Sifting the rubble in Helsinki
Hysteria ruled the days after Helsinki. After a closed-door meeting, Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin held a joint press conference. The tone of both leaders was properly diplomatic. This undoubtedly surprised the press – people who didn't really think President Trump was capable of rational speech or behavior. Naturally, the questions addressed to President Putin were suitably obsequious. President Trump received the opposite.
President Trump supposedly made a major tactical mistake when he said he trusted Putin's word over the reports from his intelligence people about Russian interference in our elections. He simply was revealing the fundamental truth of the situation. Former head of the FBI James Comey and his counter-intelligence chief Peter Strzok are well known for their attempts to subvert President Trump, as are former CIA chief John Brennan and former director of National Intelligence James Clapper. It isn't just these individuals who are involved. They had staffs who would have supported their efforts to oppose Donald Trump during the election campaign and thereafter. Many of those people are still embedded in the intelligence organizations.
More than that, President Trump had a highest-level spy in this domestic Cold War cabal. Admiral Mike Rogers, until recently the head of the National Security Agency, apparently informed the newly installed President Trump about what was, and had been, transpiring in the intelligence community. So Donald Trump would have had good reason to continue to mistrust that community regarding domestic affairs, even though he had replaced its top leaders.
On the other hand, Putin's reputation for integrity is solid. Former president Bill Clinton has stated openly that Vladimir Putin was as good as his word. If he made an agreement, he kept it. One must understand something important about Putin: he is a Christian – and, by all accounts, a devout Christian. As president, he is responsible for the future of Russia, a role he takes seriously. As a Christian, he is responsible for his own soul, something real Christians also take very seriously – much to the astonishment of Progressives.
Given all this, Trump's natural reaction to the hostile question from the press was to simply tell the truth. Putin is more trustworthy about American politics than our own intelligence community. So Trump told the truth – and all Hell broke loose.
Trump's later attempt to walk back what he had said merely fueled the fire. That was his real mistake in all this.
The resulting artificially generated hysteria was the deliberate construction of the left. Treason was the new word of the day. It is always fascinating that the people on the left receive their orders about the word du jour and run with it until a new directive comes down from somewhere – possibly the New York Times.
The manufactured hysteria grew to such an extent that even Republican leaders and otherwise sober conservative commentators were caught up in it and lost their powers of reason. Even the usually astute Tucker Carlson completely missed the obvious. While the people he was interviewing were howling "treason," Tucker failed to catch the key issue: no one but Trump, Putin, and the two translators knew what was discussed behind closed doors. Carlson should have asked simple questions of his guests: "What was said in that meeting to betray America?" "Do you know anything that was said in that meeting?" "If so, how did you find out what was said?"
Questions of that sort would have immediately quenched the hysteria. They would also have shown just how irrational, and even downright stupid, our leaders can sometimes be.