Friday, July 7, 2017

Stop. We're Tired of Winning Already.

We may never know exactly what was said in the much-anticipated meeting on Friday between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is famously taciturn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is unreliable, the two presidents have their agendas, and there were no official note-takers unless you count the translators, whose jottings rarely leak.


At a press briefing after the meeting, Tillerson said that Trump did raise—more than once—the charge that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. However, Lavrov told reporters that Trump accepted Putin’s denial. Perhaps Lavrov was exaggerating, but Tillerson did say the two presidents agreed to “move forward” and not “re-litigate the past”—which amounts to the same thing.


Tillerson said that Trump merely “noted” the domestic concerns about the charges, which could prove “a substantial hindrance” to future Russian–American relations. That’s very different from pressuring or even endorsing the accusation against Russia, which has been leveled by the entire U.S. intelligence community.

No shit.

In fact, in Poland the day before Trump dissed the US intel community and his predecessor. I'm pretty sure Putin would have heard about that. (Some might say ordered it.)
"Well, I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. Could have been a lot of people interfered," Trump said Thursday during a news conference in Poland.


"Nobody really knows for sure," Trump continued, straddling a line before his Friday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom he's repeatedly praised. "I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq — weapons of mass destruction — how everybody was 100 percent sure that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? That led to one big mess. They were wrong."


While Trump has cast doubt on the intelligence community's findings, he has also questioned why the Obama administration did not do more.


Trump's comments on Thursday weren't the first time he's invoked Iraq, either, when trying to cast doubt on Russia's culpability and undermine the intelligence community's findings. When the CIA announced in December 2016 that it had definitively concluded that Russia intervened in the election to try to help Trump, the then-president-elect dismissed the conclusion — while inflating the size of his electoral win.

"These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," Trump said. "The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.' "

That's pretty funny coming from the guy who, eight months later, is still whining on Twitter about Hillary and Obama.
Tillerson added that the two leaders agreed to create a “framework” for talks on cybersecurity, including a pledge of non-interference in future elections.

"Pledge." LOL. Is Trump going to come back and start insisting that he did something about future Russian interference because Putin "pledged" he wouldn't?

...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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