Littwin: Trump hits a new low, betrays country, disgraces office. Does it matter?

For those keeping score at home, Donald Trump hit an all-time low in his post-summit news conference from Helsinki with his friend (co-conspirator?) Vladimir Putin.

This is not an overstatement. There is no possibility of overstatement here. In fact, you couldn’t possibly disagree with this assessment unless you were either Mike Pence or Sean Hannity. 

The moment the news conference ended, CNN’s Anderson Cooper rolled out “disgraceful” to describe Trump’s performance, and for the next few hours, pundits and politicos would compete in a deep thesaurus dive searching for the perfect word or phrase: shameful or astonishing or deeply troubling or devastating or dangerous or imbecilic or disingenuous or shocking or unprecedented or Munich-like appeasement or, according to former CIA chief John Brennan, treasonous. Brennan also called for “patriotic Republicans” to finally stand up to Trump.

I’ll go with David Gergen, who has served under every president in recent memory and who put it this way: “Never have I seen a president so badly betray his own country on the world stage.” 

Meanwhile, Politico summed up the news conference in a succinct tweet.

Reporter: Do you hold Russia accountable for anything?

Trump: We’re all to blame.

Check the link. Trump says Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats warned him that Putin was to blame for interference in the 2016 election. Trump says Putin made an “incredibly strong and confident” argument that he wasn’t. If you’re wondering which side Trump came down on,Trump said “I do not see any reason why it would be” Russia’s fault.

This was such a low point that you’d almost — yes, I said almost — think that such a presidential-sized betrayal would finally shock the nation into action.

Ok, we know what happened — Trump chose Putin over country while slamming the FBI in front of the former KGB agent — even if we’re not sure why. Does Putin really have something on Trump? Is this yet another reworking of the Manchurian Candidate? As a confirmed anti-conspiracy theorist, I’ve long thought that Trump’s unwillingness to concede Russia’s role in the 2016 election must be about his ego and the Electoral College or maybe something in his tax returns or perhaps just his bromance with the world’s tyrants. In a video message to Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger went with the groupie theory, saying Trump looked like a “fanboy” ready to ask for Putin’s autograph.

As The Atlantic’s James Fallows put it: Conscious tool or useful idiot? In some ways, it doesn’t matter. There are a hundred other theories, which we can probably leave Bob Mueller to sort out. The question is not whether Ronald Reagan is rolling over in his grave, but what do we do now.

There is an answer, but it could come only from Trump’s Republican enablers. This is what they call a gut check. If you don’t count John McCain, who is home battling brain cancer, Republicans hold a 50-49 majority in the Senate. This is easy math, if difficult politics. If only one Republican were to become an independent and caucus with Democrats, imagine the stunning change, the subpoenas, the hearings, etc.

Actually, the lone Republican — yes, more would be better — wouldn’t even have to defect. All it would take is joining Democrats in protecting Mueller’s investigation and in calling for hearings on Trump’s Make Russia Great Again summit.

I don’t expect that to happen. I don’t expect much to happen. Some are suggesting that any Trump aide with a conscience should resign. Some are suggesting that if this crisis heats up, there could be the need for a scapegoat. John Kelly, anyone?

If you think this is a crisis point for America — and I certainly do — that doesn’t mean you have to believe it will play out any differently from all the rest. Isn’t the essence of Trumpworld that we now live in the post-tipping-point era?

There has been tough criticism from some Republicans, mostly from the usual suspects like McCain — who said he’d never seen a U.S. president so “abase himself” before a tyrant — and from those who have already announced they’re not seeking re-election. More often the comments resemble those from our own Cory Gardner, who said he strongly disagreed with Trump’s words and actions in Helsinki (and presumably those from Belgium earlier in Trump’s world travels), but couldn’t actually bring himself to mention Trump’s name.

He also couldn’t bring himself to defend Mueller or to note that it was only three days ago that Coats had warned of more Russian interference, saying “the red lights are blinking again.” Instead Gardner said he hoped this administration wouldn’t repeat the mistakes of past administrations. You could call that weak tea. I’d call it weak-kneed.

The best American moments in Helsinki came from an AP reporter and a Reuters reporter — you know, enemies of the people — who were the lone American journalists called on to ask questions at the news conference. They put Trump on the spot in asking him to choose between Putin and U.S intelligence. We watched Trump as he faltered, once again blaming the “witch hunt” for the problems between Russia and the United States instead of blaming the witch — OK, the thug — standing next to him.

