Author Topic: Trump Putin Summit  (Read 9148 times)

velcro

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Trump Putin Summit
« on: July 16, 2018, 10:47:03 PM »
Today the President of the United States:

-said he believes the leader of Russia over his own intelligence agencies.
-blamed the bad relationship between Russia and the US on the US, ignoring the fact that Russia meddled in our elections, stole Ukraine, assassinated British citizens on British soil, supports Assad, meddled in Brexit, and has a horrible human rights record.

Not major, but hinting at the tone:
The Russian Foreign Minister described the outcome as "better than super"
Putin was an hour late and made Trump wait.
When Putin finished his prepared remarks, Trump went over, shook his hand, and whispered, "Thank you, thank you very much"
It's not clear, but it looks a lot like Trump winked at Putin.
Nobody's tougher on Russia than Trump, right?

Nothing substantive was agreed to on any issue during this summit, as far as I know.
Nobody was allowed to hear what was discussed, not even advisers, as far as I know.

This is after insulting our allies and starting a trade war.

Russia's goals are:
-break up Western alliances
-make Western democracies look ineffective and corrupt, so Russia does not look like a bad alternative

I am not claiming that Trump works for Russia.  I am saying that if he were working for Russia, he would be doing exactly what he is doing now.

Is it time for impeachment yet?

D.W.

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2018, 09:03:54 AM »
The thing a lot of Trump supporters miss, is that we are paying the man a compliment by suggesting he is being leveraged with blackmail or he colluded with the Russians and got something in return.

Suggesting there IS no collusion, and they DON'T have anything on Trump... is far less flattering.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2018, 10:29:51 AM »
When foreign military personnel have committed an attack on the United States, how much do you have to lie on their behalf before that is considered giving them "aid and comfort"?

rightleft22

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2018, 11:36:21 AM »
Trump is being consistent.  Trump equates America’s well being with his own well being, like a King. Trump ego cannot accept any qualifications to his electoral win. If the Russians interfered with or without collusion it puts a * by his win. He can’t have that so Instead of defending the America he is defending himself... which is defending America… He did promise his followers that daddy knows best and that he is their voice.  “I am your voice” – vice I will be you voice. Not the same thing.

D.W.

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2018, 05:17:37 PM »
Well, it took awhile, but apparently one or more people finally go through to the man.  He's walking back some of what he said in the press conf. with Putin.  Enough to appease the Crunches out there at least. 

They'll be fully back in his corner in 5, 4, 3, 2...

DonaldD

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2018, 06:29:01 PM »
OMG, he just can't help himself.
Quote
"I accept our intelligence community's conclusion that Russia's meddling in the 2016 election took place," Trump said. But diverting from his typewritten notes, the President added: "It could be other people also. A lot of people out there."
So, he tried to walk back by clarifying he meant "would" instead of "wouldn't", but then he immediately reiterated that he truly did mean that he didn't see why it might not be an entity other than Russia that was responsible (i.e., "wouldn't").

Pass the popcorn.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 06:33:52 PM »
His safe word is covfefe, which means whatever he wants it to mean at any given point of time. It's like an UNO wildcard, or using "smurf" as a verb. He should stick to that. I just hope he does misspeak himself during a crisis and say he wouldn't launch missiles but he really means would. And then he gets angry at the Joint Chiefs, who after all are part of the deep state establishment.



cherrypoptart

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2018, 09:08:58 PM »
Results matter. What were Obama's results? Ukraine lost Crimea. The Russians meddled in our elections and hacked the DNC servers. So we'll see what Trump's results are now. If European countries lose territory to a Russian invasion, that's a huge failure. If the Russians illegally meddle in our elections again, another failure. Time will tell. It bears repeating that Trump wasn't in charge of securing our elections in 2016. That would have been Presiden't Obama's job, and he insisted we were secure.

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2018, 11:53:34 PM »
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Results matter.

Lovely, cherry, so are you suggesting that the primary issue with someone like Benedict Arnold was that his side lost?  And treason does not matter?

Greg Davidson

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2018, 11:55:52 PM »
And with respect to safeguarding our elections, President Obama wanted to go forward with a bipartisan statement on Russian interference in our election. Mitch McConnell refused, and threatened to come out against any notification of the Russian efforts with claims that they were Democratic partisan falsehoods. Does that also count as providing aid and comfort to an attack on the United States by foreign military personnel?

velcro

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2018, 08:03:07 AM »
Results matter. What were Obama's results? Ukraine lost Crimea. The Russians meddled in our elections and hacked the DNC servers. So we'll see what Trump's results are now. If European countries lose territory to a Russian invasion, that's a huge failure. If the Russians illegally meddle in our elections again, another failure. Time will tell. It bears repeating that Trump wasn't in charge of securing our elections in 2016. That would have been Presiden't Obama's job, and he insisted we were secure.

Whataboutism.

