Monday’s historic meeting between two bosom buds, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, was somehow weirder and worse than anticipated. Remarkable how that still happens.
In a post-meeting press conference, the president of the United States repeatedly threw his own intelligence agencies under the bus, actually calling the FBI’s probe into Russia’s influence on the 2016 election “a disaster for our country” that has “kept [the U.S. and Russia] apart.”
When asked by the Associated Press about Russian election interference and whether he believes Putin or U.S. intelligence—which has concluded that Russia most definitely, 100 percent, without a doubt, did interfere with the 2016 election—Trump chose to believe Putin. Putin “just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia],” Trump said, before pivoting to....wait for it...Hillary Clinton’s emails: “but I really do want to see the server,” he continued.
“Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they? What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails? 33,000 emails gone, just gone,” he said.
Then, at some point, Putin handed Trump a soccer ball and said the following words: “Mr. President, I give this ball to you, and now the ball is in your court,” he said. Someone planned this because they thought it would be a powerful visual or something?
Trump took the ball, examined it, and gave it a few tentative pats, as though he were examining it for lice. “That will go to my son Barron, we have no question,” he said, before throwing it off-stage at his distant wife, Melania. “In fact, Melania, here you go.”
The conference closed out with, you guessed it, the pee tape and Russian kompromat! When asked if he had any “compromising material” on Trump, Putin brushed it aside. “Yeah, I did hear these rumors that this allegedly collected compromising material on Mr. Trump when he was visiting Moscow,” he said. “Distinguished colleague, let me tell you this, when President Trump was in Moscow back then, I didn’t even know that he was in Moscow. I treat President Trump with utmost respect, but back then when he was a private individual, a businessman, nobody informed me that he was in Moscow,” he added.
Not an outright denial!