Friday, December 23, 2016

What did Donald Trump do today?

He approvingly quoted Vladimir Putin, twice.

Trump began the day by releasing Putin's personal holiday greetings, saying that Putin's "thoughts are so correct" on the subject of improving US-Russia relations. While Trump has presumably received Christmas cards from other foreign leaders, this is the only one he has drawn any attention to.

He later took to Twitter to amplify Putin's comments from earlier in the day about Hillary Clinton's "humiliating" loss. There was no apparent reason for bringing up the election, although Trump has recently shown a great deal of sensitivity on the subject of having lost the popular vote.

Trump has long expressed admiration for Putin, although most Republicans and Democrats see Putin as an autocrat who has (among other things) had journalists and political opponents murdered. Trump continues to vehemently deny that Russia sought to influence the 2016 election on his behalf, although US intelligence agencies have concluded that it did.

So why should this matter?

  • It is bad if a president is easily manipulated by foreign powers.
  • It is a very bad sign if winning the presidency is not enough to emotionally satisfy a president where the election is concerned.