Tuesday, July 10, 2018

1-on-1 with Pootin' Putin

Sen. Moran suggests the president think twice about his plan to meet privately with Mr. Putin, with no aides present. The senator is fuming at the way the Russian media portrayed his meetings with Russian officials, suggesting he only briefly and meekly raised the issue of meddling in the 2016 election.

Sen. Moran and his colleagues say that they were stonewalled. “The Russians are skilled propagandists,” Sen. Moran said.

There are only downsides to Mr. Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki next week.

Mr. Trump has focused on what he calls the upside. He thinks the world can be a safer place if he and Putin get along.

Mr. Trump wants Putin’s help in reducing the fighting in Syria.

Stacked up against those pretty significant risks, Putin uses the very fact of a private meeting with the president to claim the U.S. has accepted Russia’s annexation of Crimea and acknowledged its right to interfere in Ukraine.

Oh, Donald “Neville Chamberlain” Trump?

Moreover, Mr. Putin will use Mr. Trump’s ambivalence about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to portray the U.S. and Russia as moving beyond that traditional alliance.

Remember, Trump, a penny-pinching Scotsman, complained that the U.S. is “spending far more on NATO than any other Country.

The president will arrive for his meeting with Mr. Putin on the heels of a NATO summit meeting this week, and the mood there is not good.

Mr. Trump’s critics already portray him as far too cozy with Putin.

Unless Mr. Trump plays the summit skillfully (ability?), he will only end up allowing both meetings to play entirely in Putin’s favor and thereby reduce the remaining west wing of the white house to dreadful dilapidated drops of doggy-do. Trump's last go at NATO was a complete no-go.

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