Results from N. Korea summit:
Results from Russia summit:
Results from renegotiation of NAFTA:
Results from renegotiation of Iran agreement:
Results from the NATO summit: Allies agree to the spending increases on their own militaries (not NATO) they agreed to in 2006 an 2014. And we really pissed them all off.

From the man who makes the best deals ever.

Are you tired of winning yet?

So Obama insisted we were secure?  Was that before or after he asked Republicans to release information about how insecure we were, but they refused?

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It bears repeating that Trump wasn't in charge of securing our elections in 2016.

Why does that bear repeating?  Did anyone here claim otherwise?  Please specify.

D.W.

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2018, 09:48:04 AM »
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It bears repeating that Trump wasn't in charge of securing our elections in 2016.
Correct.  He's the result of it.

velcro

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2018, 01:25:39 PM »
Apparently Trump is considering making the former ambassador to Russia "available for questioning" by Russia.

He is a private citizen.  He committed no crime.

Any rational human being would require at most 30 seconds to think about it and say no.

Trump is thinking about it.

Also here is a snippet of the summit press conference:

Quote
Compare this transcript, of what actually happened, to the White House’s version. Here is the record of what took place, starting with the last part of Putin’s comments before Mason’s questions. Putin is describing his willingness to assist with Robert Mueller’s probe (bolding is mine):

Vladimir Putin: That could be a first step, and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Jeff Mason: President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

Putin: Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.

And here’s the key section from the White House transcript, which makes it seem as though Putin is still talking about the Mueller probe: 

PRESIDENT PUTIN: That could be a first step, and we can also extend it. Options abound, and they all can be found in an appropriate legal framework.

Q: And did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?

PRESIDENT PUTIN:  Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.–Russia relationship back to normal.

Another strange wrinkle comes from the Russian government’s English-language transcript of the press conference. In contrast to its footage of the press conference, which features what really happened, the transcript does not include any piece of that key exchange.

To be fair, the first part of the question was hard to hear.  But many outlets transcribed it accurately. Quite a coincidence that both the White House and Russia left out the part where Putin said he wanted Trump to win (and arguably admitted he directed officials to help him, but I think that is quite a stretch)


scifibum

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2018, 01:51:20 PM »
Other reporting indicates that Trump has had knowledge of Putin's personal involvement since before his inauguration. He was briefed on the intelligence.

If you wonder why John Brennan is apoplectic, it's because he knows that Trump knows, and yet has to watch things playing out like the rest of us.

Crunch

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2018, 01:44:30 PM »

If you wonder why John Brennan is apoplectic, it's because he knows that Trump knows, and yet has to watch things playing out like the rest of us.

 ::)

velcro

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2018, 05:16:40 PM »
So there were "verbal agreements" between Trump and Putin.  But critical people in the Trump administration and Congress have not been informed.

Quote
Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, expressed hope Thursday that "the verbal agreements between Putin and Trump will be fulfilled" — though the substance of any such understandings remain murky, not least because the main business was conducted in the two hours of discussions between the two leaders with only translators joining them.

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) says he has “no idea” what Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov meant when he said Wednesday that Trump and Putin had entered into “important verbal agreements.”
Link

Dan Coats, Trump's Director of National Intelligence said "I don't know what happened in that meeting."

This is detrimental to the security of our country.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2018, 07:35:25 AM »
This is detrimental to the security of our country.

In what way is this detrimental to our national security?  Please be specific.

velcro

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2018, 09:04:09 AM »
If I may, I will expand the danger to include the fact that nobody else was present, for all intents and purposes.

Donald Trump may have committed our country to something that we know nothing about.  That commitment may not have any legal power, but it may.

Russia may claim that Trump promised many things, but we have no way to disprove it, since there were no witnesses or written recordings.

Donald Trump does not have a good memory, so he may be assuming things were said that were not said, and vice versa.

Donald Trump does not have a good record of getting facts straight, so what he tells us happened may not have happened.

We are dealing with a hostile nuclear power.  There are dozens of reasons to plan carefully, to record every nuance, to make absolutely sure that every point is crystal clear to both sides.  It is critical to have experts in the particular subject matter being discussed. There is not a single legitimate reason to do what Trump did - allow nobody else in, and not share the results.

If this were a "getting to know you" meeting intended to form personal bonds, I might be convinced otherwise.  But, at least according to the Russians, substantive policies were discussed.  Policies that Trump has limited (or no) understanding of.

It is dangerous to have someone negotiating on our behalf when they don't know what they are talking about, won't let anyone who does know what they are talking about be involved in the negotiations, and won't tell anyone what they negotiated.