It was a disgraceful performance, but hardly surprising. I mean, you weren’t really expecting Trump to debate Putin on Crimea, were you? When Mueller indicted the 12 Russian intelligence agents for interfering in the 2016 election, Trump’s game plan was set.  After lashing out against our allies in Europe, Trump would buddy up to Putin, who deserves great credit for not once cracking a smile as Trump prattled on about Hillary Clinton and her emails and Peter Strzok and his texts.

You can argue, I guess, whether Trump betrayed his country by his performance. What’s inarguable is that he humiliated himself and everyone who has ever supported him.

A 2017 photo of actors in prosthetics in London in by Paddy Power Joe Pepler, via Flickr: Creative Comm

28 COMMENTS

  1. I STRONGLY suggest Mike and readers pull up and watch today’s (July 16) show of Democracy Now! segments 2 & 3 (a web exclusive because they ran overtime). Many of the points made gave me pause. Very elucidating. Read now and pontificate later.

  2. Bravo Mike! Most of us with half a brain realize president Bum is a traitor. The arrest today of the NRA operative could lead to a collusion connection between the Bum and his boyfriend Vlad.

    I can’t wait for Mr Lopez to weigh in with one of his laborious drone alongs. It’s remarkable how Trumplings continue to stand by their manchild.

    Corey Gardner straddles the fence as usual. This time it could cost him big time. The Republicans could be facing serious repercussions by their silence long term should this collusion business lead directly into the Oval Office. Watergate seems almost trivial by comparison.

  3. Mike, 2020 will be President Trump’s last election, so right now he needs more flexibility until he after he wins that election.

    Besides, this whole notion that Russia interfered with the 2016 election and was able to change even a single vote is nonsense, according to your Lord and Savior:

    “I want everybody to pay attention here. That is dangerous. Because when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy. Then you’re doing the work of our adversaries for them. Because our democracy depends on people knowing that their vote matters, that those who occupy the seats of power were chosen by the people…There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even rig America’s elections, in part because they’re so decentralized and the numbers of votes involved.”
    Barack Hussein Obama, Oct 2016

    So enough with sounding like the press secretary of the New John Birch Society, Mike. It’s not as if Donald Trump pulled an Ed Kennedy and sent an emissary to Moscow with an offer to team up with the Rooskies to defeat his opponent.

    Calm down. Why not head up to Chapaqqua for a little break? Share a gallon jug of chardonnay with Hillary. Share a nice, fat cigar with Bill.

  4. P.S.: Please, if you’re so concerned about the Ukraine, feel free to volunteer for their armed forces and/or send them your money. Just don’t expect US taxpayers to do so, and don’t expect our racially diverse armed forces to go save a bunch of white people. Last I checked, both the Ukraine and Moscow were in Europe. Let’s see if the western Europeans can get off their fat, lazy, welfare state derrieres and figure out what to do, as opposed to expecting the US–again!–to come rescue them from everything that goes bump in the night.

    What we need to do with Europe, what would be ultimately healthy for the Europeans, is to simply Walk Away.

  5. Suggest folks read Browder’s book “Red Notice”. Browder must still make Putin crazy after all these years. Putin kills people. Putin is evil. Donald J Trump is very stupid if he believes otherwise.

  6. And here I thought your namesake actually meant something. But no, your just another anti American/pro abortion communist rag that couldn’t tell the truth if your survival depended on it. Not a word from you clowns about Debbie wasserman-Schultz’resignation after wiki leaks exposed her. Not a peep about Donna Brazile’s book exposing the DNC for its abject corruption, and nare a whisper about the death of Seth Rich who was the DNC leader, as chronicled by Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom. Muller’s indictments will get nowhere due to there being no extradition treaty between Russia and the US and he frikin knows it! Furthermore, you clowns are gonna believe an ‘intelligence’ apparatus that lied about 911, WMD, Benghazi, Libya and Syria? I’m no fan of Trump because they’re all puppets in the theater of the absurd, but you dipshits can’t even get that part right!
    Sad what American media has become, and I will make it one of my life goals to make sure the public know that your platform is the same as every other communist rag out there. Your name should be the Denver Post independent. You really are that bad.

  7. Excellent commentary, as always, Mike. Even Fox News is having a major bout of indigestion over Trump’s unprecedented grovelling before Putin.

    And congratulations! It appears you may have managed to get one Russian Troll to (Joe Sef Stalin?) to crawl out from under his rock to spew poorly translated debunked GOP talking points! 1:59AM MST is 10:59AM Moscow time, so he was probably just getting warmed up.

