Donald Trump

Against the hysteria

Featured image Michael Anton puts the “treason” hysteria occasioned by President Trump’s Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin in a larger context (in a Wall Street Journal column also posted here on Outline). Going over ground we have trod many times, Anton writes: [D]oesn’t he have good reason to be cautious about the intelligence community? There’s plenty of evidence of illicit American interference in the 2016 election, all of it to defeat »

What Putin Was Up To (2)

Featured image One sentence of Paul’s post from this morning stands out for further reflection: “an experienced intelligence hand articulated it to me: If we know the Russians hacked the Democrats, it’s probably because the Russians want us to know.” This would not be the first time that a seeming anomaly ought to stop us in our tracks, but unfortunately most of the media and analysts have a child’s grasp of the »

Trump . . . What?

Featured image Let’s see if I have this straight: Trump is now retracting his previous retraction of the first retraction about how he flubbed the use of the double-negative about Russian election meddling. Got that? At least that’s what I take from this Washington Examiner story just out: President Trump was “very strong” with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the prospect of future Kremlin-linked interference in U.S. elections, he stated in a »

Trump’s inadequate “clarification”

Featured image Yesterday, President Trump claimed that when he said “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia” that interfered in the 2016 election, he meant to say “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.” I can imagine Trump meaning to say either thing. “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia” is consistent with the pro-Trump talking point that Russia had no reason to »

Putin on the Fritz

Featured image Okay, so now we have Trump’s word for it that he got tripped up by an insufficient grasp of the use of double-negatives, but at least he didn’t say, “I did not have inappropriate syntax with that man, Mr. Putin.” It also puts me in the frame of mind of an old story I think attributed to the largely forgotten philosopher Morris Cohen, who in a lecture one day remarked »

Loony Dems want Trump’s Russia interpreter to testify

Featured image Two Democratic members of Congress, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Joe Kennedy, are demanding that President Trump’s interpreter testify before Congress about what Trump said to Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Helsinki. Shaheen tweeted: I’m calling for a hearing with the U.S. interpreter who was present during President Trump’s meeting with Putin to uncover what they discussed privately. This interpreter can help determine what @POTUS shared/promised Putin on our »

On further review

Featured image After consulting the transcript of his comments at the Helsinki press conference with Vladimir Putin yesterday, President Trump has reformulated or clarified what he meant to say. In a meeting with Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee at the White House today, according to the statement quoted by the Washington Post and the statement quoted slightly differently by CBS News, President Trump said: “Let me be totally »

Why did Trump do it?

Featured image Why did Trump refuse to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election? Byron York takes up this question. He concludes: Trump’s problem is that he has always refused, or been unable, to separate the two. One is about national security and international relations, while the other is about Donald Trump. The president clearly believes if he gives an inch on the what-Russia-did part — if he concedes that Russia »

Are you sure Frank done it this way?

Featured image First Vladimir Putin and then President Trump gave statements following their meeting in Helsinki yesterday. I have posted the video below (about 47 minutes); the White House has posted a transcript of the entire event. Angelo Codevilla makes a contrarian case for Trump’s performance in a column for American Greatness, but I thought it was a low point in the Trump presidency. In the questions and answers, President Trump name-checked »

Trump plays the useful idiot in Helsinki

Featured image I agree with Steve’s characterization of President Trump’s performance in Helsinki as “extraordinarily dismal.” “Disgusting” might be an even better description. The performance was disgusting in at least two ways. First, Trump blamed the poor state of U.S. relations on the U.S. He tweeted: Our relationship with Russia has NEVER been worse thanks to many years of U.S. foolishness and stupidity and now, the Rigged Witch Hunt! Trump is right »

Trump in Helsinki

Featured image I have been wanting for at least a couple of months to start a thread/series involving the whole Power Line team on “Ten [or 15, or 20] Ways to Think About Trump,” as this maddening, erratic, seemingly undisciplined, cantankerous, disruptive, sometimes brilliant, often embarrassing, and always unpredictable man rampages on the world stage, much of the time to good effect—at least so far. Too soon to tell, for example, whether »

The NY Times on Trump: That Was Then . . .

Featured image I recall seeing Larry Kudlow, whom I know a bit, on the Sunday morning network news shows a few weeks back and thinking that he looked terrible, like he’d aged 10 years in just the month he’d been working for Trump. A few hours later he was hospitalized for a heart attack. It was a minor heart attack (if there is such a thing), and he was out of the »

George Will’s misguided case for voting against the GOP this year

Featured image What is American conservatism? Is it an attitude, an aesthetic and/or sensibility, an approach to living? Or is it a set of policy preferences — limited government interference in our lives, lower taxes, judges who don’t invent rights, a strong military, etc.? For me it is both. But one’s opinion as to which of these strands predominates will likely determine one’s view of President Trump. Conservatives who view conservatism as »

Trump’s good advice to GOP: Don’t waste time on immigration reform

Featured image Yesterday, President Trump advised House Republicans to “stop wasting their time” on immigration bills that can’t pass due to Democratic opposition. It’s sound advice, though late in coming. As we have reported, the House has tied itself up working on two pieces of amnesty legislation — a sensible bill proposed by Rep. Goodlatte (limited amnesty in exchange for improved enforcement and the slashing of chain migration) and a so-called compromise »

Howard Root: Live from Duluth

Featured image Our friend Howard Root attended the Trump rally in Duluth last night. This is his (fantastic) report along with photos he took at the event (at the top and bottom below): When I arrived at 4:00 p.m., the line for admission was at least a half mile long. People had been lining up since before 10:00 a.m., with the line snaking through a glass skyway where the afternoon sun had »

Trump comes to Duluth

Featured image President Trump appeared in Duluth to speak before a raucous campaign type rally yesterday evening (video below). The event was moved from its original location to an arena (the Amsoil Arena) with a larger capacity (more than 8,000), and was still unable to accommodate all those who sought to attend. The Star Tribune report on the event quotes Gary Nystrom of Staples, Minnesota. He told the Star Tribune that “he »

Five Ways to Look at the IG Report

Featured image Concerning the Inspector General’s report about the FBI’s conduct of the Hillary email investigation, let’s take a step back from the details and offer a few observations on the wider scene. 1. We may have abolished monarchy in America way back in 1776, but it seems we haven’t quite rid ourselves of royal prerogative. Then-FBI director James Comey took it upon himself to decide not to apply consistent procedure in conducting »