If you need evidence that Trump doesn't know what he is talking about, you haven't been paying attention.  But I will be happy to provide that if you request.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2018, 06:53:34 PM »
So you are arguing that the executive should not be able conduct international diplomacy in private?  Or are you just saying that only applies to Trump? I think your bias has crossed the line into hysteria.

velcro

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2018, 09:53:26 PM »
I think my answer is quite clear in my previous posts.  But to be concise, I am arguing that it is detrimental to our national security for the executive to conduct international diplomacy without preparation, knowledge of the issues at hand, or any sort of record of what is discussed.

Do you deny that is what Trump did?  Do you think it is good for the country?

When you accuse me of hysteria, please point out any facts that I got wrong, or reasoning that does not ring true.  Otherwise it just sounds like name-calling or distraction.

Lloyd Perna

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2018, 10:08:29 PM »
You assert your opinions about his preparation as fact and use that to justify your argument about the national security. Then you speculate about what was discussed and project your anti-trump bias into your hysterical fears about what might have happened. None of the things you speculate may have happened are any more likely than the far less objectionably things they could have discussed.  I think the president of the united states is in a much better position to decide what is appropriate to discuss than you are.

So if we eliminate your biased opinions about his preparation and knowledge, your only objection is that there was no record of the conversation.  And I assume you find that objectionable because once again, your bias tells you that he can't be up to anything good.  I really doubt that if Obama or Hillary did the same thing you would even bat an eye.

Of course I don't deny that President of the United states met with the leader of a foreign government in private to discuss the future of the relationship between our countries. 

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2018, 12:31:58 PM »
You assert your opinions about his preparation as fact and use that to justify your argument about the national security. Then you speculate about what was discussed and project your anti-trump bias into your hysterical fears about what might have happened. None of the things you speculate may have happened are any more likely than the far less objectionably things they could have discussed.  I think the president of the united states is in a much better position to decide what is appropriate to discuss than you are.

So if we eliminate your biased opinions about his preparation and knowledge, your only objection is that there was no record of the conversation.  And I assume you find that objectionable because once again, your bias tells you that he can't be up to anything good.  I really doubt that if Obama or Hillary did the same thing you would even bat an eye.

Of course I don't deny that President of the United states met with the leader of a foreign government in private to discuss the future of the relationship between our countries.

Every single policy that Trump has tweeted out has been ill-considered and poorly coordinated. Shouldn't we be suspicious, just a little bit, that he might have signed us up to something illegal, immoral, or untenable? Obama never caught his own administration by surprise.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2018, 12:45:10 PM »
It does strike me as an interesting question about whether the President should conduct private negotiations at all. I do agree with Lloyd that it seems like that objection here seems to be that Trump in particular shouldn't be allowed to, which seems like a specious position unless it also carries with it the premise that no President should be allowed to, which is a different matter. But invoking Trump's incompetence as a reason why it's bad strikes me as being an untenable position to take simply by itself.

velcro

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2018, 12:52:32 PM »
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You assert your opinions about his preparation as fact and use that to justify your argument about the national security.

Not "my opinions" about Trump's preparation.
Quote
President Trump on Thursday said he does not have to prepare “very much” for his high-stakes summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because he believes “it’s about attitude.”

Quote
But privately, a State Department official and a source familiar with preparations says [Russia]summit planning was so rushed that the No. 2s at the major departments -- like State, Defense and Treasury -- did not convene specifically on this summit through the National Security Council.
Link

But feel free to provide any evidence that he did substantial preparation.  Keep in mind that past summits of this nature have involved months of planning.

You did not address the fact that Trump has no knowledge of many of the topics that would have been discussed.

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Then you speculate about what was discussed
I took a quick look and did not see any speculation on my part.  If you point it out, we can discuss it.  If you can't point it out, well, then I guess you made it up.

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I think the president of the united states is in a much better position to decide what is appropriate to discuss than you are.
In all seriousness, why?

Quote
I really doubt that if Obama or Hillary did the same thing you would even bat an eye.

With all due respect, you have absolutely no idea what I would do.  I request you do not pretend you have any knowledge whatsoever on that topic.


velcro

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2018, 12:56:04 PM »
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I do agree with Lloyd that it seems like that objection here seems to be that Trump in particular shouldn't be allowed to,

I apologize if I gave that impression.  Any president who is unprepared, ignorant, and reckless should not negotiate in private.  I believe Trump is all of those.

The minute Trump exhibited preparation, knowledge and some desire for accurately recording and transmitting what went on in the meeting, I would remove my objections.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2018, 01:07:03 PM »
Any president who is unprepared, ignorant, and reckless should not negotiate in private.  I believe Trump is all of those.

The minute Trump exhibited preparation, knowledge and some desire for accurately recording and transmitting what went on in the meeting, I would remove my objections.

Believe it or not I'm still stumped about what exactly your position is. Are you saying that if you personally don't judge a President to be fit to enter a negotiation he shouldn't be allowed to? Or are you saying that he should certainly be allowed to but that you don't like it? And if you personally aren't the judge of his readiness, who is? What is the metric used to measure "preparedness" for a private talk?

