Friday, May 3, 2019

What did Donald Trump do today?

He refused to even mention the act of war committed by Russia against the United States.

Trump spent more than an hour on the phone with Russian president Vladimir Putin this morning. He was asked about it at a joint press conference with the prime minister of Slovakia.

Q Mr. President, did you address the election meddling issues that came up in the Mueller report with Mr. Putin today? 
TRUMP: We discussed it. He actually sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started off as a mountain and it ended up being a mouse. But he knew that because he knew there was no collusion whatsoever. 
So, pretty much, that’s what it was. It started off— 
Q Did you tell him not to meddle, Mr. President? Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election? 
TRUMP: Excuse me. I’m talking. I’m answering this question. You are very rude.
So we had a good conversation about many different things. Okay? 
Q Did you ask him not to meddle? Did you tell him not to meddle in the next election? 
TRUMP: We didn’t discuss that. Really, we didn’t discuss it.

Trump also called the Mueller report a "hoax." The second sentence of that report reads: "The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion."

Trump wouldn't explain why he didn't bring up Russia's attacks on American elections, which are ongoing

Trump has been extremely reluctant to even indirectly acknowledge Russia's successful attempts to destabilize faith in American democracy and help him get elected. He's even more afraid of contradicting Putin personally—and Putin's official position is that the massive campaign of disinformation, illegal campaign contributions, and cyberattacks on polling places didn't happen at all. (Russian state television takes a slightly more realistic approach.)

However, Trump did call out one form of "election interference" today. Recently, Facebook and Twitter have been cracking down on violent content, threats, and hate speech on their platforms. Trump interpreted this as an attack on conservatives, specifically mentioning Infowars contributor Paul Watson, who was banned by Facebook this week. Trump said that his administration would "look into" what these private companies were doing.

Infowars has "reported" that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex-slavery ring in the basement of a Washington pizza parlor (with no basement). It's also told its readers that the 2012 massacre of 20 six- and seven-year-old children at Sandy Hook Elementary was faked, and that the grieving families seen on TV were actors.

Why should I care about this?

  • A president who can't, or won't, acknowledge an attack against the United States is unfit for office.