It is not often that I watch a press conference with my mouth agape, but that is exactly how I watched this one.
We all predicted shit show, and the shit certainly did show.
Here are some bullet points courtesy of NYT:
President Trump stood next to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Monday and publicly challenged the conclusion of his own intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered in the 2016 presidential election, wrapping up what he called a “deeply productive” summit meeting with an extraordinary show of trust for a leader accused of attacking American democracy.
“They said they think it’s Russia; I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” Mr. Trump said, only moments after the Russian president conceded that he had favored Mr. Trump in the election because of his promises of warmer relations with Moscow.
“I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia that was responsible for the election hacking, Mr. Trump added. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
(Yeah, he actually said that.)
When asked directly whether he believed Mr. Putin or his own intelligence agencies, Mr. Trump said there were “two thoughts” on the matter, and then changed the subject, demanding to know why the F.B.I. never examined the hacked computer servers of the Democratic National Committee, and asking about the fate of emails missing from the server of Hillary Clinton, his campaign rival.
“Where are those servers?” Mr. Trump said. “Where are Hillary Clinton’s emails?”
At one point a reporter asked Putin directly if he had Kompromat on Trump.
He did not deny it.
Courtesy of Vox:
Putin, though, did not say the tape doesn’t exist. Instead, he argued that he was not personally aware of Trump’s trip to Russia and also mentioned that foreign businessmen visit Russia frequently, before asking, “Do you think that we try to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them?”
“For us this issue — and now to the compromising material. Yeah, I did heard these rumors that these allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow.
Distinguished colleague, let me tell you this: When President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn’t even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow.
Let’s take St. Petersburg economic forum, for instance. There were over 500 American businessmen, high-ranking, high-level ones. I don’t even remember the last names of each and every one. Do you think that we try to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them? Well, it’s difficult to imagine on a bigger scale of this. Please disregard these issues and don’t think about this anymore again.”
“Do you think that we try to collect compromising material on each and every single one of them?” Yes, according to our intelligence experts that is EXACTLY what the Russians do.
At another point, Trump said that Putin had a great idea, and that was to have Robert Mueller send the information he has gathered on the Russian hackers to the Kremlin so that they could work on getting to the truth TOGETHER!
And he was serious!
President Vladimir Putin offered to have his Russian government interrogate “the individuals who [Robert Mueller] believes are privy to some crimes,” also suggesting the U.S. and Russia create a joint cybersecurity group to “analyze together” materials https://t.co/koo3taTbtN pic.twitter.com/L0AJtbo1Mk
— POLITICO (@politico) July 16, 2018
I can hear Robert Mueller laughing his ass off in response to this from here.
And then there was this:
Asked by an American reporter whether he had wanted Mr. Trump to win and directed an effort designed to bring about that result, Mr. Putin quickly answered: “Yes I did, yes I did, because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”
So there you have it, he fucking admitted to it.
There are some who claim he did not hear the question, but I call bullshit on that.
Here is how DNI Dan Coats responded after watching this debacle:
Statement from DNI Dan Coats: pic.twitter.com/Hw4f4w4HqM
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) July 16, 2018
Keep in mind that is the DNI that Trump appointed.
Former CIA Director John Brennan did not pull any punches.
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
John McCain also had something to say:
Today’s press conference in #Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) July 16, 2018
My final thought on all of this is that it defies logic that ANYBODY could continue to deny after this that Donald Trump is not either compromised by Russia or actively working for the Kremlin.
I, of course, have been saying this for months now, but seriously is there really any other possibility?
As John Brennan says this was an act of treason performed right in front of the television cameras for everybody to see.
So will this finally be enough to shock people out of their slumber?
No, Donald Trump should not remain in office.
No, Donald Trump should not be allowed to choose our next Supreme Court justice.
No, Donald Trump should not be allowed to represent our country overseas ever again.
But yes, he should be charged with treason, removed from the People’s House, and impeachment proceedings should begin immediately.
And if anybody disagrees with this they better take a good hard look at their own patriotism and their own moral standards.
Update: Rachel Maddow’s show opener tonight.
Here’s the first five minutes of Rachel Maddow tonight on Americans coming to grips with a worst case scenario that the U.S. president is compromised by a hostile foreign power.
(full video: https://t.co/DCBavBRHtY) pic.twitter.com/2gfqi5Lh5s
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) July 17, 2018
Looks like we’re on the same page.