Friday, July 27, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He was happy to receive a summons to Moscow by Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this week, Vladimir Putin rejected Trump's surprise offer of a second summit meeting in Washington, D.C. Trump tried to save face by blaming the Mueller investigation into Russia's espionage attacks on the 2016 election.

Today, Putin reversed field, inviting Trump to visit Moscow instead--and Trump responded immediately and positively. In a statement, the White House said that Putin only needed to extend a formal invitation.

Trump's first meeting in Helsinki was widely regarded as a disaster for the United States: he appeared submissive to and intimidated by Putin, and could not help taking sides with Putin against his own government on the subject of Russia's attack on the United States. 

Trump's signal that he is willing to go to Moscow comes amid revelations that Russia has successfully hacked into the U.S. electrical grid and voting systems. The Putin regime has also conducted phishing attacks on Democratic candidates of the same type that helped Trump get elected

It also comes on the same day that the White House held a meeting of the National Security Council on the subject of the Russian threat to the midterms. The topic for discussion was supposedly the "strategy" Trump had put in place to combat such interference when he took office, but had never announced before today. Current administration officials immediately admitted to reporters that no such strategy actually exists.

What is the problem with this?

  • A president who could refuse this demand from the authoritarian leader of a hostile foreign power probably would.
  • Where threats to the basic freedoms of Americans are concerned, pretending to do something is even worse than doing nothing.