I am glad I get the chance to blog on this site, so you can I can continue the conversation about the day's events. While I was doing the radio show today, President Trump was holding a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, after the two met for almost two hours behind closed doors. The conference wrapped up just as I was finishing the show - so I could then go back to review the content of the conference.
And my conclusion is this: it was the worst day of the Trump Presidency.
We know that the Russians meddled in our last election. We know that they meddle repeatedly in elections. But when President Trump had the chance to call Putin on it - he hedged.
Specifically, he was asked about Putin's denial of meddling in light of intelligence reports that Russia did. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people,” Trump responded. “But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.”
“I hold both countries responsible,” Trump said during a news conference Monday when asked whether he held Russia accountable for anything in particular in regard to poor relations between the countries.“I think the United States has been foolish,” he said following a bilateral summit between the two leaders in Helsinki, Finland. “I think we’ve all been foolish. I think we’re all to blame.”
I say "even worse," because Trump is the "America First" President - and that means his voters don't want the type of rhetoric that President Obama often utilized with confronted with the "bad behavior" of our enemies - that, somehow, we shared blame or should get busy improving ourselves.
I think the President stumbled badly today because of two reasons:
1) He is so incensed by the "collusion" investigation that he can't bring himself to condemn Russian meddling - because he is worried that just feeds the collusion narrative.
2) He seems to constantly want to agree with the people with whom he shares the room - remember the televised meetings he had on immigration in which he seemed to be agreeing with the Democrats?
I predict some strong "clarifying" on behalf of the White House media machine over the next few days - including President Trump stating that while Putin was "powerful" in his denial, he doesn't believe him. Because even the President's most ardent allies must convince him that his statements today were mistakes.