DJQuag

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2018, 09:34:41 AM »
Any president who is unprepared, ignorant, and reckless should not negotiate in private.  I believe Trump is all of those.

The minute Trump exhibited preparation, knowledge and some desire for accurately recording and transmitting what went on in the meeting, I would remove my objections.

Believe it or not I'm still stumped about what exactly your position is. Are you saying that if you personally don't judge a President to be fit to enter a negotiation he shouldn't be allowed to? Or are you saying that he should certainly be allowed to but that you don't like it? And if you personally aren't the judge of his readiness, who is? What is the metric used to measure "preparedness" for a private talk?

Seems to me, Velcro is asserting that Trump has never shown an ability to consult others, study on and prepare for meetings with foreign dictators, or even to go a few weeks without contradicting himself on an important matter.

The quotes he pulled above speak for themselves.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2018, 10:07:27 AM »
Is this so mysterious? We judge candidates and presidents all the time on preparedness. Johnson was roasted alive for not knowing where Aleppo was (or mishearing the question). There are constant indications that Trump doesn't consult with anyone prior to doing almost anything he does. A very stable genius has no need to talk to someone who has studied a country, its politics, and its culture for decades - especially when he knows better than everyone else on every topic. Everything is simple in Trumpland, never complex. This comes out from his own books, his TV shows, and his business dealings. It is a critical flaw when dealing with diplomacy, of which Trump has not only failed to demonstrate publicly, but openly disparages.

The other thing we've seen is that Trump doesn't take commitments or agreements all that seriously. He doesn't have to prepare, because he'll be perfectly happy to renege on whatever he said in that meeting.

In addition to velcro's well detailed quotes from Trump, can we forget this one?

Quote
"Let me tell you, the one that matters is me, I'm the only one that matters because when it comes to it that's what the policy is going to be," Trump said on Fox News when pressed about vacancies by Laura Ingraham.
 
"We don't need all the people that they want," Trump continued. "Don't forget, I'm a business person and I tell my people 'well you don't need to fill slots, don't fill them.'"

He doesn't even mind not having the people available to prepare him.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2018, 11:11:51 AM »
I'm not saying that Trump should be praised if he goes into meetings without being briefed or trained properly. But velcro's OP assertion is that this event should be grounds for impeachment. Maybe I'm crazy, but that makes it sound to me like he broke a protocol or did something objectively forbidden. Unless the idea is that a President can be impeached for going into a private meeting where certain people don't think he's prepared enough?

I obviously get the gist of what velcro is saying, but what I'm trying to determine is whether there's anything more specific being suggested other than "bah!"

D.W.

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2018, 11:26:37 AM »
Part of what a lot of people miss about Trump is he is a troll.  (of the internet troll variety)  Allegations of collusion swirl around him and his campaign.  What can we do?  A one on one meeting with Putin with no witnesses and no official agenda! 

I'm of the opinion that his ego and instinct to thumb his nose at anyone against him accounts for most of his actions.  Collusion seems a stretch to me still, but he IS a clear and present threat to the stability of our country.

Just meeting with Putin doesn't strike me as anything impeachable/unconstitutional/illegal in the least.  It IS a bonehead move that has a lot more to do with pissing off his enemies and likely trying to force them to overreach and overreact so he can paint them as crazy. 

A private meeting should worry us all.  But there isn't *censored* we can do about it.  That burden's on Congress and they act as powerless before Trump as Trump did before Putin.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2018, 11:40:47 AM »
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I really doubt that if Obama or Hillary did the same thing you would even bat an eye.

Hillary wouldn't meet with girl scouts for a photo op without getting an assessment of political impact, a dossier on the troop leader, and a set of talking points.

Obama was reported to have over 300 advisers on foreign affairs according to NYT, although I can't read and quote the actual article.

So this is a hypothetical thought experiment akin to "What if Obama said some people protesting statue removal were good people?"

Fenring

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2018, 11:44:44 AM »
I don't know if Trump has actually muddled anything as a result of this meeting. But I can entirely imagine that in his position I would want to have a no-BS chat with foreign leaders where we could put our cards on the table without having to sound politic for the press or worry about being quoted out of context. Part of a good conversation is throwing around ideas, even bad ones, just to sound off on the other guy's take on it. But you can't do that with press - or leakers - around because every theoretical proposition will be taken as a real proposition and the country would go crazy. I would most certainly look for some private meetings. So what I'm wondering here is whether the problem is more the lack of transparency (which seems to be more D.W.'s beef) or the perception that Trump will screw things up (more velcro's beef). What if a very savvy President had a private meeting - would that be ok?

D.W.

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2018, 12:30:01 PM »
Nope.  My beef is that either Trump met with Putin to flabergast/enrage his political detractors, OR he's really that stupid.  Or the least plausible to me still, he IS in the man's pocket.

