Russia! Russia! Russia!
After making it through the Cold War era when literally everything was about Russia (then the Soviet Union)- sports match-ups, movie villains, blue jeans, rock and roll, etc. etc. – it seemed like we might be able to move on to other obsessions…like reality tv and paleo diets. Unfortunately Trump’s “inexplicable” win in 2016 has put us right back where we started and now it’s all Russia all the time.
The President’s bizarre press conference with Putin on Monday only made matters worse as pundits on the Left and the Right lambasted Trump for being too deferential to Putin and too harsh about American intelligence agencies and the press.
After watching the press conference I have to admit I did not share the hysteria on any side. I agree with Brit Hume when he says that Trump is such a narcissist that when he rails against American institutions while being complimentary to Putin he is really just expressing his rage at being unjustly targeted by “deep state” operatives within the DOJ and FBI.
This is a smart piece. Trump’s most conspicuous flaw is his utter self-absorption. He can’t see the Russian meddling investigation as anything but an attempt to discredit his election. Look where that view led him in Helsinki. https://t.co/91cSNMKXEe
— Brit Hume (@brithume) July 17, 2018
He sees the Russia investigation as all about himself, instead of it also being about seeking to determine where and when Russia had their noses in our electoral politics. We’ve already seen stunning proof of FBI agents actively working to subvert Trump’s election and authority. That’s a fact. And we’ve also been forced to endure a two-year investigation into Russia-Trump ties that has yielded absolutely nothing but exhausting headlines and faux outrage. Trump is sick of it and he’s stomping his feet.
On the other hand I don’t think Trump’s comments amount to anything close to treason, or are even that significant for that matter. When Obama was infamously caught on a hot mic telling Russian president Dmitry Medvedev he’d have more “flexibility” to accommodate their demands after the election, the outrage was in the fact that he’d already been working to weaken the United States militarily and technologically as a part of his “Hope and Change” foreign policy. Obama was giving away the store and he got caught admitting it.
Trump may have sounded “soft” with Putin, but when you compare his actions to the objections about his press conference language it’s easy to see that nothing about his foreign policy dealings have changed. He has levied harsh sanctions against Russia already, expelled some of their diplomats and continues to build our military and weapons dominance from Obama-era deficits. It might be one thing if Trump weren’t still doing all those things, but actions speak louder than words.
It’s my opinion that this is all typical much-ado-about nothing, but I have taken the concerns of my colleagues on this issue very seriously and it is prudent to continue to keep a watchful eye on our president, as with any president. Even as this post goes to publication President Trump is walking back his remarks a bit, saying he “misspoke” and clarifying his support for U.S. intelligence services.
I took the time to parse out my thoughts a bit more carefully on a special bonus episode of the Smart Girl Politics podcast. Take a listen and weigh in. Do you think Trump was out of line or is this just a case of Trump being Trump and Trump Derangement Syndrome blowing that up? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or feel free to tweet at me @RealKiraDavis.