Russia

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 »

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 »

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 »

Spymaster

Featured image You may be familiar with Brad Thor, the thriller writer. He is good, and extremely popular. Like all authors of thriller series, you can begin with the fact that it ain’t Shakespeare. But Thor is one of the masters of the craft. Thor’s latest book, out last week, is Spymaster, the 18th in Thor’s Scot Harvath series. Harvath is a counterterrorist operative and pretty much a superhero. Most books in »

Donald Trump and Theresa May Meet the Press

Featured image Earlier today, President Trump and Prime Minister May held a joint press conference at Chequers. This transcript comes from the British Embassy, and appears to be sanitized in that it doesn’t include Trump’s exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta: After criticizing CNN, Pres. Trump declines to take a question from a CNN reporter at joint presser with Theresa May. "CNN is fake news. I don't take questions from CNN." Pres. Trump »

The left’s incoherence on Trump-Putin exposed

Featured image I agree with John’s analysis of the approach President Trump is taking at the NATO summit. In this post, I want to highlight the inconsistency, noted by John, between the left’s criticism of Trump’s approach and its claim that he is soft on, and maybe an instrument of, Putin. Trump has made two main points in Europe. First, key NATO members aren’t doing enough in the area of defense. Second, »

Humor, liberal style

Featured image Russia went out of the World Cup today, losing in the quarterfinals to Croatia on penalty kicks after two hours of open play couldn’t separate the teams. I rooted for Croatia, just as I rooted for Spain, the team Russia upset on penalty kicks in the round of 16. Just as I would root for almost any opponent of Russia. I’m anti-Putin. That’s why I haven’t been reporting on the »

A Trump-Putin deal on Syria?

Featured image According to David Ignatius of the Washington Post: “The catastrophic war in Syria is nearing what could be a diplomatic endgame, as the United States, Russia and Israel shape a deal that would preserve power for Syrian President Bashar al -Assad in exchange for Russian pledges to restrain Iranian influence.” Is this true? The words “is” and “could be” leave me unclear whether Ignatius is speculating or reporting what he »

At last, evidence of collusion

Featured image From all that has been reported, Robert Mueller hasn’t found evidence of Russian collusion. However, I have. Not with Donald Trump but with FIFA, the hyper-corrupt body that runs world soccer. In the preliminary stage of the World Cup, host-nation Russia is grouped with Uruguay, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. Following round-robin play, the top two teams in this group will advance to the Round of 16. FiveThirtyEight calls Russia’s group »

Rapprochement with Russia?

Featured image Amir Taheri suggests that Vladimir Putin wants to reach out to the United States to reduce tension and consolidate his gains. Taheri says this desire is based on Andrei Gromyko’s “duopoly” theory — the idea that only the USSR and the United States counted as powers that could truly affect things. The relevance of duopoly theory to today’s world, in which China is more important than Russia, seems dubious. Moreover, »

“Something happened a while ago”

Featured image President Trump has urged that Russia be readmitted to what is now the G-7. He stated: Something happened a while ago where Russia is no longer in. I think it would be good to have Russia back in. Whatever was it that happened “a while ago” that caused Russia to be kicked out of the G-7? I remember. Russia annexed Crimea. How long a while ago did Russia do that? »

Hillary’s whiny Yale commencement speech

Featured image I’ve heard my share of commencement speeches both live and via C-SPAN. Typically, speakers offer words of encouragement and advice to graduates. Rags to riches stories aren’t commonly told these days, but commencement speakers often recount tales of achievement against the odds, sometimes by the speaker, sometimes not. I once heard a commencement speech devoted to heaping praise on the college president (Jim Kim of Dartmouth). That was an outlier, »