There is no scenario where a private meeting was in the interest of our country.  I won't go so far as to say meeting with Russia / Putin was a bad idea, but this format, could only hurt us.  That's my beef.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2018, 12:39:34 PM »
Nope.  My beef is that either Trump met with Putin to flabergast/enrage his political detractors, OR he's really that stupid.  Or the least plausible to me still, he IS in the man's pocket.

There is no scenario where a private meeting was in the interest of our country.  I won't go so far as to say meeting with Russia / Putin was a bad idea, but this format, could only hurt us.  That's my beef.

How is this different from the issue being a lack of transparency or oversight (as you see it)?

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2018, 12:43:26 PM »
Presidents have had private meetings before. Obama met privately with Castro. Obama is also a lawyer and a Senator, who considers his words carefully for the most part. He rarely had to walk back statements because he accidentally failed to include a negative or "was just kidding". His adminstration wasn't caught flat-footed by off handed comments during a press conference.

Everything about this meeting suggests that Trump wasn't particularly well prepared, and seems to have done a lot of random things that hadn't been planned ahead of time. International diplomacy shouldn't be off the cuff - by any President.

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“You don’t know what’s going to come out of this meeting,” Huntsman said. "I hope it's a detailed conversation about where we might be able to find some overlapping and shared interests," Huntsman said.

Pretty vague, and the Ambassador didn't seem like he had any idea what the topics of discussion would be. Bolton also described the meeting as "unstructured".

D.W.

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2018, 02:11:40 PM »
Quote
How is this different from the issue being a lack of transparency or oversight (as you see it)?
Not sure why I didn't get it till just now, but I understand what you're asking.

I suppose if I was just interested in transparency, then a release of transcript of the meeting would be enough.  My thinking is that the reason(s) that won't happen is that neither man wants the rest of the world to know what was discussed beyond what they tell us was discussed.  Both see it as a tool.  I fear Trump is out of his depth on this game, but no doubt feeding the "collusion hysteria" is right up his alley as a tactic.  Also he gets to prove to everyone how he will not be controlled.  (accept possibly by Putin...)

I do wonder if the two would have agreed to meet if transparency was mandated.  The tool would lose it's usefulness.  Even here though, I think Putin would be in a stronger position than Trump as far as what he risks vs what there is to gain. 

My problem, is that the meeting itself was a poor strategy.  The ONLY 'prize' for Trump is as an irritant / bait for his detractors.  The only 'prize' as far as the GOP is concerned is that Trump is a distraction none can ignore and if they are smart/organized, they can slip more bold policy moves in while the news media rends their cloths and gnashes their teeth at Trump.

These aren't entirely without value, but both are an insult to our country.  Yet, it works...  (at least in the short term) so maybe it's just depressing, rather than insulting.

Transparency wouldn't make this move any less divisive domestically or less disruptive internationally.  For all we know, it would only make things worse.  That both men decided they had more to gain meeting then not, says a lot about how similar their thinking is in how one should rule.  Err... govern.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2018, 02:44:02 PM »
I certainly understand your concern. It's true that affairs like this hinge on the skill of the President and if that's in doubt then the result will obviously be in doubt. But I was sticking my nose in earlier because the tone of the thread sounded almost like it was being suggested that Trump is doing something wrong, which is much different from suggesting he's doing something stupid.

I fear Trump is out of his depth on this game, but no doubt feeding the "collusion hysteria" is right up his alley as a tactic.  Also he gets to prove to everyone how he will not be controlled.  (accept possibly by Putin...)

That's a funny thing, and Hillary's camp hit a home run on undermining the Presidency (for better or worse). Not only has the election been called into question, but now that Trump is President any move he makes will be called into question. Remember that right from day 1 of primaries, before Trump had a dream of winning, his platform was to build bridges with Russia. There was no possibility of collusion at that point, I think. But now that he's President he's in a lose-lose situation, where if he does not build bridges with Russia then he's losing out on something he wanted to achieve, while if he sticks with his plan to make nice with Russia then it seems like "proof" that there was collusion. This is a Kobayashi Maru situation where the winning play is to lose the least, and there is no way to come out looking good.

So now take the best-case scenario, if I may call it that, where Trump makes real agreements with Putin, relations improve, sabre rattling calms down, and Putin can sit at the table to discuss ways to lift sanctions in exchange for them improving human rights issues in Russia. By any objective diplomatic standard this would be great, except in our present reality this very scenario will cement the accusation that Trump and Putin have formed an evil alliance (or that Trump is in his pocket). Talk about backwards. The only way for Trump to look good on this issue at all, will be for him to succeed, and only for posterity in 20 years to look back and realize it was good. It will never be recognized as being good right now no matter what he does - that is, if he even achieves anything good at all. But the amazing thing is that there is actual pressure for him not to achieve this good, since he will suffer fallout rather than praise as a result of any strides he makes with Russia towards good diplomatic relations.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2018, 02:51:48 PM »
Then there is also this irony.  :D

D.W.