  8. ” P.S.: Please, if you’re so concerned about the Ukraine, feel free to volunteer for their armed forces and/or send them your money. ”

    Capitalist Roader = Communist appeaser. You and bone spurs need to grow a pair.

  9. Elections have consequences

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    “(Mr. Trump) won’t be president. He was sliding in the polls before the video, and the video now means that he has no way to climb back. Which independent voter, which suburban woman, which Main Street Republican on the fence is going to vote for Trump now?” – Mike Littwin

    Magical thinking: The belief that one’s own thoughts, wishes, or desires can influence the external world. It is common in very young children. – Radiotherapy

    President Trump 306 Electoral votes
    Hillary Clinton 232

    #droptheMike

    }{

    CapitalistRoader and Joe Sef,

    Enjoyed both of your comments and hope you’ll continue to contribute.

    Don’t be put off by the negative comments aimed at you. Most (not all, but most) of those who agree with Mr. Littwin would rather attack those who disagree with Mr. Littwin than defend his views. It’s so much easier that way!

    The comment section of Mr. Littwin’s column is, for the most part, an echo chamber and the diversity those who agree with Mr. Littwin claim to embrace does not apply to diverse political views. They want a one-sided discussion. It’s so much easier that way!

    Ironically, this rigidity of thought does not apply to Mr. Littwin who on occasion has divorced himself from liberal orthodoxy. For example, when many hyperventilating left-leaning pundits are using the T-word and one atypical commenter said—-and I’m not making this up—-President Trump will literally face the gallows by Thanksgiving, Mr. Littwin says, “I don’t expect much to happen.”

    I agree with Mr. Littwin.

    Two years from now this incident will be buried next to Hamilton Electors, impeachment and using the popular vote to elect the president. RIP.

    November 08, 2016
    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner
    Flags of Valor
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation

  10. @ Jana: “Putin kills people. Putin is evil. Donald J Trump is very stupid if he believes otherwise.”

    Jana, you know who else was evil? Stalin. In fact, Stalin killed probably 59.995 million more people than Putin. Yet FDR had a self-described “warm relationship” with Stalin. You know who else killed people? Khrushchev. Yet he and JFK had a hotline and talked frequently. There’s a saying that I’m pretty sure the master negotiator President Trump takes to heart: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

    @Yaroff Grebdeh: “I’llbe happy to crowd fund your ticket to Russia.”

    Why, Yaroff, I thought all you left-wingers were moving to Canada if Trump got elected. Are you still here? Why?

    @Jim: “Capitalist Roader = Communist appeaser. You and bone spurs need to grow a pair.”

    Newflash! The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is no more, replaced by the Russian Federation. It’s no longer communist but instead an authoritarian constitutional republic. If you think it’s still communist then you and Mike need to get together and start your very own chapter of the New John Birch Society. Otherwise, go back to watching the old Cold War-era Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons to keep yourself entertained.

  11. Don Lopez

    Why Mr Lopez. You have a fellow Trumpling to join you on this one sided discussion board. Aren’t you fortunate to have buddies amidst all of these negative comments aimed at you from others who disagree with you. Absolutely criminal isn’t it. There aught to be a law.

    Maybe you could launch a drive to amend the Bill of Rights restricting free speech in your favor. Just think Mr Lopez. The Hamilton Electors resurrected. Are you awake yet?

    Not that you are an echo chamber by any means Mr Lopez. Your comments are more along the lines of reverberating noises always predictable with a touch of pompousness. It’s the Trump affect and his talent to attract flies.

    Good luck with that “magical thinking”. I think you’re on to something. Trumps kids maybe?

    Best to you and Roaderrooter.

  12. Ryecatcher,

    “Good luck with that “magical thinking”. I think you’re on to something. Trumps kids maybe?”

    What does that mean?

  13. From Jim’s Super Special Snowflake dictionary:

    troll (trōl)
    1. Someone with whom I don’t agree but with but who presents arguments that are beyond my intellectual capability to respond, so I just throw in things I read on HuffPo/DailyKos to hide that fact.

  14. @ Dan Lopez: “Don’t be put off by the negative comments aimed at you.”

    Never. This ain’t my first rodeo, and I find it very entertaining that the shell shocked US (and UK) Left have for decades fed off of Sen. Joe McCarthy but today can’t remember why they vilified him. Meantime, the Left has become 10 million McCarthys, each far more loathsome.

