President Trump Embarrassed Us All in Helsinki


EDS.: RETRANSMISSION TO PROVIDE ALTERNATE CROP -- President Donald Trump meets with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, July 16, 2018. (Doug Mills/The New York Times)

As someone who didn’t vote for President Trump, and who expected that he’d lose to Hillary Clinton in 2016, I’ve come to make my peace with the Trump administration. I largely tune out the President’s antics and instead focus on his policies which I mostly support.

But the President’s performance in Helsinki was a disaster. Even his most ardent supporters have to admit it.

Before the summit even began the President was on Twitter blaming American political actions – and not years of the Putin regime’s aggressive malfeasance towards our country and others – for our poor U.S./Russian relations:

That message alone from our President was bad enough, but then came the joint press conference with Putin. Here’s the full video if you missed it…

…but this answer to a perfectly reasonable question from the press corps was particularly odious:

That the President would believe the word of a conniving tyrant like Putin over the statements of his own administration is a sort of obsequious behavior which is wholly unacceptable coming as it does from the leader of the free world.

The Putin regime meddled in our elections. Many of President Trump’s political enemies have chosen to misrepresent that as evidence of Trump and/or his campaign being complicit in that meddling, but the President should be capable of drawing a distinction between those partisan aspersions and what the Putin regime actually did.

Perhaps most frustrating, as Ben Shapiro points out, is that Trump’s sycophancy toward Putin actually undermines his administration’s foreign policy toward Russia which has been tougher than anything former President Obama implemented:

Trump beclowned himself today. Anyone claiming otherwise is either ill-informed or seeing the situation through the lenses of overwrought political loyalty.