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2018, 03:22:27 PM »
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Hillary's camp hit a home run on undermining the Presidency
Pot, meet kettle.  We seem in sync on the end result, but have divergent views on the causes leading to that effect.
In the early days when Trump was talking about building bridges with Russia I just assumed that he wanted a more free hand to profit off of business dealings with them.  It honestly never even occurred to me that he was interested in improving diplomatic relations between our two countries.  Simply put, he smelled money, and wanted some.  Maybe I got the guy pegged wrong.  Nobody around him*, even in his own party seem to think now is the time to reach out to Russia and strengthen ties for the good of our country.

*bias induced exaggeration

The ‘winning move’ is to silently back off his hopes/goals of making nice with Russia.  Hell, he can do so loudly, blaming the democrats or Obama or Hillary even for poisoning diplomacy and accept zero blame for his failure to deliver on that campaign promise.  But nope!  Not Trump.  Not his style.  Not a defeat his ego will allow. 

Fenring

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2018, 03:59:18 PM »
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Hillary's camp hit a home run on undermining the Presidency
Pot, meet kettle.

I think I could have said that better. I meant that she hit a home run undermining Trump's Presidency.

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In the early days when Trump was talking about building bridges with Russia I just assumed that he wanted a more free hand to profit off of business dealings with them.  It honestly never even occurred to me that he was interested in improving diplomatic relations between our two countries.  Simply put, he smelled money, and wanted some.

These two are not incompatible. It's completely coherent to suppose someone wanted relations improved, and that someone is looking for ways to monetize relations. In fact, the typical capitalist claim is that in seeking one's own self-interest in business this ends up creating a harmonized economy in the aggregate. In my view, good relations can come about from trading and that leading to a kind of trust. So salivating at the money possibilities (even for personal gain) doesn't preclude that leading to or being part of a diplomatic package. Trump's version of it was something like "I want to make a deal with Putin", whatever that means. It still sounds better than "I want to punch Russia right in the nose" or "let's carpet bomb ISIS cities".

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Maybe I got the guy pegged wrong.  Nobody around him*, even in his own party seem to think now is the time to reach out to Russia and strengthen ties for the good of our country.

This is one of those areas where I think it's good that he's totally estranged from Washington 'common sense.'

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The ‘winning move’ is to silently back off his hopes/goals of making nice with Russia.  Hell, he can do so loudly, blaming the democrats or Obama or Hillary even for poisoning diplomacy and accept zero blame for his failure to deliver on that campaign promise.  But nope!  Not Trump.  Not his style.  Not a defeat his ego will allow.

It's sad times when backing off a reasonable campaign platform would be the winning move because of muddied PR.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2018, 04:04:54 PM »
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But now that he's President he's in a lose-lose situation, where if he does not build bridges with Russia then he's losing out on something he wanted to achieve, while if he sticks with his plan to make nice with Russia then it seems like "proof" that there was collusion. This is a Kobayashi Maru situation where the winning play is to lose the least, and there is no way to come out looking good.

Not quite unsolvable for someone with even moderate political savvy.

1. Let Pompeo take the lead on Russian relations, he has impeccable anti-Russian credentials as former CIA director, credibility with the public as someone who admits that the Russians actually did attempt to influence the 2016 elections, and familiarity with the Russian mindset and political machinery.

2. Let his advisors build up support for rapproachment on talk circuits before and after the summit, including Bolton, Haley, and Huntsman instead of catching them all by surprise or having them directly contradict him.

3. Look for something small but concrete to take away from the meeting, which has people talking about that instead of speculating on what kind of nefarious secret deal took place.

4. Don't act like a Russian toady when speaking in public, use measured language like "cautiously optimistic" or something like this from Reagan:

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Today the world looks expectantly to signs of change, steps toward greater freedom in the Soviet Union. We watch and we hope as we see positive changes taking place. There are some, I know, in your society who fear that change will bring only disruption and discontinuity, who fear to embrace the hope of the future—sometimes it takes faith.

Of course its hard to be optimistic when Putin's Russia is poisoning people, invading other countries, and meddling in elections.

None of this would work for Trump in my opinion, he isn't capable of giving up the limelight or credit to others. And he might not be able to get any of his appointees to agree with his Russia friendship plan.

Fenring

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2018, 04:35:34 PM »
I'm not sure if handing this off would make it better. Maybe. But sometimes only a certain kind of person can actually get the thing done, depending on the task. There's the old "only Nixon" addage, and we don't need to praise Nixon to also suppose that perhaps he had an advantageous personality for that task. Then again he was no dope so it's not the same situation as Trump. But maybe Trump's sort of messy way of speaking and offhand manner would make it easier to speak to Putin off the record and actually discuss mutual goals? I don't know, really, but I could imagine it being the case. Whether Putin gets the better of him in this situation I can't predict, so to me the results, rather than the appearance, are what would matter to me personally.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2018, 04:59:32 PM »
Nixon was in a unique position, partly because he had always been against Red China. Imagine trying to campaign on normalizing relations with China during a time when HUAC was still operating. Its the same thing that Reagan was able to do with Gorbachev.

