President Trump’s recent remarks following a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where he said he believed Putin more than his own intelligence staff when Putin said that did nothing to meddle in US elections, were roundly and rightfully criticized from people across the political spectrum. Few more astonishing remarks have been made in the history of US foreign policy. Yet President Trump was not done.On the topic of Russian meddling, the US government has indicated twelve Russian nationals for illegal election activity. In a tit-for-tat response, Russian President Putin has said the Russian government wants to question a handful of US citizens who it says have committed crimes, including one former US Ambassador, Michael McFaul! President Trump has said he is considering the request and is not necessarily opposed.
Before now, no one could imagine a President that would even consider such a thing, who would even entertain the idea of a foreign government pursuing criminal charges against one of our Ambassadors. Yet, President Trump continues with his odd behavior after meeting with the Russian President. And for those who tend to blindly support anything President Trump does and who can’t imagine ever being critical because (if all else fails) ‘at least he’s better than Hillary’—a pretty low standard, grant you—this is a non-partisan issue. The Senate yesterday voted 98-0 –literally not one dissenting vote—to condemn any idea of granting Russia’s request to question a former Ambassador in a ‘criminal’ investigation.
Not yet finished, President Trump extended an invitation for Putin to visit the White House this fall. And apparently, he did so without telling his senior advisors, as his Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, literally found out as he was being interviewed and was told by the journalist interviewing him.
At this point, even long-time conservatives and/or Republicans are astonished at Trump’s outlandish behavior of the last week, and his over the top ‘bromance’ with one of the world’s most brutal dictators. Supporters such as Newt Gingrich have publicly and strongly criticized him this week, commentators who normally defend the Trump viewpoint have cancelled appearances because they can’t or won’t defend his actions, his own cabinet is being critical, there are reports of local GOP party chairpersons quitting over his outlandish actions…and remember these are people that weren’t already disillusioned by his brand of name-calling, immoral and uncivil politics previously.