““Bizarre”. “Shameful”. “Disgraceful”” the South China Morning Post says, and “That’s the swift and sweeping condemnation directed at US President Donald Trump after he sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a stunning appearance in Helsinki – and that’s just from Trump’s fellow Republicans.” Meanwhile, in the Globe and Mail Mark MacKinnon reports that “It was a disorienting scene: the President of the United States of America, standing beside the ruler of Russia, refusing to take the word of his country’s own intelligence agencies over that of the autocrat next to him … [and] … In one of the defining moments of his presidency to date, U.S. President Donald Trump accepted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denial that his country had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election − even though U.S. intelligence agencies have drawn the opposite conclusion − even deferring to Mr. Putin when asked: “Who do you believe?”“
Who do you believe?
I am not a great fan of the US intelligence community, as it calls itself, because I fear that it too often confuses intelligence gathering with covert quasi military operations and ends up doing neither as well as it should, but nothing the CIA et al may have done or failed to do holds a candle to what President Trump did in Helsinki. As Mr MacKinnon says, “while Mr. Trump used his Twitter account last week to lob 280-character grenades at U.S. allies such as Ms. May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, he took the opposite tack before the Helsinki summit, declaring in a tweet that “U.S. foolishness and stupidity” had damaged ties between Washington and Moscow … [and] … In doing so, Mr. Trump was embracing one of Mr. Putin’s most dearly held narratives: that U.S. foreign policy – the eastward expansion of NATO, and the wars in Kosovo and Iraq – brought relations to a post-Cold War low, rather than Russia’s annexation of Crimea or its alleged election meddling.” President Putin was entitled to the “faint smile” which Mark MacKinnon says he displayed while President Trump bloviated.
The South China Morning Post reports on reactions to President Trump’s comment by very senior Republicans …
… and adds that “Off Capitol Hill, former intelligence chiefs who served under president Barack Obama were scathing in their criticism. John Brennan, who served as CIA director, called Trump’s comments “treasonous” … [and] … “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of ‘high crimes & misdemeanours.’ It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???” Brennan tweeted … [further] … James Clapper, who was director of national intelligence under Obama, described Trump’s comments as “very, very disturbing” … [adding that] … “On the world stage in front of the entire globe the president of the United States essentially capitulated and seems intimidated by Vladimir Putin,” Clapper told CNN.“
I understand that tens of millions of Americans and many, many Canadians, too, believe that Donald Trump is just “telling it like it is” and “draining the swamp” which, presumably, includes Senator McCain and former intelligence chiefs Brennan and Clapper, but, surely, no thinking human can believe that his fawning performance in Helsinki in any way serves America’s interests in the world.
I have always believed that President Trump is a semi-literate buffoon, but now I can only conclude that he poses a “clear and present danger” to the United States of America and must, for the sake of that once great country, be removed from office forthwith.