Many conservatives were apoplectic that Obama was meeting with Raul Castro and normalizing relations. IIRC, their objection was that Cuba had a terrible human rights record, supported our enemies including Syria, recruits agents in the US, it is a de-facto dictatorship. Many conservatives cited its close ties to, you said it, Russia, as a reason not to get friendly. So...

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2018, 05:10:11 PM »
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"I'm very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don't want Trump!"

::)

I don't even know where to begin. Tougher on Russia than Reagan? He called them an Evil Empire for crying out loud. He threatened the deployment of American nuclear weapons to Europe. And Putin has already stipulated he preferred Trump...

D.W.

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2018, 05:14:17 PM »
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It's sad times when backing off a reasonable campaign platform would be the winning move because of muddied PR.
They ran an influence campaign favoring Trump.  They breached our (laughable) security on DNC servers and were even sniffing around electronic voting itself (no indication they succeeded here).  They’ve made a land grab and we are on opposing sides in Syria.  (not convinced we should be though)

This goes way beyond PR issues.  Russia is intentionally provoking, sowing chaos and are direct competitors.  I think calling them an “enemy” as if we were talking about the cold war may be a bit dated, but we haven’t coined a term I like better and “globalist competitor” just doesn’t quite nail down how serious things are.

I’m not one for saber rattling but looking for mutually beneficial opportunities when they are currently attempting to grow by weakening us and our allies seems… well, stupid.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2018, 05:18:35 PM by D.W. »

Seriati

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2018, 06:24:40 PM »
Not quite unsolvable for someone with even moderate political savvy.

1. Let Pompeo take the lead on Russian relations, he has impeccable anti-Russian credentials as former CIA director, credibility with the public as someone who admits that the Russians actually did attempt to influence the 2016 elections, and familiarity with the Russian mindset and political machinery.

2. Let his advisors build up support for rapproachment on talk circuits before and after the summit, including Bolton, Haley, and Huntsman instead of catching them all by surprise or having them directly contradict him.

There's no way that would work for this administration.  Involving that many people would guaranty enough low level staffers and career bureaucrats are involved to ensure that leak after leak is made to the media is ways designed to maximize the damage and make it look as if something guilty is going on.

Can already see it now, "Trump orders Pompeo to make secret Russian concessions accordingly to highly placed source, proof of Russian collusion."  "Trump circulates Russian propaganda talking points to Bolton, Haley, and Huntsman in advance of administration media manipulation blitz, proof of Russian collusion."

And in a world where the media tries to claim that admitting Russian interfere is tantamount to declaring Trump as illegitimate, there's not really an option to do much on that point.  Nevermind that the disclosed Russian interference to date would amount to a mound of beans in the gross domestic farm production that is a Presidential election. 

Like I said before, this should have been investigated by a bipartisan commission, but getting to the truth was never the goal.

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3. Look for something small but concrete to take away from the meeting, which has people talking about that instead of speculating on what kind of nefarious secret deal took place.

Yes, they are speculating.  You know what's missing?  Have you heard anyone explain what exactly Trump could have signed that would have been binding?   

He can't issue a treaty.  Heck he can't do anything without ordering the government to implement it in someway.  What exactly do you think he could have done?

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Of course its hard to be optimistic when Putin's Russia is poisoning people, invading other countries, and meddling in elections.

I'm with you on preferring to call out Putin.  International assassinations alone are bad enough to warrant that, but let's get real.

Are you really calling for war rhetoric from Trump aimed at the second leading power in the world, that happens to be run by a former KGB strongman whose entire power base comes from his projection of strength?  I find it beyond ridiculous that the people who think that Trump is so incompetent that he apparently can't be trusted to speak to someone alone because of what he may give up or not understand (ignoring that if he doesn't understand it, it's almost certain he couldn't implement it), somehow think the better course of action would be for Trump to treat Putin like the Rocket man and make big tough guy statements.

I take the blatant inconsistency on Trump's actions with Kim being reckless, dangerous and irresponsible, with the idea that he should be threatening to Putin impossible to comprehend.  It can't really be what you guys want, so I'm left with concluding that no matter what course Trump takes it will be "wrong," so I have to make my own decision about whether its wise.

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None of this would work for Trump in my opinion, he isn't capable of giving up the limelight or credit to others. And he might not be able to get any of his appointees to agree with his Russia friendship plan.

He loves the limelight.  But again, it's impossible to reconcile Trump's previous success with your view that he has to be a micromanager.  He's more a Darth Vader, delegate with harsh and sometimes fickle consequences, than someone who isn't capable of giving up credit to others.

