with the public in the future. A big feature of the plan involves the Justice Department taking the lead on exposing “fraud and deception” by foreign agents; immediately alerting the public when an incursion occurs. There’s also legislation floating around that would make that more than departmental policy.
Meanwhile, Russia keeps leaking out details of what they say Trump and Putin discussed and agreed to during their meeting, and there’s no real way of knowing whether any of it’s accurate or not because the only person who could verify is the President. So expect a steady trickle of that in the coming days and weeks.
Trump did back off what he’d initially called “an incredible offer” in which he seemed more than open to the idea of giving Russian investigators access to Americans Putin considers enemies (including the former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow), in exchange for Putin giving U.S. investigators access to 12 Russian military officials indicted last week for hacking the 2016 elections:
Of course that will never, ever happen.
A stunning story in the New York Times which has since been confirmed by other news organizations says two weeks prior to his inauguration, Trump was briefed extensively about Russian attacks ordered by Putin, and shown highly sensitive evidence from “a top secret source” close to Putin.
So what explains the President’s seemingly profound delusion about who he’s playing with?
If there’s truly “no collusion” as he keeps insisting over and over and over again, it could only be because he feels admitting that there was Russian interference in the election diminishes the magnitude of his victory. Even though in the moments when he does accept Russians did hack, he insists it had “zero impact” on the election.
So we guess the answer to the question depends on how willing you are to accept that everything going down right now is a product of Trump’s pride vs. something more sinister. We’d only say we’ve worked for Trump-like characters in the past, and their hubris knows no bounds. Even so, this seems pretty extreme.
Trump likes to tell a parable — that was originally in the form of a song — about a snake and a gullible woman as part of an anti-immigrant rant he goes on at his rallies. When he tells it, it’s meant to send the audience the message that “immigrants will kill you if given the chance, because that’s what they do.”
In it, an old woman takes in a snake who asks for help, who then turns around and kills her. Because he’s a snake. Get it?
Trump recites it like this:
“I saved you, cried the woman. And you’ve bitten me, heavens why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die.
Oh, shut up, silly woman, said the reptile with a grin.
You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”
Here’s the President “doing” The Snake at a huge gathering of Conservatives earlier this year:
We leave you this week with the thought that this parable is indeed fitting. Only now it’s about Trump and Putin. And in this telling, Trump is the gullible woman.