It was like nothing anybody had ever seen. Nobody acquainted with Donald Trump expected the July 16 Helsinki summit—which wasn’t really a summit, more like a one-on-one-date between the presidents of Russia and the United States, to use the reality TV lingo which created the current Trump persona—to yield anything of substance, diplomatically speaking. Our president, after all, doesn’t do substance.
Yet substance of a sort arrived, inadvertently, in the presser which followed the presidential meeting, which went on for nearly two hours. What was said behind closed doors? Only the two presidents and their translators know (as do Russian intelligence and whatever other spy services bugged the room) but it’s a safe bet, knowing Trump and his manic indiscipline, that the press event reflected the summit’s secret content. By which I mean the American president submissively kowtowing to his Russian counterpart in a fashion which no American president has ever done before.
That presser will go down in the record books and will be discussed and dissected by historians and pundits as long as Donald Trump is remembered. It was frankly an outrage for anyone who cares about America and the West and our shared values, which are under attack by Vladimir Putin, who has unleashed his powerful spy agencies, spreading spies, hackers, and lies to undermine our democracies—and none more than America’s in 2016.
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