Blank stare. Lights on, no one home. Why is everyone ignoring me? What am I doing here? I want to be at Mar-A-Largo, playing golf. Why did I go after this job anyway? Where’s Ivanka — I need someone to explain to me what’s happening!!!!
Vladimir Putin spoke to reporters at the G20 summit today and, naturally, he talked about his over-two-hour-long meeting with President Trump.
Both sides acknowledge that election interference was brought up during the meeting (Rex Tillerson said Trump “opened” with that), but Sergey Lavrov claims Trump accepted Putin’s denials.
One reporter asked Putin today if Trump agreed with his position that Russia did not intervene in the U.S. election. “He answered all the questions,” Putin said (per translator), “and I think that he noted it and he agreed with it. But I think it’s better to ask him exactly what you have asked, rather than me.”
Minutes later, another reporter circled back to this issue and Putin’s claim that Trump accepted his answer. Putin said, “He asked me questions, I told him in detail, and I think he was satisfied by my answers.”
President Donald Trump needed to accomplish two things this week during his visits to Poland and the G-20 Summit in Hamburg. First, he needed to reassure America’s allies that he was committed to collective defense and the core set of values and principles that bind us together. Second, he needed to demonstrate that he understands that the greatest threat to that alliance, those values, and our security is the Kremlin.
Trump delivered neither of these. In very concrete terms, through speech and action, the president signaled a willingness to align the United States with Vladimir Putin’s worldview, and took steps to advance this realignment. He endorsed, nearly in its totality, the narrative the Russian leader has worked so meticulously to construct.
The readout of Trump’s lengthy meeting with Putin included several key points. First, the United States will “move on” from election hacking issues with no accountability or consequences for Russia; in fact, the U.S. will form a “framework” with Russia to cooperate on cybersecurity issues, evaluating weaknesses and assessing potential responses jointly. Second, the two presidents agreed not to meddle in “each other’s” domestic affairs—equating American activities to promote democracy with Russian aggression aimed at undermining it, in an incalculable PR victory for the Kremlin. Third, the announced, limited cease-fire in Syria will be a new basis for cooperation between the U.S. and Russia; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson went so far as to say that the Russian approach in Syria—yielding mass civilian casualties, catastrophic displacement, untold destruction and erased borders—may be “more right” than that of the United States.
Each of these points represents a significant victory for Putin. Each of them will weaken U.S. tools for defending its interests and security from the country that defines itself as America’s “primary adversary.” Trump has ceded the battle space—physical, virtual, moral—to the Kremlin. And the president is going to tell us this is a “win.”
Since the November election, US intelligence and law enforcement agencies have detected an increase in suspected Russian intelligence officers entering the US under the guise of other business, according to multiple current and former senior US intelligence officials. The Russians are believed to now have nearly 150 suspected intelligence operatives in the US, these sources said. Officials who spoke to CNN say the Russians are replenishing their ranks after the US in December expelled 35 Russian diplomats suspected of spying in retaliation for election-meddling.“The concerning point with Russia is the volume of people that are coming to the US. They have a lot more intelligence officers in the US” compared to what they have in other countries, one of the former intelligence officials says.…Fueling law enforcement officials’ concern is that the Russians are targeting people in the US who can provide access to classified information, in addition to ongoing efforts to hack the US government for intelligence, according to several of the officials. In some cases, Russian spies have tried to gain employment at places with sensitive information as part of their intelligence-gathering efforts, the sources say.But that hasn’t stopped the State Department from issuing the temporary duty visas — also known as TDY — to the suspected Russian intelligence officers. US intelligence officials who spoke to CNN expressed concerns about the number of temporary visas the State Department has issued to Russian travelers…
Trump has only one trick. Pick a fight, blame the other guy, then act like a victim when the someone accurately reports who picked the fight.
It gets old with teenagers, but at least they grow out of it.
The growing international isolation of the United States under President Trump was starkly apparent Friday as the leaders of major world economies mounted a nearly united opposition front against Washington on issues ranging from climate to free trade.
At a gathering of the Group of 20 world economic powers — normally a venue for drab displays of international comity — there were tough clashes with the United States and even talk of a possible transatlantic trade war.
The tensions were a measure of Trump’s sharp break with previous U.S. policies. They were also a warning signal of Washington’s diminished clout, as the leaders of the other nations who gathered in Hamburg mulled whether to fix their signatures to statements that would exclude Trump or to find some sort of compromise. Two European officials said they were leaning toward a united front against Washington.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faced the difficult job of bridging the differences, made little attempt to paper over the disagreements after the first day of meetings.
“The discussions are very difficult. I don’t want to talk around that,” Merkel said.
She described the view of most participants that “we need free but also fair trade,” a rejection of Trump’s skepticism about the value of sweeping free-trade agreements. And she predicted that the lower-level officials charged with negotiating a final statement deep into the night “had a lot of work ahead of them.”
Some of the clearest divides had to do with climate change after Trump’s decision to pull the United States from the Paris climate accord. There were sharp warnings about U.S. steel policy as Trump mulls restrictions on imports.
Jerry Brown is governor of California. If California were a separate nation, it would be the world’s sixth largest economy.
Speaking to over 12,000 environmental activists in Hamburg, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced plans for a global environmental summit in San Francisco next year, telling the crowd that President Donald Trump “doesn’t speak” for America.
According to the LA Times, Brown spoke at the Global Citizen Festival Hamburg while Trump was in Poland on Thursday, prior to the G-20 Summit.
Noting Trump’s plans to withdraw from the Paris environmental accords, the California governor lashed out at the president, saying his state will take the lead in fighting climate change.
“It’s hard to grasp the mortal danger that climate change represents,” Brown explained. “I believe that California, New York, France and Germany and the other countries — we have to get our act together, strengthen our commitment and bring as many nations along as we can.”
In a video posted to YouTube, Brown took on Trump and said he does not speak for and reflect the desires on almost 70 percent of Americans who want the government to be more “aggressive” in taking on climate change — not roll back protections.
“It’s up to you and it’s up to me and tens of millions of other people to get it together to roll back the forces of carbonization and join together to combat the existential threat of climate change,” Brown stated. “Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act, it’s time to join together and that’s why at this climate action summit we’re going to get it done.”