Trump invites Putin to DC and trolls the Trump-haters
President Trump appears to be playing out a geopolitical agenda with Russia's Vladimir Putin and keeping his cards so close to his chest that even his director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, is in the dark. When the White House revealed yesterday that Putin has been invited by national security adviser John Bolton to the White House for talks, Coats was publicly humiliated at the Aspen Security Conference, where he learned about the invitation onstage, "where he had been telling the audience that the U.S. is 'under attack' by Russian cyberforces," according to Dave Boyer and Seth McLaughlin of the Washington Times.
After President Trump tweeted that he looked forward to a "second meeting" with Putin, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed, "Those discussions are already underway."
As Trump must have known it would, the news set off a wave of criticism about nefarious "collusion" and about the purportedly impending departure of DNI head Coats, a Trump appointee.
Chuck Schumer took the bait:
"Until we know what happened at that two-hour meeting in Helsinki, the president should have no more one-on-one interactions with Putin. In the United States, in Russia or anywhere else," said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat.
So did Nancy Pelosi:
"Trump wants to invite Putin – the individual responsible for spearheading the attack on our democracy – to the White House on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections," Mrs. Pelosi said. "Meanwhile, Republicans in Washington dangerously *refuse* to protect our election systems. We cannot afford this."
And Kamala Harris, who tweeted:
"Putin should be held accountable for ordering the Russian attacks on the 2016 election, not invited to the WH right before the next election."
The Democrats, in other words, are going farther out on the limb of false claims that Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 elections are unprecedented, and so serious that comparisons to 9-11 and Pearl Harbor are merited. This is utterly false, as anyone who is familiar with history knows. Leftist icon Noam Chomsky (hat tip: Charles Glasser, Instapundit), with decades invested in portraying the U.S. as a malign force, knows the truth that the U.S. plays the game of interference, too:
[F]irst of all, it is a joke. Half the world is cracking up in laughter. The United States doesn't just interfere in elections. It overthrows governments it doesn't like, institutes military dictatorships. Simply in the case of Russia alone – it's the least of it – the U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways. So, this, as I say, it's considered – it's turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world.
And Obama openly interfered in Israel's election, attempting to stymie Bibi Netanyahu.
In addition, not only has Russia attempted to sow chaos in U.S. and other Western elections ever since the Bolshevik Revolution and the establishment of Comintern, but virtually every nation with an intelligence service seeks to influence elections in other nations when the agency sees it in its interest to do so. Grown-ups know this.
So what is Trump up to that he is concealing from the man at the apex of the Intelligence Community – a community that has repeatedly demonstrated its opposition to and willingness to sabotage Trump's agenda? I am not privy to these matters, but I think it is rather obvious that Trump would seek to counterbalance China's rising threat to America by triangulating with Russia. Unquestionably, China is a far greater threat to the United States: a much bigger nation with a much bigger economy than Russia, a champion exporter that is tech-capable and steals intellectual property on a vast scale, and a country with centuries of domination by Western powers to avenge.
One other factor to consider is that when it comes to "collusion" with Russians, the Democrats have a lot more to cover up than Trump. According to the Daily Caller:
Evidence in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election reveals that former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders's chief strategist was in contact with a former Russian intelligence agent before joining the campaign.
Tad Devine joined Sanders's campaign in 2014 before it officially launched. Communications between Devine, Paul Manafort, Ukrainian diplomats and Russian intelligence agents began as early as Jan. 3, 2006, and continued until no earlier than June 19, 2014, according to a list of exhibits filed in a Virginia federal court Wednesday.
Matthew Vadum reminds us:
While the media-driven leftist hysteria about President Trump's non-existent electoral collusion with Russia continues to build, the Left continues to ignore the longstanding collaboration of its biggest star with the Communists who used to rule Russia.
That star, of course, is 76-year-old Bernie Sanders, the so-called democratic socialist U.S. senator from Vermont whom the Hillary Clinton-controlled Democratic National Committee quite literally robbed of the Democrats' 2016 presidential nomination.
Not to mention the approval of the Uranium One acquisition by Russian entities that was accompanied by a nine-figure haul for the Clinton Foundation and a half-million-dollar speaking gig for Bill Clinton in Moscow.
Will Putin release hard evidence of Dem collaboration? Who knows? Does he have the capability of doing so? Almost certainly.
Trump is making deals, preventing leaks by keeping the DNI's fiefdom at a distance, and the Democrats are stuck with yelling the same things again, only louder.
All of this is playing out as the midterm elections approach.
Call me Pollyanna, but I think there will be some uncomfortable facts for Democrats ahead.