The President of the United States made a fool of himself in his meeting in Helsinki on Monday with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He disowned his own intelligence agencies, went soft on Putin, and suggested that the United States bore some primary responsibility for the deterioration in relations with a country that has invaded two sovereign states in the last 15 years, hacked major American institutions, and fostered instability in the Middle East by backing the world’s worst human rights violators.
President Trump seems to be under the misimpression that because he knows he didn’t collude with the Russian government during the 2016 election, the Russians are innocent victims of a rabid press and a misguided Mueller investigation. This is dangerous and wrong. The Mueller indictments of 12 Russian citizens for hacking the DCCC, the DNC, and the Hillary Clinton campaign are damning. Yet Trump disavowed his own intelligence apparatus in order to discredit any notions of collusion, and seemed to blame members of his own executive branch for tensions with Russia – all to assuage his own ego.