It is when the hornet’s nest gets beaten and knocked out of the tree that the hornets get really dangerous. It is when the fire ant hill gets stirred with a stick and dug up that the ground seethes with angry ants who are ready to bite anything to defend themselves. And so it is with the elements of the American Deep State, as their vaunted hopes of hanging Trump from the noose of RussiaGate got beaten to the ground and destroyed, not only by the president’s meeting with the Russian head of state, but also by the response from President Vladimir Putin himself after the summit.
The long-awaited (or long feared maybe) July 16th Helsinki Summit between President Donald Trump and President Vladimir Putin is now being entered into the annals of history. What history will say eventually about this remains to be seen, but the reaction of the mainstream press and some political officials really resembles the angry hornets more than anything.
Fox News gave a great summary of some of the comments, which are listed here as headlines, with each a story in itself:
And the UK Daily Mail gave some interesting details in one of their reports:
Russian President Vladimir Putin told a room full of U.S. and Russian reporters that he wanted Donald Trump to win the presidency in 2016 – and Trump said he believed Putin’s denials of interfering in 2016 – in just two of the many revelations in a joint press conference that only fueled the spectacle of the Russia story.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has revealed that he actually wanted Donald Trump to win the 2016 US presidential election. Russia, however, did not contribute to Trump’s win by any means, he insisted.
“Yes, I wanted him to win, because he talked about the need to normalize US-Russia ties,” Putin said, answering a direct question from a journalist during the joint press conference with Donald Trump following the Helsinki summit.
“Candidate Trump was talking about the need to re-establish relations with Russia. That led to an opinion among the Russian people that he was the preferable candidate. That’s natural,” Putin said.
The Russian president left the second part of the question unanswered, however, regarding whether he “instructed” his officials to help Trump, since he had discussed the allegations of meddling earlier during the press conference.
“Russia did not interfere and is not going to interfere into American domestic affairs,” Putin stated, adding that this point had been made repeatedly. Moscow was ready to participate in a joint investigation with the US of any such allegations, however, if any real evidence was presented, the Russian leader said. Such work could be conducted by a joint Russian-US cybersecurity group, the idea of which was floated by Putin during his last meeting with Trump in Hamburg.
The hornets were extremely angry:
Once again, @realDonaldTrump takes to the international stage to embarrass America, undermine our institutions, weaken our alliances, & embrace a dictator. Russia interfered in our elections & attacked our democracy. Putin must be held accountable – not rewarded. Disgraceful.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) July 16, 2018
President Trump just attacked our intelligence agencies and law enforcement for doing their jobs while standing next to a dictator who intervened in our election to help elect Trump.
Putin will take this as a green light to interfere in 2018, and it is. Cowardly and shameful.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 16, 2018
President Trump’s performance today was the most damaging and shameful surrender of American values and interests in modern history.
I say again to my Republican colleagues: Wake up.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) July 16, 2018
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
Not all of the hornets were Democrats. Some notable Republicans got into the fray as well.
I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful.
— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) July 16, 2018
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has been out of Washington for months battling brain cancer, issued a blistering statement calling the performance “disgraceful.”
“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world,” McCain said, calling the president’s comments at the press conference “a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency.”
Even the House Speaker, Representative Paul Ryan, said, “There is no question that Russia interfered in our election and continues attempts to undermine democracy here and around the world.”
And Fox went on:
Other Republicans, while not as fierce as McCain, also criticized Trump, reminding him that Russia is not considered a “friend” of the U.S.
“Russia is not our friend. Russia attempted to undermine the fundamentals of our democracy, impugn the reliability of the 2016 election, and sow the seeds of discord among Americans. Our intelligence community, including the current one, concluded this, as did the Majority House Intelligence Committee report, as did our fellow Americans who served on grand juries which returned true bills on two separate occasions,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said in a statement, urging administration officials to “communicate to the President it is possible to conclude Russia interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimizing his electoral success.”
Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., also stressed that Putin “is not our friend and never has been.”
And one more of these reactive folks is none other than William Browder, the Hillary donor who is accused of stealing some $238 million from Russia through tax fraud. When President Putin addressed the issue of William Browder to President Trump, this probably got Mr. Browder a bit alarmed. However, he has a lot of accolades in the US presently as a “expert” on Putin, really one who helps fuel the “Putin is a monster, choose your flavor” narrative, and he took to Fox News to fire back at President Putin:
Putin’s plan, which Trump called an “incredible offer,” was to question the 12 Russians indicted for allegedly meddling in the election, allowing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to be present — if U.S. officials “reciprocate.” Putin suggested this would mean Russian agents could be present for questioning U.S. officers “of interest” to them.
“So we can bring up Mr. Browder,” Putin said during the joint press conference, accusing his associates of illicit activity in Russia.
“I’m not even an American citizen,” Browder told Fox News. “I’m a British citizen and have lived here for 29 years.”
There was enough light simply blasted into the formerly murky intrigue of the US – Russia relationship to get a whole lot of people’s attention. They are not happy about it, and the fallout from this will likely continue for days and weeks to come.
President Trump was wry about this, as he knows he will never win with the mainstream press, especially about Russia, as noted in the Daily Mail:
Trump landed in Helsinki for his high-stakes summit with Putin on Sunday after ranting that no set of concessions – no matter how large the consequences – would be good enough for media critics he branded the ‘enemy of the people.’
‘Unfortunately, no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia,’ he said, ‘over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough – that I should have gotten Saint Petersburg in addition!’
Trump sent out the missive focusing about how his actions would be perceived in the press after indicating in an interview that he had low expectations for the summit and failing to articulate what goals he had in mind for the face-to-face.