Vladimir Putin

What Putin was up to

Featured image In this Wall Street Journal op-ed, Michael Mukasey questioned the timing of Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russians on the eve of the Helsinki summit. I discussed the matter here. In the same op-ed, Mukasey made another important point, one that has influenced my thinking on Russian interference since January 2017, when an experienced intelligence hand articulated it to me: If we know the Russians hacked the Democrats, it’s probably »

Putin does Fox News

Featured image Vladimir Putin sat down for a 30-minute interview with Chris Wallace for broadcast on FOX News yesterday. Putin is of course an extraordinarily cold-blooded liar and murderer. See, for example, David Satter’s The Less You Know, the Better You Sleep. I thought that Putin’s qualities of character emerged with some clarity in the course of the interview. Putin’s treatment of responsibility for Russian interference in the 2016 election is of »

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 »

For Trump, the Political Is Personal

Featured image As so often happens, President Trump’s critics are so crazy that one feels compelled to take his side. Thus, former Communist and CIA Director John Brennan tweeted earlier today: This is simply insane. Other Democrats, not going as far as Brennan, say that Trump “gave away the store,” or made inappropriate concessions to President Putin. But there is no evidence that Trump gave anything away in his meeting with Putin, »

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 »

Trump previews Syrian strike

Featured image In his his fourth tweet this morning President Trump provides a striking (no pun intended) preview of coming attractions in Syria. The theme of “collusion” grows more absurd every day. Trump advises his supposed buddy Putin: “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” Speaking of the Putin-Assad partnership, this brings us to the first of “Five catastrophic decisions” logged by Victor »

On Putin’s case

Featured image In its September 2009 number GQ carried an interesting article by Scott Anderson on the September 1999 apartment bombings in Russia that left hundreds dead and led to Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. The piece profiled former Russian FSB officer Mikhail Trepashkin and collected evidence suggesting that the bombings were perpetrated by the FSB rather than by Chechen terrorists. It was the kind of intriguing investigative piece that most publications »

Are you sure Alger done it this way?

Featured image The Mueller project continues on its inevitable path, yet every day the synthetic Trump-Russia collusion scandal appears more absurd. It appears more absurd every day not only because of the absence of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, but also because of the actions undertaken by the administration adverse to Russian national interests. The Frankenstein monster nevertheless lumbers on. Yesterday the Trump administration designated five Russian entities and 19 Russian individuals under »

What is to be done?

Featured image Russia’s attempted murder of former Russian spy Serge Skripal and his daughter Yulia on British soil is an act of war, isn’t it? Austin Bay takes up the question here. I take it that if it’s not, it may be close enough for government work. Someone remind me. What did President Obama do about Iran’s attempted assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington, DC. Whatever it »

Trump’s 2013 letter to Putin

Featured image A front-page story in the Washington Post informs us that, in 2013, Donald Trump wrote a note to Vladimir Putin inviting him to attend the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. As the Post puts it, “Donald Trump was so eager to have Vladi­mir Putin attend the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow that he wrote a personal letter to the Russian president inviting him to the event, according to multiple »

Putin could not be reached for comment

Featured image Rep. Adam Schiff is a highly partisan proponent of the thesis that the Trump campaign colluded with Putin in the 2016 election. This week he made his incredibly thin case in this Wall Street Journal column (behind the Journal’s paywall). I infer from Schiff’s column that the collusion thesis is impervious to the failure of proof. “Complex global investigations take time,” he explained. Schiff went further on CNN. There he »

At the Washington Post, if it misleads, it leads

Featured image The lead headline on the Washington Post’s web page right now is: “Putin thanks Trump for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in Russia.” The story isn’t earth-shattering but has the virtue of enabling the Post to write a lead headline that includes “Putin” and “Trump.” Post reporter David Filipov characterizes Putin’s call as “unusual.” He says “countries share intelligence all the time, but presidents rarely publicly thank »

Trump vouches for sincerity of Putin’s “meddling” denial

Featured image President Trump returned today to the question of Russian meddling in 2016 president election. He stated that Vladimir Putin, in response to his questions about the matter, has repeatedly denied meddling. Trump added that he believes Putin’s denials are sincere. Trump didn’t say he believes Putin’s denial, only that the denial is sincere. It’s unlikely, however, that if Putin meddled, his denial is sincere. Putin almost surely has a firm »

How to think about Putin

Featured image Imprimis recently published a shortened version of Weekly Standard senior editor Christopher Caldwell’s lecture at Hillsdale College under the heading “How to think about Vladimir Putin.” Last week Hillsdale got around to posting the video of Caldwell’s lecture (below). I found both the condensed written version and full video of Caldwell’s lecture of interest. I thought some readers might as well. Caldwell says early on in his lecture: “[I]f we »

The Russians Are Coming!

Featured image I’m actually on a train today—yes, a train in California—and so I can’t watch either the intelligence committee hearings or the Gorsuch nomination hearings. But I see that Paul is on the case, so we’ve got it covered. I can’t think the left and the media (but I repeat. . .) are happy to have both of these hearings going on simultaneously, because they commit fratricide against their outrage efforts. »

The Case For Russian Hacking

Featured image I wrote here, here and here about the Obama administration’s two reports that purport to show that the DNC’s email system was penetrated by Russian intelligence. (For reasons about which we can only speculate, they don’t talk about the intrusion into the email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta.) I concluded that those reports completely failed to make the case that the Russians were behind the DNC hack. »