TheDrake

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2018, 06:44:38 PM »
Are you really calling for war rhetoric from Trump aimed at the second leading power in the world, that happens to be run by a former KGB strongman whose entire power base comes from his projection of strength?

You may be right. With binary Trump, there many not be any ground between a sycophantic love fest and threats of fire and fury. Given the options, I'll take hugs and kisses. He could do the status quo norm, wistfully wishing that relations could be better, underlining our commitment to defend our interests, expressing grave concern over the Bad Things Russia does... while stressing that sanctions will remain in place until behavior changes.

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He loves the limelight.  But again, it's impossible to reconcile Trump's previous success with your view that he has to be a micromanager.  He's more a Darth Vader, delegate with harsh and sometimes fickle consequences, than someone who isn't capable of giving up credit to others.

I'm still not so sure how much previous success to give him credit for. In at least two of his books, he describes random micromanagement. He'll involve himself in minutia, like what kind of floor is going in the lobby of a motel, and disappear from the scene just as rapidly once he's satisfied. As opposed to setting strategic direction and giving people latitude to make independent decisions. As for giving up credit, I'll stand corrected if anyone knows of a statement where Trump says "I couldn't have done it without help from my team." - Mostly it is stuff like (paraphrase) "Only I have the answers to winning wars, not the generals."

I won't ignore your points on leaking and reaction, they make sense and I can't argue that the named people might not leak the information even from a one-on-one meeting - especially since they uniformly don't agree with being pals with Russia, at least publicly.

Wayward Son

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2018, 06:45:27 PM »
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There's no way that would work for this administration.  Involving that many people would guaranty enough low level staffers and career bureaucrats are involved to ensure that leak after leak is made to the media is ways designed to maximize the damage and make it look as if something guilty is going on.

What are you worried about "leaking" to the media??  Of what was agreed to by Trump, what part would it be so terrible to have leaked?

Or are you insinuating that we still don't know everything that was agreed to?  Are you saying that Trump has made secret agreements with the Russians that he hasn't told us about?  Is that what you believe?  Because that makes him look far more guilty than just about anything that might have leaked.

I don't want a President that makes secret agreements with our foes and not tell us about them.  Makes me wonder why he doesn't trust the American people... >:(

Seriati

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2018, 06:57:45 PM »
As for giving up credit, I'll stand corrected if anyone knows of a statement where Trump says "I couldn't have done it without help from my team." - Mostly it is stuff like (paraphrase) "Only I have the answers to winning wars, not the generals."

I've heard some version of him claiming to only work with the best people hundreds of times.  He often praises various heads of agencies that he appointed.  Heck he's famously in trouble for telling James Comey that Flynn was a great guy.

Getting quotes is a matter of looking for them, adjusted through a filter of what the media wants you to hear him say.

Seriati

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Re: Trump Putin Summit
« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2018, 07:06:02 PM »
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There's no way that would work for this administration.  Involving that many people would guaranty enough low level staffers and career bureaucrats are involved to ensure that leak after leak is made to the media is ways designed to maximize the damage and make it look as if something guilty is going on.

What are you worried about "leaking" to the media??  Of what was agreed to by Trump, what part would it be so terrible to have leaked?

What are you responding to Wayward?  You quoted my comment to TheDrake about using a massive team to manage the Russian relationship rather than a personal meeting.  Are you confused that doing so would require a bunch of widely circulated directives?

We already know the media will run with "leaks" as ground breaking and as petty as a claim that Trump gets more ice cream at meetings than his staffers.  No big communication effort is ever perfect in every detail, and we'll only see the bad and/or easy to misinterpret things coming out.  How exactly can a media campaign that the media chooses to undermine get the result it's supposed to get?

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Or are you insinuating that we still don't know everything that was agreed to?

As a separate point.  I pointed out that the only way to implement an agreement is to share it with someone who can implement it.  We have plenty of oversight on that process.

What exactly are you worried about?  (other than having something to complain about)

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Are you saying that Trump has made secret agreements with the Russians that he hasn't told us about?

Lol.  Seriously, all I can do is laugh.  Is this just a troll, or do you honestly believe something I wrote says that?

Your paranoia apparently knows little bounds. 

You seem to believe the fact that we haven't seen any evidence of the implementation of any agreements, secret or otherwise, somehow proves that life altering secret agreements are in motion?  If Trump had a big "control the US government" lever, don't you think he would have used it on any number of other things by now?

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Is that what you believe?  Because that makes him look far more guilty than just about anything that might have leaked.

No.  Let me handle your communication with the world for a month, and I guaranty I can put you in prison.  It's incredibly easy to mislead with selective releases.

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I don't want a President that makes secret agreements with our foes and not tell us about them.  Makes me wonder why he doesn't trust the American people... >:(

Do you have some evidence of a secret agreement other than your untreated paranoia?