Trump-Putin summit: A treasonous handshake?
After President Trump defended his Russian counterpart and rejected accusations of collusion and interference by Moscow in the 2016 elections, the opposition…
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President Donald Trump's visit to Europe this week has been a hurricane of political destabilization.
After attacking members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and insulting the British prime minister for her work, the U.S. president has left the world speechless as he embraced and even defended the figure of Russian President Vladimir Putin during his meeting held Monday in Helsinki.
Just hours before the meeting, the president wrote on Twitter that "our relationship with Russia has never been worse," blaming previous administrations for "foolishness and stupidity."
It’s no wonder that the White House guest blames others for matters he must resolve, but only days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced new charges against a dozen Russian military officials for "hacking" the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign, anyone would expect the president of the nation to defend the democratic rights of its citizens, something that Trump magisterially ignored.
Instead, the U.S. president assured that Putin gave him an “extremely strong and powerful” denial that his country had intervened in domestic affairs, a guarantee that, for Trump, was sufficient to the point of putting it above the intelligence agencies of his own country.
Putin insisted that "the Russian state has never interfered and is not going to interfere in internal American affairs" and, although he confessed that he did want Trump to win the elections in 2016 "because he spoke of normalizing relations," he insisted that Moscow didn’t have anything to do with it.
In what Trump called an "interesting idea," Putin even suggested special lawyer Robert Mueller's officials go to Russia to participate in the interrogations his intelligence service is conducting about the case.
"Let the Mueller commission send us a request, and we will do the work necessary to respond," he added. "We can expand this cooperation - but we will then also expect from the U.S. side access to the people who we believe are members of the intelligence agencies."
For anyone who remembers the Cold War, this type of collaboration between both countries was simply unthinkable just a few years ago.
Trump then went on to blame the Democrats, the FBI, the media and the "witch hunt" on the matter, making it clear that, for him, Putin's word is enough.
At one point, one of the reporters appealed to the Russian president about the alleged "compromising information" that Moscow could have on President Trump, to which Putin responded in a mocking tone, saying "it’s hard to imagine greater nonsense," adding that both leaders didn’t know each other at the time, something that has been refuted by experts on the subject.
Putin's lies aren't crafty; they're sociopathologically arrogant. Putin says he didn't know Trump was in Moscow in 2013; Trump says he spoke to Putin while he was there, and we know Putin sent Trump a gift for his visit *and* chose a replacement official (Kozhin) for the pageant.— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) 16 de julio de 2018
At home, the reactions have been radical.
Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake - a frequent critic of the administration - stated that "I never thought I would see the day when our American president would stand on the stage with the Russian president and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.”
I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) 16 de julio de 2018
For Diana DeGette, congressional representative in Colorado, "Trump has, in fact, become Putin's puppet." The Congresswoman declared that it is "dangerous, disingenuous and absurd for a U.S. president to take the word of Putin over our intelligence community."
Trump has, indeed, become Putin’s puppet. It is dangerous, disingenuous & absurd for a U.S. president to take the word of #Putin over our intelligence community. Further, @POTUS statements undermining @FBI and shifting blame for Russian misdeeds are outrageous. #TrumpPutin pic.twitter.com/d5rOX8ZQl5— Rep. Diana DeGette (@RepDianaDeGette) 16 de julio de 2018
In her response, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote on Twitter that "we have just witnessed the President of the United States abdicate his responsibilities of national security as commander-in-chief."
On all accounts, and despite light comments on nuclear disarmament and "future collaborations," the historic meeting between the two leaders didn’t produce solid agreements on issues such as Syria or competition for energy supply to Europe, and we all wonder about the answer to the same question posed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: "Great World Cup. A question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?"
Great World Cup. Question for President Trump as he meets Putin: Do you know which team you play for?— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) 16 de julio de 2018