Analysis: The Russian bounty story crystallizes questions about Trump’s presidency
Was Trump's apparent lack of pushback on Russia actually due to uncertainty about the intelligence? Or is that just a convenient cover placed onto an issue complicated in numerous ways by Trump's approach to the presidency?
that the day after Trump’s daily intelligence briefing reportedly included an update on the Russia allegations, he announced a tentative peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Russia’s activity didn’t exist in a vacuum absent other considerations in the region, of course, and the American effort to end the conflict in Afghanistan might have moderated a potential response from the White House.
This effort was long-standing. In September, Trump had planned to welcome Taliban leaders to Camp David to hammer out an agreement — a plan that was scrapped after an attack that killed an American soldier.According to the Daily Beast report, the Afghanistan conflict itself was the thrust of Trump’s response to the Times report about the bounties, as well. “Why are we still there?” he reportedly asked advisers after the Times reintroduced the complex topic.
Was it a function of Trump’s approach to Russia?If Bolton indeed briefed Trump on the subject in March 2019, consider the broader context of the moment: That same month, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was handing over the results of his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential overlap with Trump’s campaign. (The investigation found that the Trump campaign welcomed Russia’s efforts, but it didn’t find enough evidence to bring criminal charges centered on a conspiracy between the two groups.)
ADADTrump’s relationship with Russia has been a source of political tension since before he took office. That interference effort, reported during the transition in 2016 and 2017, became an obsession for Trump, coloring his views of the intelligence community (which first uncovered it) and how he looked at nearly every other facet of his new job.
Of course, the reports about Russia’s attempts to aid his election were also informed by Trump’s unusual embrace of Russia and Putin. During the campaign, he repeatedly implied that he had a personal relationship with the autocrat, backing away from the claim only after it became politically problematic. His personal attorney was working on a potential real estate deal in Moscow early in 2016, and Trump publicly exhorted Russia to uncover emails deleted by his opponent in the election, Hillary Clinton, that July.
Since taking office, Trump's solicitousness toward Putin and Russia has consistently been a source of bemusement for observers.ADAD“In numerous calls with Putin that were described to CNN,” Bernstein writes of this relationship, “Trump left top national security aides and his chiefs of staff flabbergasted, less because of specific concessions he made than because of his manner — inordinately solicitous of Putin’s admiration and seemingly seeking his approval — while usually ignoring substantive policy expertise and important matters on the standing bilateral agenda, including human rights; and an arms control agreement, which never got dealt with in a way that advanced shared Russian and American goals that both Putin and Trump professed to favor.”
Trump's formal position has long been that he seeks to build a stronger relationship with Russia, often again conflating his own interests with those of the nation. At a news conference before his summit with Putin in Helsinki two years ago, heexplicitly referred
to his relationship with Putin as a proxy for the country's.“He’s a competitor. He’s been very nice to me the times I’ve met him. I’ve been nice to him. He’s a competitor,” Trump said of Putin. “Somebody was saying, is he an enemy? He’s not my enemy. Is he a friend? No, I don’t know him well enough. But the couple of times I’ve gotten to meet him, we get along very well.”
Bernstein's reporting suggests that Putin is very aware of how Trump puts more significance on his personal interactions with the leader than on the geopolitical relationship of the leaders' two countries.Given that, the bounty story gets a new bit of color. A president interested in building a personal relationship with Putin might be inclined to let something such as the targeting of American troops slide, just as Trump let Saudi Arabia’s crown prince slide following the murder of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of top allies of the prince. Again, Trump’s demonstrated history makes it hard to give him the benefit of the doubt on these complicated questions.
And that, in a nutshell, is the frustration with Trump’s presidency. It’s hard to take assertions from him or his staff at face value and impossible to accept their collective denials of reports about his activities. His sharply unusual approach to America’s historical enemies and to his role contributes intentionally and unintentionally to this broader befuddlement. Trump then leverages this uncertainty both to present as innocuous a face as possible to his supporters and to portray the media as overreaching.
WaPo is best used for lining the bottom of bird cages The intell community already debunked this baseless attack against the president. WP is a propaganda arm of the left! Other peoples actions (if it is even true) are not Trumps fault. As an ex front line soldier it is an occupational hazard, had i died in action i would have died doing a job i loved and i did it for the patriots among us and those that shed blood before for a nation its culture.
It really does seem like realDonaldTrump is beholden to Putin -- or is it just my imagination? VoteBlue TrumpRussiaBounty TrumpKnewAndDidNothing Actually, it crystallizes questions on journalistic ethics and the industries relation to certain intelligence officials. You could care less about Russia OR our troops.
More Russian lies from the Amazon Post. Crystallizes irresponsible leaks to hurt Trump and collaterally our Country. Bad people doing this must be Prosecuted Heavily. DNI Ratcliff announces that the President and VP were never briefed on it. You mean questions like ' Isn't it pathetic that golden shower boy and his GOP drones spend more energy courting and sucking russian dick than 30 bottle a day crackheads used to pursuing the pipe?' Oh sorry, rhetorical question.
'As bad as it gets': Pelosi, Democrats take aim at Trump over Russian bounty intelligence'And yet the president will not confront the Russians on this score, denies being briefed,' Pelosi told ABC's 'This Week.' TRUMP ALWAYS LIES Trump can never be trusted. He is a traitor TRUMP ALWAYS LIES TraitorTrump TrumpTreason lies realDonaldTrump VP GOP senatemajldr She is so vile and opportunistic- she just pounces on anything concerning him!!
Lawmakers From Both Parties Demand Answers From Trump On Russian BountiesThe White House denies Trump was briefed on the subject, but that excuse has satisfied neither opponents nor allies in Congress. A welcome development 👌 Sure... BS, republicans only feign outrage.
Russian Bounty Report Seems Like the Kind of Thing Trump Should’ve Known, GOP SaysRepublicans are outraged over reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for attacks on U.S. troops, intelligence findings that Trump claims he was never briefed on. Trump... Americans have been asking what the president knew, and when he knew it, since this came out. About time Republicans pretended they give a damn. cuzkristoff If only Republicans could have stopped him earlier....
Trump: US intel did not find Russian bounty report 'credible' - Business InsiderBusiness Insider is a fast-growing business site with deep financial, media, tech, and other industry verticals. Launched in 2007, the site is now the largest business news site on the web. That's not what US intelligence said. Hm. Trust people working for the country... or Trump, a pathological liar. Hmmmmmm... guys... this is a toughy. Really bored with Fake news from media.
Trump denies being told about Russian bounties to kill U.S. troops in AfghanistanPresident Donald Trump said on Sunday he was never briefed about the reported Russian efforts to pay bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan, blasting a New York Times report on the bounties. He denies everything, except wanting to sleep with his own daughter. 🤡🤡 The bigger question now is, “Donald Trump has known since Friday. What action has/is ne going to take in response to this?” That is other than asking for puppet master Putinis input and then doing nothing when Vladimir Putin says that our intelligence community is lying.
Veterans Group Rips ‘Traitor’ Trump Over Russian Bounties To Kill U.S. SoldiersAn explosive report claims Trump knew a Russian military unit was paying Afghan militants a bounty to kill U.S. soldiers. FakeNews . TRE45SON TRE45SON TRE45SON