  15. RoaderRooter Man

    Joe McCarthy? You haven’t figured that out by now. Ten million McCarthy’s? As a righty addicted to wing nut snake oil currently that of the presidential traitor, you certainly have gall. if not then a retractable brain stem. But then your a capitalist and by inference a great patriot, right Spanky?

  16. Don Lopez

    Say Mr Lopez. What’s with the junior pseudonyms? When are you going to come clean and tell us who you are. Certainly you have to be emboldened by the new friends you have posting their one sided discussion for your mutual enjoyment and emotional support.

    Have you hear the latest? The sad sack Trump now says he believes our intelligence is right about Russia. Can you imagine Don?

    You know what I think Don? I think Vlad has president Bum by the gonads. The Bum looks tired and a bit haggard lately wouldn’t you say. He looks like the far a$$ worn out old slob he is taking statins and God knows what else for his sagging a$$.

    What ever happened to Ronny Jackson the song and dance doc who said Trump was in fantastically beautiful health. Trump likes his yes men right Don?

    I’m taking bets on the next round of indictments that you take “very seriously”. The names of the Americans involved will probably disrupt your circuits. Be prepared Don. It’s OK to call you Don isn’t it? A man of your stature is a man of your stature not particularly bright and definitely full of himself.

    Have a nice day Don.

  17. Ryecatcher,

    I don’t mind if you call me by my first name but only if you tell me your name (first and last).

    Seems only fair.

    In the meantime

    “Good luck with that “magical thinking”. I think you’re on to something. Trumps kids maybe?”

    What does that mean?

    And what is a “junior pseudonym”?

    “A man of your stature is a man of your stature is a man of your stature not particularly bright and definitely full of himself.”

    Are you back to name calling?

  18. Capitalist Roader, Donny is the epitome of snowflake. Couldn’t put his big boy pants on and stand up to Vlad. Cheers !

  19. Mr. Littwin,

    I’m flattered that you would mention me in one of your comments but to mention me in a comment you posted at almost 10 PM is beyond flattering. Add to that the fact that you admit to actually reading my comments is, well, jaw-dropping. Thank you so much. It’s something I’ll tell my grandkids about.

    I remember all those years you use to reference George Will but only when he agreed with you. It’s as if he served to validate your point of view. Why didn’t you reference his article this time?

    But you and I agree that we don’t expect much to happen and we don’t often agree on anything. We should be celebrating.

    I continue to admire George Will’s integrity. He refuses to kowtow to any political dogma. He never ducks hard questions. The kind of questions that many pundits simply ignore? You know the type.

    So how was President Trump—-a man George Will called “America’s child president” and a man you called “a demagogue, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a bigot, a sexist, an authoritarian, a boor, a crypto-fascist and the least-prepared person ever to be nominated by a major party.”—- able to defeat Hillary Clinton, a seasoned political veteran who was not only a US senator but Secretary of State?

  20. Don the 2016 presidential election was over 600 days ago. I guess that was the high point since the actually being president thing has been a disaster. Oh, and almost forgot, there was NO COLLUSION ! Keep polishing that turd buddy.

  21. Jim,

    Mr, Littwin lives, breathes and eats politics and yet has shown no curiosity about how Hillary Clinton lost to a man he characterized as “a demagogue, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a bigot, a sexist, an authoritarian, a boor, a crypto-fascist and the least-prepared person ever to be nominated by a major party.”

    Maybe you know.

  22. Jim,

    I want to make sure I’m understanding you correctly: You’re suggesting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will determine Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election because of Russian interference.

    Wow!

    Not even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) believes that. Here’s what Senator Schumer said about Mrs. Clinton’s loss, “When you lose to somebody who has 40% popularity, you don’t blame other things — Comey, Russia — you blame yourself,”

    But it would explain Mr. Littwin’s reluctance to address Mrs. Clinton’s loss. He’s waiting for Mr. Mueller to determine it was the Russians who caused her loss. That way he won’t have to explain why she lost to President Trump who he characterized as, “a demagogue, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a bigot, a sexist, an authoritarian, a boor, a crypto-fascist and the least-prepared person ever to be nominated by a major party.”

  23. Don, there can actually be more than one factor that affects an outcome. Think ! I know you can do it !

  24. Jim,

    I agree with you 100% that there can be more than one factor that affects the outcome of an election but there are those who believe—-and I’m not making this up—-the only reason (repeat: the only reason) Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election was Russian interference.

    They refuse to accept that Hillary Clinton simply lost to a superior candidate.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.